A common disease among middle aged to older felines is hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is when there is excessive thyroid hormone in the body. In cats, it is usually caused by a non-cancerous tumor called a thyroid adenoma.
Hyperthyroidism is diagnosed by combining history, physical examination and laboratory testing. There are several available treatments for this disease such as daily medication (for the rest of the cat’s life), surgery and radioiodine therapy.
Because the I-131 treatment center is staffed by Avets clinicians and caregivers, local follow-up is available. Avets is a 24-hour emergency and specialty veterinary hospital with Veterinarians and staff in attendance at all times to your pets. Video feed from the I-131 ward is monitored in the ICU at Avets.
- Radioiodine (I-131) is considered the treatment of choice and is cost effective when one weighs the long term cost of medical therapy and the success of the treatment.
- An injection of radioactive iodine is given under the cat’s skin, absorbed into the body and concentrated in the thyroid gland. The cat remains in a specially designed ward in the hospital for about five days until the radiation level is low enough to go home where additional precautions are taken for a few weeks to limit radiation exposure from the cat.
- Most (>95%) cats are cured of the disease with one treatment, a few need a second treatment and a very small number have a cancerous tumor that will require referral for high dose radiation. Additional complications are usually mild and self-limiting, such as signs attributable to a sore throat.