Feline Radioiodine

Did you know that an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) is a serious problem prevalent in cats over 10 years of age? Common signs of hyperthyroidism include vomiting, an increased appetite, changes in behaviour and weight loss. It can also bring about serious secondary complications like heart disease. It’s a life threatening condition, but thankfully it’s treatable in all cases and curable in the majority of cases.

There are several therapies for the management of hyperthyroidism but Radioiodine treatment is considered the gold standard. Not only is it a highly effective treatment, but it has few, if any, side effects and is administered with a single oral capsule. It’s the same treatment used for humans suffering hyperthyroidism.

What is involved in the Radioiodine treatment?

Pre-Treatment Consultations: Consultations for assessing cats are available on Mondays at 9:30am and 10:30am. If you are unable to bring your cat in at that time, we are also happy for you to drop your cat off on Sunday, provided you are available for telephone discussion on Monday morning.

Cats should stop any hyperthyroid medication 2 weeks before their appointment. They do not need to fast for this procedure and all other medications may be continued as normal.

Giving the treatment: Your cat will be assessed to determine if it is a suitable candidate for radioiodine treatment, and for the dose your cat will require. Blood pressure is also assessed in every case. Provided there are no contraindications for treatment, the appropriate dose is then ordered and they receive treatment on the Tuesday or Wednesday.

Day 2-6: Patients are housed in our Radioiodine Ward and are monitored each day to ensure their radioactive emissions have dropped to a suitable level. Due to strict safety regulations, you won’t be permitted to visit your cat for the duration of hospitalisation.

Day 7: Most cats will be discharged on the Monday following treatment and will be discharged on a reducing dose of oral thyroxine supplementation. This is to aim to reduce the impact on the kidneys. You will need to return to your local vet for follow up blood tests 6 weeks after discharge.

SASH is accredited by the International Society of Feline Medicine as a Cat Friendly clinic.

If you are worried that your cat may have hyperthyroidism, please see your local vet to have them checked. If your cat has hyperthyroidism, ask your vet about radioactive iodine treatment or contact our team on (02) 9889 0289.