Seaford Veterinary Hospital offers radioactive iodine-131 treatment for cats diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Although a number of treatment options exist, radioactive iodine-131 is considered the gold standard treatment for this disease provided the affected cat meets certain pre-treatment criteria.
Hyperthyroidism, a common hormonal disorder among older cats, occurs when their thyroid glands, located in the neck, produce an excess of thyroxine hormone. This overproduction speeds up the cells’ functions, leading to a high metabolic rate that can cause rapid weight loss—sometimes more than half of their body weight. Left untreated, it can lead to complications affecting the heart and liver due to increased metabolic demands.
Though the exact reasons behind why cats develop hyperthyroidism aren’t entirely clear, benign nodules or gland enlargement are often involved. The surplus thyroid hormone affects virtually every part of the body, making organs overactive and disrupting their normal functions.
Early detection and proper management are crucial in ensuring your feline friend’s well-being and preventing severe health issues.
Gold Standard Treatment
We believe that radioactive iodine-131 treatment is the gold standard treatment for hyperthyroid cats. In the past twenty years we have successfully treated well over 1000 cats with excellent results and minimal side effects. Only a small number of Melbourne veterinary clinics offer radioactive iodine treatment and Seaford Vet Hospital is one of these specialist facilities.
Radiation is concentrated in the thyroid gland destroying the overactive tissue whilst having no adverse effects on the rest of the body. In about 98% of cats a single treatment is curative and it is also a very safe treatment with no side effects.
Iodine is one of the primary ingredients of thyroid hormone. Radioactive iodine is taken up by the thyroid gland and the radioactivity in the medication destroys the surrounding thyroid cells. A dose of the radioactive iodine kills the overproducing cells without harming any other body functions. This is an extremely effective treatment and can quickly and permanently resolve hyperthyroidism.
In order to determine that your client’s cat meets the necessary criteria for radioactive iodine-131 treatment, the following documentation is required to be sent to us for assessment:
- A full history
- A full blood profile
- A urine specific gravity
These tests must have been performed within 3 weeks of the planned treatment date.
Cats on neomercazole will need to cease medication for a minimum of 2 weeks prior to radiation treatment. Depending on the length of time that the cat has been on neomercazole, some tests may need to be repeated prior to radioactive iodine-131 treatment.
Once our vets have reviewed the cat’s documentation they will contact you or the referring veterinarian to discuss treatment options. If the cat is considered a suitable candidate for radiation treatment then the treatment booking can be scheduled.