Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center of Westbury

Radioactive iodine therapy for feline hyperthyroidism

Common symptoms of hyperthyroidism include hyperactivity, weight loss and hunger. Some cats will become more vocal, thirsty and may also urinate more than usual. Occasionally, cats will not show any symptoms of hyperthyroidism but the disorder can be detected on wellness testing by your veterinarian.

Fortunately for your cat, this is a very treatable problem with several management options:

1) Methimazole (generic, Tapazole TM, FelimazoleTM) is a medicine that inhibits the production of thyroid hormone, thereby resolving symptoms of hyperthyroidism. This treatment is highly effective, readily available, and not very costly in the short term. It can be administered orally as a pill or liquid, or topically on the skin. This treatment must be monitored periodically to make sure it is working properly and not causing side effects. It is important to note that this treatment does not cure hyperthyroidism, but can control the problem as long as the medicine is given regularly as prescribed by your veterinarian.

2) Surgery can be performed to remove the abnormal thyroid tissue. This treatment has been effective in curing hyperthyroidism in many cats but is less popular recently as safer and simpler options are now readily available.

3) I-131 (radio-iodine) therapy is a form of nuclear medicine used to cure feline hyperthyroidism. This is a very simple, safe and highly effective treatment. The vast majority of cats treated with I-131 will be cured of hyperthyroidism.

How does I-131 work?

The thyroid gland is the only part of the body that uses iodine, a nutrient that is essential to synthesize thyroid hormones. I-131 is a form of iodine that is radioactive. I-131 is given by injection and circulates in the blood until it is taken into the thyroid gland. In hyperthyroid cats, the cells within the abnormal nodules are actively making an abundance of thyroid hormone, but the normal thyroid tissue is suppressed and not making any thyroid hormone. Therefore only the cells within the nodules will absorb the radioactive iodine. Once inside the abnormal thyroid cells, the radiation goes to work to destroy the abnormal cells. Small amounts of radiation will be emitted from your cat during the treatment, therefore strict isolation in our facility is required to keep everyone safe. Once the level of radioactivity is below a certain limit, usually within a few days, the cats are safe to go home.

For questions or more information about I-131 therapy for feline hyperthyroidism, please contact our hospital, and we will be happy to assist you.

Departments

Internal Medicine
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General Practice

We have over 600 animal hospitals in 41 states and 4 Canadian provinces that are staffed by more than 3,000 fully-qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 400 being board-certified specialists.

The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments such as wellness, spay/neuter, advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), internal medicine, oncology, ophthalmology, dermatology, cardiology, neurology, boarding, and grooming. Services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Emergency Care

If your pet is having a medical emergency, please call us immediately at 516-420-0000. Our address is:

VETERINARY REFERRAL & EMERGENCY CENTER OF WESTBURY
609-5 CANTIAGUE ROCK ROAD, WESTBURY, NY 11590
TEL: 516-420-0000

Click here for directions to our location.

Our facility is a fully-equipped 24/7/365 emergency hospital serving pets/pet owners in Westbury, LI and surrounding communities. If your pet is having a medical crisis, our highly trained team of veterinarians, technicians and assistants are here to provide expert emergency and critical care support for your pet. In addition,our specialtists in surgery, neurology, oncology and internal medicine are on-call and available to our ER/CC units to assist.

Our ER and CC units can assist in all of the following situations requiring immediate medical attention: Auto accidents, traumatic injuries (fractures, bites, burns, lacerations, wounds), respiratory emergencies (choking, difficulty breathing), vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty urinating/defecating, shock, loss of consciousness, dizziness, staggering, tremors, seizures, paralysis, toxic reactions, poison ingestion, labor and delivery problems, blood in urine or feces, swollen, hard, painful abdomen, heatstroke.

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