Oregon Veterinary Referral Associates is excited to announce that starting in the late Fall of 2023 we will begin offering Iodine 131 Therapy for Felines with Hyperthyroidism
What is Feline Hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism is a wasting disease caused by increased thyroid hormones, resulting from one or more benign tumors (adenomas) of the thyroid gland. Symptoms that owners may notice in cats suffering from hyperthyroidism is weight loss, increased urination, increased water drinking, behavior changes including agitation, anxiety, and sometimes aggression. Over time, untreated or poorly controlled hyperthyroidism leads to deleterious effects on many of the cat’s internal organs. Heart failure, kidney and liver disease, muscle wasting, chronic emaciation, and/or severe metabolic dysfunction can develop, ultimately leading to death.
What is Iodine 131 Therapy (or Feline Radioiodine Therapy)?
Iodine 131 Therapy is the safest and most effective therapy for feline hyperthyroidism. The availability of radioiodine for cats is limited to hospitals with radioisotope permits. Radioiodine is safe and effective with cure rates approximately 95 – 98% with one treatment. Cats can receive a second treatment, if necessary. Radioiodine treatment avoids surgery, anesthesia, and anti-thyroid drugs. A single injection is given subcutaneously (i.e. under the skin, like a vaccine) and the radioactive iodine is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. The iodine is taken into the thyroid gland and incorporated into thyroxine. The majority of cats have normal hormone levels within a week or two of treatment. Your OVRA Veterinarian will help walk you through this process with your cat!