What is Hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism may be the single most commonly diagnosed endocrine disease in cats next to diabetes. It is generally a disease of cats with an average age around 9-10+ years. The disease is caused by a new growth of tumour-like cells that secrete thyroid hormones in excess to the normal hormones.
If left untreated, a hyperthyroid cat can exhibit many, (if not all) of the following signs: extreme weight loss despite a good appetite, muscle weakness, heart disease (increase in the size of the heart, increased rate, changes in heart rhythm, cardiac arrest), intolerance to stress, and eventually death. Currently many hyperthyroid cats are treated with tablets twice daily for life.
Iodine 131 Treatment
We have treating cats this way since 2009 and have had more than 50 cats go through the procedure.
Iodine 131 is a small capsule of radioactive material that is given by mouth your cat. It is rapidly absorbed into the thyroid and destroys the bad thyroid cells. Your cat is then housed in the nuclear medicine ward for approximately 7 days while it becomes less radioactive and “safe” to take home. The treatment room has a special lead lined cage that allows your cat to be comfortable during their stay in hospital.
Iodine 131 treatment is given once (in 95% of cases), and means that no tablets have to be given after treatment – much to the relief of many cats and their owners!