What is feline hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism is a benign condition caused by overproduction of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland. It is common in cats over 8 years of age but can affect younger cats as well. Malignant cancer of the thyroid gland can also occur but is rare in cats.
What are the signs my cat may be hyperthyroid?
Clinical signs include weight loss, increased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, drinking and urinating more, and nervousness or hyperactivity. Elevated thyroid hormone levels can cause high heart rate, benign heart murmurs, arrhythmia and high blood pressure.
Is iodine radiotherapy safe for my cat?
Iodine radiotherapy is the safest method of treating hyperthyroidism in cats. There are no risks of surgery, no anesthesia, and no medication side-effects. Unlike low-iodine diets and medication which can only manage hyperthyroidism, radioiodine therapy cures the underlying disease.
Are there contraindications for radioiodine therapy?
Hyperthyroidism is most common in older cats, so it is not unusual for a hyperthyroid cat to have other health problems. A complete blood workup (blood count, serum chemistry panel), urinalysis, and a chest x-ray are performed by your veterinarian as a preliminary evaluation. We will discuss any health concerns with you and your veterinarian prior to scheduling treatment.
Is it safe for me and my family?
Yes! The NRC and the Pennsylvania DEP closely regulate the use of radioactive isotopes in veterinary patients. There is minimal radioactivity remaining in the body when your cat is discharged 72 hours after therapy. Our staff will show you how best to minimize your exposure after you bring your cat home.
How effective is iodine therapy?
Radioactive iodine is the most effective method for treating hyperthyroidism in cats. Surgical resection requires anesthesia and there is a risk of surgical complications. Medical management requires daily dosing of medication for the life of your cat. Low-iodine diets require you to strictly control your cat's diet, and are typically not feasible in multi-cat households. With iodine therapy, one treatment is usually effective for life. If your cat's hyperthyroidism ever recurs, we will treat again at no cost!
Can treating my cat cause hypothyroidism (low thyroid levels)?
Hypothyroidism, which results from low levels of thyroid hormone, can cause signs such as lethargy, dullness, obesity, dandruff, oily skin, and matted fur. Only 1-2% of cats treated with radioiodine therapy develop hypothyroidism. In many cases the condition is transient and resolves spontaneously. If needed, cats can be easily treated with supplemental thyroid hormone given orally as a pill.
How long does my cat have to be hospitalized?
The treatment process takes a total of four days. We admit patients on Monday morning and treat Monday afternoon. Our patients are typically discharged on Thursday afternoon.
Where are you located?
We are in the Norristown / Valley Forge PA region. Our address is:
2626 Van Buren Ave.
Norristown, PA 19403
How much does iodine radiotherapy cost?
The cost is $1,250, which includes treatment, boarding, and supplies to be used following discharge. You also receive our lifetime guarantee - we will treat your cat for free if hyperthyroidism ever recurs. Compare our cost to the cost of medication, prescription diets, and repeated bloodwork to monitor thyroid levels and you will see that radioiodine therapy is actually very inexpensive.
How can I schedule my cat for treatment?
You must be referred by your veterinarian. Please have your vet call Metropolitan Veterinary Associates at 610-666-1050 or see our Referrals section.