Advantages of radio-iodine
It’s a cure, not long-term management
Unlike medication or a low-iodine diet, radio-iodine is a permanent cure for feline hyperthyroidism. It’s also almost always a one-off treatment; less than 1% of the cats we’ve treated have needed a second dose (which is included in our costs, providing it’s within 6 months of the first dose).
It works quickly
The majority of cats will have normal hormone levels within 1 or 2 weeks of radio-iodine treatment (although it can take up to 6 months to take full effect).
It works on ‘hidden’ thyroid glands
About 20% of cats have thyroid glands in their chest, but you’ll only know if your cat does by having tests done with highly specialist equipment. Unlike surgery, radio-iodine will find its own way to any glands in the chest, making your cat’s treatment highly targeted and effective.
No healthy tissue is affected
The iodine isotope used in this treatment is only taken up by your cat’s thyroid tumour – not by healthy tissue in either the thyroid glands or any other part of your cat’s body. This is particularly important because there are other important glands close to the thyroid gland, which might be damaged if your cat has surgery.
There are no side-effects
There really aren’t. We will lightly sedate your cat when treated, so sometimes a cat will feel under the weather, or off their food for a very short time, after treatment. This soon passes, and there are no side effects from the radio-iodine. Very occasionally, a cat’s thyroid hormone levels will tip the other way, becoming too low, so a cat may become hypothyroid – but this is very treatable with supplementation in food.
Radio-iodine is painless
Just one dose administered by oral capsule. No surgery, no implants, no wounds, no stitches, no pain. That’s especially important, because hyperthyroid cats are typically older, and often have secondary conditions, such as a fast heart rate, which make surgery even more risky.
There’s no need for lifelong medication
All the hassle of tablets and medications will be over (for you and your cat) and you’ll save the cost of these too.
There’s no need for a special diet
Even if your cat has been on a low-iodine diet, that can stop once their radio-iodine treatment is complete. This means they’ll get a lot more variety and enjoyment from their food – and it’ll be significantly cheaper for you.