Radioiodine Therapy

Hyperthyroidism is a common endocrine disorder in middle-aged to older cats. Our facility uses an injection of radioactive iodine to treat this potentially fatal disease. In order to use radioactive iodine, the facility has been specially licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Click here to download the I-131 Referral Form

The Innovetive Cures for Cats Thyroid Treatment Center at Veterinary Referral Hospital of Hickory is a premier I-131 therapy center. From the time your cat arrives for I-131 therapy, the healing begins. I-131 therapy is a minimally-invasive procedure that cures cats with hyperthyroidism, often with only one treatment.

VRHOH is an

Radioiodine Therapy for Cats at VRHOH

I-131 Treatment Center

I-131 Therapy Cures Feline Hyperthyroidism

Over 95% of cats are cured with one I-131 therapy treatment. Best of all, because radioiodine therapy is minimally-invasive it does not require the use of anesthesia or pain management!

Do you have questions? Give us a call at 828.328.6697.

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What Do I Need to Know About Feline Hyperthyroidism?

When your cat has been diagnosed with feline hyperthyroidism it is very important to find a cure as quickly as possible! A cure will give your cat the best chance at living a quality, longer life.

I-131 Therapy for Feline HyperthyroidismWhat is it?

Feline hyperthyroidism afflicts cats later life when the thyroid produces too much of the hormones T3 and T4. Cats develop swelling in the neck brought on by tumors in the thyroid. If feline hyperthyroidism is not treated, cats will develop hypertension, high blood pressure, heart disease, organ failure, which ultimately lead to a shortened life.

For more information, please call us at 828.328.6697.

Signs & Symptoms

The most common signs associated with hyperthyroidism are

  • Weight Loss Despite a Ravenous Appetite
  • Hyperactivity
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Excessive Urination
  • Diarrhea and/or Vomiting
  • Heart Disease (Tachycardia, Hypertrophic Changes)
  • Panting
  • Hypertension
  • Excessive Shedding and Matting of the Hair Coat
  • Palpable Thyroid Masses

Hyperthyroid Treatment Options

Treatment options include oral medication, surgery, a special diet, or radioiodine injection.

I-131 Therapy Treatment for Feline Hyperthyroidism

I-131 Therapy

I-131 therapy uses a special medicine made from radioactive iodine to cure your cat of feline hyperthyroidism. This treatment is minimally-invasive and does not require anesthesia or pain management. Your cat is given an injection of medication then stays a few days monitored. Adverse effects of the I131 injection are rare. Hair and pigment loss at the site of the injection may occur. Cats may experience mild discomfort in the neck area due to transient radiation thyroiditis. Permanent low thyroid levels can occur but are uncommon. Hyperthyroidism may mask signs of other diseases that may become apparent after treatment. This is a one-time expense proven to improve your cat’s lifespan and quality of life.
Nutritional Therapy Treatment for Feline Hyperthyroidism

y/d Diet

Special low-iodine food can help reduce some of the symptoms of feline hyperthyroidism if you can be sure it’s the only thing your cat eats for the rest of his or her life. Making sure your cat only eats y/d diet food can be difficult, especially if you have other cats who eat different food. Cats also tend refuse to eat the food after a period of time. A y/d diet can be expensive and only manages symptoms of feline hyperthyroidism; it is not a permanent solution for relief.
Surgical Treatment for Feline Hyperthyroidism

Thyroid Surgery

Surgery to remove the thyroid comes with the same risks as any surgical procedure. Thyroid surgery requires anesthesia, and due to their disease, hyperthyroid patients are greater anesthetic risks. The surgery may need to be repeated, and may result in a deficiency of parathyroid hormone. Surgery may not be effective in removing all of the affected thyroid tissue, and is more expensive than radioactive iodine.
Medical Therapy Treatment for Feline Hyperthyroidism

Daily Oral Medication

The medicine Methimazole (brand name Tapazole®) is an option for treating feline hyperthyroidism. Methimazole comes with the added struggle of convincing your cat to take a pill for the rest of your cat's life. Medical therapy requires daily administration of the medication, which can be stressful to pet and owner. This is a life-long treatment that does not cure the cat’s condition, but rather treats the symptoms. Medications may have side effects causing liver and/or kidney problems, and adverse effects on red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. This feline hyperthyroidism treatment method requires frequent monitoring and laboratory tests to assess patient’s response to therapy. Depending on the formulation of methimazole dispensed and the frequency of laboratory monitoring necessary for the patient, annual cost for methimazole therapy can range from $600 to $1200 per year.

Average Lifetime Expense of Treating Feline Hyperthyroidism

Feline Hyperthyroidism Treatment Cost Comparison

Give your cat the cure. Ask your veterinarian for a referral today!

If you have any questions, please contact us at 828.328.6697.

Why Choose Radioactive Iodine Therapy (I-131) for Feline Hyperthyroidism?

  • It is the treatment of choice.
  • It is more cost-effective than other treatment options.
  • It requires minimal hospital stay as most cats are discharged two to five days after treatment.
  • It requires no anesthesia (sedation may be necessary).
  • It does not affect other tissues or organs in the body.
  • Side effects associated with therapy are rare.
  • It avoids the complications and inconvenience of surgery or medical therapy.
  • It is 95% effective, resulting in normalization of thyroid hormone in one to three months, post injection.

Dr. Scott Helms at VRHOHOur I-131 Specialist

Dr. Scott Helms is board-certified in canine and feline practice. He has been in practice for over 20 years and has been treating hyperthyroid cats with radioactive iodine for over ten years. Dr. Helms is also a consultant and associate editor to the Internal Medicine Board on the Veterinary Information Network. His research interest includes therapies for hypertension in hyperthyroid cats. Dr. Helms is also published in the area of feline hypertension.

Why Choose I-131 Treatment at an Innovetive Cures for Cats Center?

Best Quality Standard of Care for Cats

Gold Standard Care

I-131 therapy is the gold standard for treating feline hyperthyroidism. 95% of cats with hyperthyroidism are cured with the first radioiodine injection. By choosing I-131, therapy you maximize your cats potential to lead a longer, healthier life.

Advanced Diagnostic Tools at VRHOH

Cutting-Edge Medical Treatments

I-131 iodine therapy is a low-risk, minimally-invasive procedure that cures feline hyperthyroidism. Your cat receives a dose of I-131 via injection by one of our trained veterinary specialists. This is a non-surgical procedure that requires no anesthesia and is virtually pain-free for your cat.

Trained Specialists On-Site 24 Hours a Day

Veterinarian On-Site 24/7

Our specially-trained veterinarians ensure that your cat receives the best in veterinary care at our facility. A veterinarian will be on-site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to monitor your cat's progress and to address any problems or issues that may arise.

Board-Certified Specialists at VRHOH

Board-Certified Specialists

Our I-131 treatments are administered by experts! All I-131 therapy treatments at Innovetive Cures for Cats Treatment Center at Veterinary Referral Hospital of Hickory are overseen by our board-certified veterinary specialist, Dr. Scott Helms.

Financing Your Cat's Hyperthyroidism Treatment

Financing Options

I-131 therapy is more economical than other methods of treating and managing feline hyperthyroidism over the long run. Although this is the lowest cost for a permanent solution to feline hyperthyroidism, we accept payment in the form of cash or credit card, as well as other finance options.

I-131 Treatment: How it Works

Once a referral is received, the diagnostics completed by the referring veterinarian will be reviewed and discussed with the owner. A complete physical exam will be done prior to treatment, which is scheduled for the same day. Your cat will stay with us for a few days for monitoring. If your cat has any special dietary needs, you are welcome to bring food from home.

I. Eligible Cats

  • Only medically stable cats are eligible for radioactive iodine therapy.
  • All cats on methimazole should have their medications discontinued three days prior to I131 treatment.

II. Pre-Treatment Work-up and Referral

The following diagnostic testing should be done by the referring veterinarian:

  • Physical exam
  • Complete Blood Count
  • Urinalysis
  • Serum biochemistry panel
  • Resting T4 level
  • Chest radiographs
  • Cardiac Ultrasound is highly recommended in any cat showing signs of heart disease

Lab work should be completed within one month of the scheduled treatment. Lab results must be received by our facility seven days prior to the I131 treatment date. The referring veterinarian should call us to make a referral and send us the diagnostics by fax or mail. The client may then schedule an appointment for treatment.

III. Discharge & Post-Treatment for I-131 Therapy

A complete list of home care instructions will be sent home at the time of discharge. Recheck exams and thyroid levels should be evaluated at one and three months after treatment. This may be performed by your regular veterinarian. We just ask that they send us the results by fax or mail.

IV. Cost & Payment Options

The cost includes the initial exam, treatment with radioactive iodine, required hospitalization, and administration of any previously prescribed medications. This does not include any services for unforeseen complications. A deposit of $270.00 for materials is necessary when the appointment is made.

If the appointment is rescheduled less than four days prior to the appointment date, the deposit is nonrefundable. The remaining balance is due upon discharge. We accept cash, personal checks, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and CareCredit.

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Ready to schedule? Ask for a referral from your veterinarian.

Questions? Call us at 828.328.6697 for more information.

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