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If you need us for an urgent enquiry of an emergency just call, we answer the phone 24 hours a day (01235) 524 777. Emergencies in the night are seen at our Abingdon Veterinary Surgery. Please note we have a reduced staffing level at night so we would kindly ask that for routine enquiries and appointments you call during our main opening hours.
Last time we learnt more about feline hyperthyroidism and Pudding was started on daily medication to control the levels of thyroid hormone. By her 4 week check-up, Pudding’s levels had returned to normal, all clinical signs had resolved and she was starting to put her weight back on. But, her owners were concerned about continuing this for the rest of her life - potentially 10+ years! This lead us to our next treatment option - radioactive iodine therapy.
Pudding was booked in to visit the lovely team at The Hyperthyroid Cat Centre in Yorkshire. Prior to her visit she had a few more tests to ensure she wasn’t suffering from any other conditions as a consequence of her hyperthyroidism. Her blood pressure was checked as many cats can suffer from high blood pressure, her heart was checked as heart disease may occur due to hyperthyroidism, and her kidneys were evaluated as kidney disease often occurs at the same time. All Pudding’s results came back as normal so she was good to go for her visit to Yorkshire. For the 2 weeks before her visit her medication was slowly reduced and then stopped.
The big day arrived and Pudding travelled to The Hyperthyroid Cat Centre where she was greeted by their very friendly and knowledgeable team. The team explained the entire process and the nurses went over her daily routine and found out what kind of fuss Pudding liked and asked about her food preferences - all aiming to make her stay as enjoyable as possible. Following the treatment Pudding stayed at the centre for 10 days. Each cat is slightly different but due to safety requirements when using radioactive substances, the team has to ensure the radiation levels are at a safe level before they send your furry friend back home with you.
Radioactive iodine therapy is currently the gold standard treatment for feline hyperthyroidism. Unlike daily medications, it offers almost a certain cure with only less than 1% of treated cats relapsing! The treatment itself is given via a subcutaneous injection - the same method your cat receives its annual vaccination. For safety reasons, the majority of feline patients are given sedation before the injection is given. The radioactive iodine is only taken up by the thyroid tumour cells, which means no healthy cells are affected.
If radioactive iodine therapy is currently the gold standard treatment for feline hyperthyroidism - why haven’t you heard of it? This is a new and specialised treatment so we are having more patients receive this treatment every month, but using radioactive substances requires specialised facilities, so currently there are only a handful of centres that offer this service. With only a few centres to choose from the travel can sometimes put owners off, and the cost always needs to be taken into account as well. When compared with medication and regular blood tests for 6-12 years, it is actually the cheaper option, but as a lump sum, not spread out over your cat’s life it can be daunting.
In our final installment we will catch up with Pudding to see how she went following the treatment and her plans for the future.
We are fortunate at Abivale Vets to have an amazing team of committed, talented and enthusuastic staff.
We are dedicated to providing the highest quality veterinary services for you and your pets, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.