Radioactive iodine therapy is one of the most commonly utilized methods of dealing with hyperthyroidism and other thyroid problems in cats. This technique for managing these conditions is taken directly from an almost identical technique that is commonly used by surgeons on human patients as well.
It makes use of the radioactive properties of the iodine that is injected under the skin to help control the production levels of the thyroid, thereby ensuring that the cat's thyroid will produce the proper balance of hormones for your pet. Radioactive iodine therapy is generally safe and effective.
Radioactive Iodine Therapy Overview
Radioactive iodine therapy involves the injection of a minute amount of a radioactive form of iodine into your cat's skin around the thyroid gland. An overactive thyroid will be limited in its production by this method of therapy, thereby producing a healthier level of the necessary hormones that the thyroid produces in the first place.
Radioactive iodine therapy is not approved for use in cats with hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism, in contrast with hyperthyroidism, is a condition that is characterized by the thyroid being underactive. Because of the naturally limiting effects of radioactive iodine during this treatment procedure, it is not generally beneficial for you to give your cat a radioactive iodine therapy procedure if he is suffering from a less active thyroid than normal.
The radioactive thyroid therapy can be provided to your cat in a single session. it is very easy and painless for your pet as well. He'll simply have to receive a single shot of the substance, which will then circulate throughout his body and into his thyroid gland.
It's important to be aware of the fact that any cat that has received radioactive iodine therapy will need to be quarantined for between one and two weeks. This is necessary because cats that have had a radioactive iodine will still contain other pieces of the radiation throughout their bodies for this set period of time. If they are exposed to other cats, animals or even humans, they stand the risk of causing them health problems through this set of iodine.
Risks and Benefits
There are few risks to using radioactive iodine therapy for your cat, provided that it's done right. Radioactive iodine therapy is generally very effective and has few side effects. Some cats may experience sensitivity to the substance, and others may find that it's too expensive for your medical procedure costs and budget.
However, the general effectiveness, ease of application and low pain levels associated with the radioactive iodine therapy as a method of dealing your pet's potentially serious hyperthyroidism problem make it oftentimes a very good choice for you and your vet to make.
For more information about potential methods of dealing with hyperthyroidism or other thyroid problems in your cat's body, speak with your vet. Other options, like surgical excision of parts of the thyroid, do exist.