Making An Appointment

The consultation with Dr. Vaughan and the I-131 will be done the SAME DAY to reduce car trips for your cat. However, if you prefer to schedule the consultation only, we are happy to accommodate that request. Appointments are offered on Mondays and Thursdays in Shoreline and, in Tacoma, three Tuesdays each month. Our physical exam and review of your cats' medical records help determine whether your cat is a good candidate for 131I treatment, and if so, what dose will be best. A family member or someone that lives with the cat needs to be present during the consultation.

If your cat is arriving by air, we will want him/her to arrive no later than the day before treatment. We will give you the phone number of a courier service which you can call and make arrangements to transport your cat to and from the airport. An additional fee will be charged by the courier company.

We heartily recommend using the WAZE navigation app. on your Smart phone. This free phone application gets all of us to work on time! It will provide the fastest route and warn you about road hazards. Just enter our address and press GO.

Why Does My Cat Need To Be Scheduled at a Specific Location (Shoreline vs. Tacoma)?

The Shoreline office, our primary location, can treat all cats, regardless of thyroid hormone level. However, if your cat meets any of the following criteria, they will be scheduled at the Shoreline hospital.

  • Cats that are considered "medically fragile", i.e. have additional illnesses effecting the heart, the kidneys, etc. which is more likely in senior cats
  • Feral cats or cats requiring sedation to be examined
  • Cats with a T4(thyroid hormone) level of 12 or higher. Cats with this severe degree of hyperthyroidism may have heart issues and/or other complications from this level of thyroid hormone and this location is connected to a full-service veterinary hospital.

Our Tacoma satellite clinic was established to help treat cats in the Tacoma region that require low doses of radioiodine only, i.e. a T4 level of less than 12.

What lab work is needed prior to treatment?

The following labs need to be less than 6 weeks old:

  • CBC
  • Chemistry Screen with Quantified T4
  • Urinalysis
  • Blood pressure (recommended but not required)

(if your cat is currently on Methimazole/Felimazole or y/d, please call before having updated lab work done.)

If Your Cat Is On Thyroid Medication:

Do I need to stop the antithyroid medications (Methimazole/Felimazole®) prior to treatment?

Yes. They should be discontinued approximately 1 week before treatment. Exceptions can be made if your cat has serious cardiac disease. If this is a factor, you will be instructed by your veterinarian or by Dr. Vaughan. If your cat can tolerate being without these medications for longer, then discontinue them even sooner. The antithyroid medications may increase the uptake of radioiodine into the normal thyroid tissue and increase the possibility of hypothyroidism after therapy. So, the longer they can be off these medications without compromising their health, the better.

Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid prior to therapy?

As previously mentioned, Methimazole (Felimazole®) should be stopped 7 days prior to the treatment.

Any supplements containing iodine, kelp (high in iodine), or are high in calcium or magnesium should be discontinued one week prior to therapy.

We have had some treatment failures in cats on holistic/herbal nutritional supplements, therefore we ask that supplements and additives not be given for 1 week prior to, and after. Continue all prescriptions i.e. antibiotics, heart medication and/or flea products as directed by your veterinarian.

Anything else I should do to prepare my cat?

Yes! Immediately begin giving your cat UNLIMITED amounts of canned food. Hyperthyroid cats should not be on a restricted or measured amount of food---you may resume that once the hyperthyroidism has been cured. Hyperthyroid cats need high calories and high protein.

BUT, if your cat has a Body Condition Score (BCS) of 5 or higher, we do not recommend unlimited amounts of food. For those cats, continue portioned feedings. Your veterinarian will be able to provide the BCS.

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