Home Again & Post Treatment Guidelines
Timeline and Post-Treatment Instructions
We will give you an estimate for your cat's length of stay on the day of your consultation. This estimate is based on I-131 dosage (the larger the dose, the longer the stay, generally speaking), as well as the average number of days cats in the past (who have received the same I-131 dose your cat) have stayed. Please be prepared to be flexible; individuals vary, and we must comply with Washington State law.
We will call between 9 and 11 am daily, starting tomorrow. We do not call on Sundays unless there is an issue of concern. We are here taking care of our patients on weekends and holidays, but the Shoreline office is closed for business on Sundays.
- Discharge times: 9-5:30 weekdays, except 12:30-1:30 midday break.
- 9-4 Saturdays, except 12:00-12:30 midday break.
We give anti-anxiety medication daily while your cat is here (gabapentin). Your cat may be slightly woozy when you pick them up.
For the first two weeks after I-131:
- Keep your cat indoors or supervised when outside to prevent contact with other people.
- Limit close contact (closer than 1 foot) to one hour per day. Do not allow your cat to sleep against your body. Under or next to the bed, or off your feet is safe.
- Wash your hands after handling your cat, its dishes, and litter box.
- Do not allow pregnant women or children to hold your cat.
- The dose you are exposed to is extremely low and will have no medical consequences for you. We are attempting to minimize your lifetime exposure.
There are no contact restrictions for this cat with other animals as this small amount of radiation has no impact in their relatively shorter lives with little exposure to other sources of radiation. They may safely share feeding bowls, cat beds and litter boxes.
The level of radiation in your cat’s waste is not high enough to be harmful, but may be detectable in the litter for months. For our national security, if radiation is detected in garbage going through waste disposal stations, it must be traced to the point of origin to make sure it is not related to the production of explosives. In order to prevent this ‘goose chase’ which could result in a significant fine for you, the litter must be collected for two weeks and either flushed or stored until the radiation decays below detectable levels.
Scoop urine and feces daily into a garbage-bag-lined bucket (any material) for two weeks. If you have multiple cats, scoop for the group into the storage container. At the end of two weeks, the remaining litter in the box must be emptied into the bucket. Put a lid on the bucket and store out of your way (garage, basement, outdoors) for 80 days, after which time the contents of the bucket may be placed out for collection or taken to the dump. You may recycle or reuse the bucket. SCOOP 2 WEEKS, STORE 80 DAYS.
The I-131 decays rapidly and is in such small amounts, which are diluted so much in the mainstream sewers, that the radiation itself is not a problem. However, even ‘flushable’ corn and wheat litters are clogging our city sewer lines, so this method of disposal is best avoided. If you simply have no space to store a bucket, and must flush litter, then use one labeled ‘flushable’ so you will not clog your own plumbing. Scoop and flush litter daily. At the end of two weeks, all remaining litter in the box would also have to be flushed.
At 1 and 3 months post I-131, please return to your regular veterinarian. A physical exam and blood work should be performed at both visits.
Our treatment objectives are to eliminate all hyperactive thyroid tissue and to avoid lifelong methimazole. If these are met, your cat will be healthier.
The vast majority of cats will be cured with just one I-131 treatment.
Even so, some cats have unusually ‘stubborn’ tissue that may require a second treatment with I-131. We typically re-treat these ‘outliers’ at no cost to the owner, unless the second dose necessary is quite large.
On the other hand, some cats have insufficient normal thyroid hormone production after the abnormal tissue is destroyed, and may require a natural supplement daily for life. Consider this a tolerable adjustment after successful cure of hyperthyroidism.
We will do everything we can to help your cat be comfortable during their stay with us and to restore health and happiness for years to come.
Ripley (kitty) and I just wanted to thank Dr Vaughan and the whole staff for your great service and care. You were all great to work with, and communicated well with us! Ripley left... read moreKali & Ripley
Three months ago my 13 year old kitty Miss Fanny spent three days in the care of Dr. Vaughan and the staff. Before treatment she had been losing weight, getting more lethargic and her... read moreMiss Fanny
They are very personable, professional, and knowledgeable about their very specialized practice. If you have a cat with thyroid issues, I highly recommend this clinic. read moreBecky
As a member of an animal rescue organization on Vashon Island (VIPP), as well as being a chronic cat owner, I've had many opportunities to visit the Feline Hyperthyroid Treatment Center. Over the past... read morePiro Kramar. Vashon Island Pet Protectors
Vashon Island, WA
Pox's Story Does it make sense to treat hyperthyroid in a fourteen-year-old, mostly outdoor cat? That’s what we were asking ourselves in the summer of 2013. Pox let me know his opinion by following me... read morePox
Monty is 12 years old. Dr. Vaughan had been monitoring Monty’s thyroid over the years and identified that he was borderline for hyperthyroidism. After discussing his overall appearance, behavior and appetite, we decided that... read moreMonty
Great place. They were so good to my kitty who was really scared. He seems to be completely cured. read more
My cat was diagnosed as hyperthyroid when she was 10. We had her treated as soon as she was diagnosed and I was glad it was found early. I didn’t really give the thyroid... read moreSavannah
Thanks to Dr Faythe Vaughan, and her kind staff in Shoreline and Tacoma for giving us at least 5 extra, good quality, years with our buddy, Rocky! He was a rescue cat to begin with, and his good... read moreRocky
Will & Grace found me in 1999 when they were four weeks old. They were born near in a parking lot off Highway 99. They are twins and do everything together. This year they celebrated their... read moreWill, Grace, and Hunter
Princess started losing weight and after checking with the vet she was confirmed as being Hyperthyroid. After Approximately 13 months of of a paste-like med applied to the ears, switching from left to right... read more
Dr. Vaughan; Kathy; Miranda; and anyone who was involved in treating and caring for Tigger. Just wanted you to see the life Tigger is leading because of your excellent care on this upcoming anniversary... read morePepper
We want to thank you for your extraordinary efforts in looking after our Samson's well being. You took the initiative of a problem we were not aware was even present. We are very, very... read moreSamson
Port Townsend, WA
My family has had Lila since she was a kitten. She is turning 15 in October, I was only 10 when we got her. I moved away as an adult for a few years... read moreLila
I wanted to drop you and everyone at FHTC a note to let you know that Byron (the PAWS™ kitty FHTC treated pro bono earlier this year) was adopted last month! Even better, he... read moreByron
Hello! Just wanted to let you know Rio Blanco is doing great! As soon as we got home he started emptying the bowls of food! I haven't even opened the anti-nausea or the... read morePatrick and Rio
You took care of our Nina Kitty and it was like she found the Fountain of Youth! At age twelve, she had been slowly losing weight and getting a bit more "yowly" but we... read moreNina