The Hospital Stay
What happens after the consultation?
We will keep your cat the same day as the consultation. A nuclear pharmacy in Seattle delivers the individual doses of I-131 later the same afternoon. I-131 is administered as a single subcutaneous injection. It can be injected under the skin anywhere on the body as only thyroid tissue absorbs I-131. Your cat will not feel pain or discomfort.
How long will my cat be in the hospital?
Once admitted for therapy, your cat cannot be discharged until its radiation exposure rate is at or below the level determined by the state. Cats will remain in the hospital as little as one night and as long as 10 nights. . The average stay is 2-3 nights, but after the consultation, when your cat’s dose has been determined using the lab work and the actual measurement of your cat’s thyroid glands, we will be able to give you an estimated discharge date range based on your cat's dose of 131I. Cats having high thyroid levels or very large thyroid tumors usually require larger iodine doses and therefore may need to remain hospitalized longer.
You must be able to pick up your cat on the day of their release; we do not have space available for boarding beyond the hospital stay. We are open for patient discharge Mon-Fri from 8:00 to 5:30(until 5:00 p.m at Tacoma location) and Saturdays from 8:00 to 4:00.
My cat does not do well away from home. What do you do to keep cats comfortable?
As a feline-only facility, we are accustomed to catering to feline needs.
- Since we see only cats, your cat will not be able to smell or see dogs, a common source of feline stress.
- Your cat is being cared for by doctors and staff that have specifically chosen to work with cats.
- Our hospital compartments are individually ventilated. All expired air is removed from the building. This decreases odors and stress pheromones as well as decreasing the incidence of infectious respiratory diseases.
- The nuclear ward is separate from the main hospital making it a "quiet zone".
- For especially nervous cats, we can provide a privacy curtain and/or a hiding box.
- We can also use Feliway, a feline pheromone, which has a calming affect for most cats.
- Fresh food and water are available at all times. Please inform us of any likes or dislikes or special dietary needs that your cat may have, so we can make their stay as comfortable as possible.
- No personal items are allowed to be with your cat, but rest assured that we do provide blankets and/or a bed. Your cat will tell us what they prefer.
- We also offer safe anti-anxiety medications for your cat daily.
May I visit my cat while it's in the hospital?
No;state regulations do not permit clients in the radiation ward. Toys, blankets, or dishes from home are also not permitted because they would become contaminated and create more radioactive waste to be disposed of.
How will I find out about my cat's condition while in the hospital?
We will call you daily between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. during your cats’ hospitalization. Of course we will call you to discuss any problems or complications, should they occur.
Checking into a hospital could make anyone nervous, and cats don’t always know we’re trying to help them. Naturally, some cats feel a need to defend themselves.
If we’re not able to soothe your cat enough to complete a thorough physical exam and give them their entire dose of radioactive iodine (without contaminating ourselves), we may need to lightly anesthetize them. If so, we use a low dose of an injectable anesthetic, selected for its safety. The cost is $75.
We advise contacting your primary veterinarian to dispense an anti-anxiety medication, such as gabapentin, to be given the night before and morning of the appointment here. Preempting fear before travel often helps cats remain calm and quiet enough for us to be able to help them without an anesthetic.
When my cat is ready to come home, what do I have to do?
During the initial consultation, Dr. Vaughan will provide you with a timeline specifically tailored to your cat. Always transport your cat home in a carrier in case he/she chooses to urinate/defecate/vomit on the way home. If your cat will be traveling by plane, Dr. Vaughan will inform you at the initial exam when the anticipated discharge day will be. You will need to arrange the courier and the return flight. Charges for airfare and courier service will be taken care of by you.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Great place. They were so good to my kitty who was really scared. He seems to be completely cured. read more
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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