What To Expect
Your cat’s I-131 injection will be prepared by a nuclear pharmacist, and sent to us the day of their appointment and admission to our hospital.
We will give the injection like one would a vaccine, i.e., subcutaneously (under the skin). We do not need to inject the thyroid tumor (s) directly; the I-131 will enter the blood stream, and is then taken up by the thyroid tumor(s).
The morning after we give the I-131, we will begin measuring your cat’s radiation discharge rate. We will call you every morning to let you know how your cat is doing, and whether they may legally leave our facility. Longer stays in cats given higher doses indicate optimal uptake and binding of the I-131 to the abnormal cells. We will not know your cat’s outcome until the rechecks in 1 and 3 months post I-131.
Our patients are usually geriatric, and often debilitated from chronic thyroid disease as well as other ongoing illnesses, such as kidney degeneration or inflammatory bowel disease. They are essentially intensive care patients, requiring continual monitoring and treatment of symptoms that could impact their comfort or stability.
Treatments may include anxiolytics (to reduce anxiety), anti-emetics ( to reduce nausea), appetite stimulants, vitamins, probiotics and Imodium® for diarrhea, and subcutaneous fluids (for dehydration). Some cats need blood pressure or cardiac medications to lessen the risk of a cardiac event. Their needs may change from one day to the next.
We will absorb the cost of many of these additional treatments, with the exception of some injections, fluids, or dispensed meds.
We will give you an update on the phone every morning, with an overview. We will spare you the details of every little adjustment in nursing care, but keep you apprised of significant issues.
Your cat may seem a little woozy the day they return home. This is typically due to the anti-anxiety medications, but could also be an effect of an appetite stimulant or medication for nausea. These are not true medication ‘reactions’ or ‘sensitivities’, and are temporary. Even the stress of being away from home and traveling in a car could cause them to be ‘off kilter’ for a day or two.
The radiation causes NO side effects, so any abnormal signs may be due to the thyroid disease, which takes time to go away, or other non-thyroidal issues. If your cat is eating pretty well, and the signs do not seem extreme, give it a day. If signs seem serious, such as undue vomiting, diarrhea, trouble breathing or lethargy, contact your primary veterinarian. They will help with ongoing care and address other problems that are unrelated to thyroid disease.
In addition to any medications you may have brought from home, we will provide you with a list of any medications we give you cat during their stay with us.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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