I-131: Radioiodine Treatment

NOTICE (last updated April 4, 2018): In December 2017 the VEC was informed that the supplier for radioactive iodine had been forced to temporarily stop production by their regulatory body. Unfortunately our radiopharmaceutical provider has not yet been able to find a different source and the nuclear reactor in South Africa is not able to produce the radioactive iodine needed for this program.  Due to this lack of access to radioactive iodine the VEC I-131 program remains temporarily suspended. We are checking in weekly to monitor for any changes or updates but have no new information as to when the program may be restarted. We apologize for the inconvenience this causes. Any new information will be added to this site as it is available.

RDVMs please note that at this time we have a 2-3 month wait list of patients for the program once it is re-initiated.

Veterinarians with questions regarding managing hyperthyroid patients during this delay please feel free to discuss with Dr. Barb Bryer here at the Veterinary Emergency Clinic.

Radioiodine therapy is a safe and effective non-invasive treatment method for hyperthyroidism in cats whereby a single dose of radioactive iodine is injected subcutaneously in order to kill the abnormal thyroid tissue associated with the disorder.

Prior to undergoing radioactive therapy, patients are thoroughly examined in order confirm the diagnosis and to rule out any other medical conditions. Cats receiving I-131 will remain in the hospital for up to 1 week until radioactivity drops to an acceptable level.

Radioiodine treatment is overseen by Dr. Barbara Bryer and patients are cared for by registered veterinary technicians who have been specially trained in the area of radiation safety, as well as a designated radiation safety officer who is on staff.

The VEC’s radioactive iodine unit has been in operation for several years, during which time we have successfully treated hundreds cats. Very rarely, a cat will require re-treatment, and if this is the case we will do so at no additional charge to the client.

Appointments with Dr. Bryer regarding radioiodine treatment can be scheduled on alternate Monday mornings, treatment is performed the following Wednesday morning.