Rad cat

Just picked up our cat Whisper from the vet today. She’s been over at the Carrboro Animal Hospital in their RadCats facility for the past two weeks getting her thyroid treated. It seems that cats are prone to tumors on their thyroids. The tumors produce excess hormones which cause them problems.

The treatment is a dose of radioactive iodine (I-131) injected under the skin. She then had to stay in isolation for three days and at the vet’s facility for another week and a half. Technically, we brought her home early and we still need to take precautions, but it’s good to have her home.

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4 Comments

  1. Sandy said,

    September 28, 2007 @ 1:36 pm

    Hi,

    I got a call from Dr Dorsch at the Animal Hospital this afternoon, saying that my 14-year-old calico will need treatment for hyerthyroidism. I did some googling on the disease as it presents in cats, then decided to google Rad Cat, as I see the name on the hospital sign every day as I drive by the practice. And, for goodness sakes – your entry about Whisper popped up! I am just wondering how she is, as it has been about a year since her treatment. Thanks for any information.

    Sandy

  2. Anonymous said,

    September 28, 2007 @ 3:49 pm

    Hi Sandy,

    I’ll drop you an email as well – I’m not certain if this responds to you or not.

    Whisper is doing great. She put back on the weight that she had lost. She’s active and happy. I can’t remember when we last took her to the vet, but her bloodwork is fine.

    I believe that we originally started her off by giving her pills. That did two things: 1) showed that it was treatable; and 2) let us test to see if the hyperthyroidism was masking other problems (e.g., kidney disease). The pills did work and so we had a choice, put her on medication forever or give her the radiation treatment.

    The radiation treatment is costs about $1100. IIRC, that’s about two years worth of medication. We opted for radiation b/c: 1) it was cheaper in the long run; and 2) we hate pilling cats 🙂

    Anyway, I’ll send this in email as well. If you have specific questions, I’m more than happy to try to answer them.

    -cec

  3. Aaryn said,

    April 8, 2009 @ 2:31 pm

    Hi,

    A few years ago, our oldest cat developed hyperthyroidism, and we had her treated with the RadCat thing. It worked great, except that for the week or so afterwards, we weren’t allowed to spend more than 30min a day cuddling. It’s very hard to stop cuddling the kitty on a timer, and she didn’t understand why we didn’t seem to love her anymore.

    Now, our middle cat has developed the same thing, and I’m wondering what the dangers are to a human being around an irradiated cat for too long. This kitty is much louder and more obnoxious, and if we locked him in the guest bedroom at night, we’d never get any sleep.

  4. cec said,

    April 8, 2009 @ 8:40 pm

    I can’t really speak to the dangers of being around the cat more than 30 minutes a day… I never worked out the dosages. I believe that the half life of the radioactive iodine is something like 11 days, so you can imagine that if they gave the treatment on day X, then on that day, the radioactivity is enough to kill cells in the cat’s body. Then at day X+11, the radioactivity is half that. What that means for someone nearby, I don’t know.

    I will admit that we figured it would be harder for our cat to be separated if she was in the house, so we actually left her at the clinic. She’s used to being at the vet/kennel when we’re out of town every year. Though even then she’s with her fellow cats. We just thought it would be better for her if she couldn’t hear us nearby.

    Best of luck
    -chris

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