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When considering a referral for I-131
therapy, please review the following protocol:
1. A Complete Blood Count, General Health
Profile, and Thyroid level (T4) must be performed by your veterinarian within 30 days of
therapy. Chest radiographs and urinalysis, especially specific gravity, are also
recommended. Any further diagnostics such as ECG, thoracic, and abdominal
ultrasounds should be performed by your veterinarian but upon request by your
veterinarian, can be performed at our facility. Patients on methimazole for longer
than 90 days should discontinue the treatment at least 7 days prior to I-131 therapy and
have a thyroid level done 7 days after discontinuing the medication. Please contact
our facility or consult with your veterinarian for a list of medications that may
interfere with I-131 therapy.
2. Upon admittance, patients will be
hospitalized in the nuclear medicine ward, separate from the rest of the hospital.
3. The first day in the hospital we will
place an intravenous catheter and administer Tc99, a radioactive isotope to measure the
thyroid glands activity. This will help us determine the proper amount of I-131 to
administer to the patient.
4. On day two, the patient will receive
their dose of I-131 by a simple subcutaneous injection. This is quick and virtually
painless for your pet. Patients receiving I-131 therapy will stay in the hospital for
4 to 6 days. This insures us to monitor the patient and to insure their radiation
level is safe prior to discharge.
5. During your pets stay, they
will receive daily assessments by our team of doctors and veterinary technicians.
They will have daily radioactive levels done to assess the decline in
radioactivity. Please feel free to contact our facility to check the status of your
pet, but we ask that you do not visit with them until the day of discharge. These are
Federal guidelines on radiation safety.
6. Upon discharge you will receive
instructions from our staff as well as guidelines to follow for the first 3 months your
cat is back in your home. Your veterinarian will also receive medical records from
our staff so they can better assist you in your cats post I-131 treatment and
monitoring. It is vitally important that any diseases that your cat may have
acquired due to the hyperthyroidism be kept in check by regular (every 6 months)
examinations and diagnostics done by your veterinarian.
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