Author: Candice Drew, RVN, ISFM DipFN, DipVN(surg), DipT(EC)

Candice qualified as a veterinary nurse in Australia in 2005 and has since worked extensively in Australia and the UK. She completed the diploma of veterinary nursing (surgical) in 2009, the International Society of Feline Medicine diploma in feline nursing in 2018, and the Taronga Training Institute’s wildlife treatment and care professional veterinary training in 2022. Candice divides her time between locum clinical work, writing and volunteering. She loves older cats and has recently adopted two 17-year-old siblings, one of which has hyperthyroidism.

ABSTRACT Feline hyperthyroidism is an endocrine disorder that is common in senior cat populations. Advances in diagnostics and treatment modalities have extended the range of treatment options available to owners of a hyperthyroid cat. Radioactive iodine therapy (RAIT) is an increasingly popular choice. However, this treatment must be delivered with caution to minimise the risk of radiation exposure to veterinary personnel and the public. There is increasing recognition of the need for safe procedures when working with radiation in veterinary settings, considering the broader range of radiation-related services available for veterinary patients. Part 1 of this two-part series focuses on RAIT. It will outline the benefits and risks of the treatment, the terminology used to describe radiation doses and how they are measured, and radiation safety principles, including examples of their implementation at a dedicated RAIT clinic in Melbourne, Australia. Part 2 (p.41–46) will look at the process of treating cats at the above mentioned RAIT clinic, including referral and hospitalisation. It will also briefly outline recommendations for post-treatment monitoring and advice for owners on caring for the patient at home.
Keywords feline hyperthyroidism, radioactive iodine, I-131, radiation safety

DOI: 10.56496/MKBW5051

To cite this article: Drew, C. (2023) Radioactive iodine as a treatment for feline hyperthyroidism Part 1 An introduction to radiation and iodine-131. VNJ 38(5) pp 36-40

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