Dr. Mann’s 6-year-old daughter’s
rendering that lead to the naming
of The Cat Company and which
provided the inspiration for the
color scheme of our web site.

There are Three Approaches to Treatment

Radioiodine I-131 therapy. The great thing about I-131 is that it targets and destroys the abnormal thyroid tissue while attempting to spare the normal tissue that is not over-producing. It is safe for the cat, causes no adverse side effects, and has about a 95% success rate with one treatment. So, treating your cat with I-131 is actually pretty simple. The radioiodine does all the work.

Life-long medication with methimazole. This medicine blocks thyroid hormone production but does nothing to stop the growth of the tumor. As it grows, the dosage of methimazole must continually change along with it. First used in human medicine as a short term therapy while patients waited for surgery or I-131 treatment, methimazole has numerous side-effects such as vomiting, loss of appetite, severe skin itch, liver damage, a drop in blood cell production and an increased susceptibility to infection. And if you’ve ever tried to give your cat a pill, you know how difficult this form of therapy can be over the long haul.

Surgical removal of the thyroid glands.  This treatment for hyperthyroidism has a long history. While there may still be a place for it in some cats, surgery in older stressed cats is not without risks.  There may also be some diseased accessory thyroid tissue along the trachea in the chest, which will not be removed by standard thyroid surgery.  Also, irritating the parathyroid glands can lead to a serious drop in blood calcium levels after the operation.