ESSEX veterinary practice Forest Veterinary Centre has treated the 100th cat for hyperthyroidism at its radioiodine unit.
The cat receiving the milestone treatment was successfully discharged after spending two weeks in the specially converted radioiodine unit at the practice’s branch at Eastwick Lodge Farmhouse, in Harlow.
This referral unit to treat cats with hyperthyroidism opened its doors in 2016 and is one of only a few centres authorised to provide this treatment in the UK, and the only centre in Essex.
Hyperthyroidism is the over production of thyroid hormones and is one of the most common medical problems seen in older cats in the UK. Radioiodine is seen in the industry as the gold-standard treatment for the condition.
The cat, called Simba and aged 16, was booked in for radioiodine treatment by her owner after developing side effects to initial medical treatment for her hypothyroidism.
She was injected with a radioactive iodine on the day of her admission and spent the next fortnight in the unit, closely monitored throughout via closed-circuit TV.
Elizabeth Parris, Clinical Director at Forest Veterinary Centre who leads the radioiodine team, said: “As a team we are proud to have successfully treated 100 cats at our radioiodine unit over a two-year period.
“Like the preceding 99 cats that have passed through the unit, Simba seemed totally unphased by the procedure and spent most of her time eating and sleeping.
“We are now looking forward to welcoming the next 100 cats and, as a referral unit, we invite other practices to get in touch if they would like to find out more about this treatment and facilities.”
The radioiodine nursing team of Rebekah Cross and Sophie Dennis visited Simba for a short period each day to replenish food, water and change her litter tray.
Simba gained 330 grams in weight during her stay and, once discharged, her owner took extra care of her ensuring she didn’t go outdoors for one week.
As is routine with this treatment, blood tests to check thyroid levels will be taken after three and six months to make sure the treatment has worked.
Common signs of a hyperthyroid cat include weight loss despite a very good appetite, poor coat quality, a fast heart rate, and increased drinking and urination.
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