Norman The Cat & Radioactive Iodine Treatment of Hyperthyroidism

Norman was only 9 years old when his owner noticed he had lost weight despite an increased appetite. He was also drinking and peeing more than normal. A physical exam and bloodwork diagnosed the problem: Hyperthyroidism.

This condition is caused by a tumour of the thyroid gland that causes the gland to make more thyroid hormone than needed, speeding up the metabolism. Treatment is required, or the cat will continue to lose weight, become more unwell, and may suffer from secondary heart and kidney disease. These tumours are usually non-cancerous.

There are 4 treatment options available:

  1. Medication
  2. Prescription food
  3. Surgery
  4. Radioactive iodine therapy.

Norman’s owner elected for radioactive iodine therapy. This requires a referral to a centre in London, Ontario, and hospitalization for approximately one week at that facility. ​

Norman was started on Hill’s Prescription Diet y/d food in the meantime to determine if his kidney function would remain normal once his thyroid level was controlled. This step can also be accomplished with medication. Within 1 month on the food, Norman had gained almost a pound back and his thyroid level was normal. The COVID-19 pandemic side-lined Norman’s radioactive iodine treatment, so he remained on y/d food until he was able to receive the treatment 5 months later.

Norman’s radioactive iodine treatment was successful!

Today he is cured of his hyperthyroidism and is back to eating his regular food. This treatment option was a great choice for a cat such as Norman.