Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Southern California
Hyperthyroidism in elderly cat. Should I push for Radioactive-Iodine Therapy?
During my most recent vet visit with my 17-year-old girl Wintressia, the vet diagnosed her with hyperthyroidism.
My cat already has kidney failure (CRF/CKD) and IBS, both diagnosed several years ago. A year ago, my cat was also diagnosed with hypertension and was put on amlodipine, but during last month's checkup my vet said her blood pressure was normal, so apparently my cat has been "cured" of her hypertension.
Anyway, my vet started Win immediately on methimazole. When I got home from the appointment, I started doing research on hyperthyroidism in cats. I read that Radioactive-Iodine Therapy (I-131) is a (more or less) permanent cure, whereas taking medication is not. There can also be a lot of adverse effects from medication, plus with my cat's pre-existing kidney issues, methimazole can often cause even more issues.
I called my vet and brought up the potential of radioactive-iodine treatment. She seemed strongly against it and wanted me to try several weeks of methimazole, and then more bloodwork. I'm taking my cat in next Friday for her next bloodwork panel; she's been on the methimazole for ~2 weeks.
I know my cat is 17. I know she has kidney issues. I know I-131 treatment is expensive. I know she would have to stay in the vet hospital for 3+ days after I-131 treatment. I know it is dangerous to put an elderly cat under anesthesia.
I know my cat's age and condition make her an unlikely candidate for I-131 treatment, but, after doing research on hyperthyroidism in cats and the pros and cons of each course of treatment, I would still prefer to have the I-131 procedure performed on my cat, rather than keep her on medication for the rest of her life, medication that can never CURE her thyroid tumor, which will continue to grow.
Has anyone had any experiences with I-131 treatment in elderly cats, or cats with kidney failure? Am I still within my "rights" to insist to my vet that I want to pursue the I-131 treatment?
I can upload my cat's bloodwork/urinalysis from two weeks ago, but I noticed it doesn't actually list the T4 value, grr!
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