A radioiodine unit for the treatment of hyperthyroid cats has opened in north-west Oxfordshire.

The unit’s first patient, 11-year-old domestic shorthaired cat Indie, being injected with 131I using a tungsten-shielded syringe. Indie is now home and cured of her hyperthyroidism. Images: Chipping Norton Veterinary Hospital.

The unit, based at Chipping Norton Veterinary Hospital, now brings the number of such centres in the UK to 13.

Preferred treatment

Radioiodine iodine-131 (131I) therapy is regarded as the preferred treatment option for hyperthyroid cats.

However, the requirement for highly specialist treatment and facilities mean a select few hospitals offer it, as stringent environmental and human health and safety regulations mean the cat must be housed in a dedicated unit until its radioactivity level decays sufficiently for it to be sent home.

Martin Whitehead, a director of Chipping Norton Veterinary Hospital and an RCVS advanced practitioner in small animal medicine, has a special interest in hyperthyroidism.

SC injection

The treatment consists of a single SC injection of 1ml to 2ml of 131I, after which the cat has to be hospitalised until the radioactivity has reduced sufficiently.

The hospitalisation period varies across the country, but Dr Whitehead stated Chipping Norton’s treatment time is 10 days. Others are longer.

Dr Whitehead said: “Radioiodine therapy is more commonly used in some other countries and, with hyperthyroidism being such a common disease and radiotherapy being the gold standard treatment, I’m really pleased to be able to offer it in the UK.”

View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of


related content

The RCVS has been accused of neglecting British students studying for veterinary degrees across the EU.

5 mins

RCVS chief executive Nick Stace insists his appointment to the board of one of the UK’s largest and most influential financial regulatory bodies will not interfere with his college job.

5 mins

Britain’s exit from the EU offers opportunities for the UK animal health market – including further possibilities for animal medicine businesses to thrive, it says.

4 mins

A penguin with patchy feathers has been given a new customised wetsuit to keep him warm and dry.

3 mins

Knowledge is power – which, as Nick Marsh discusses, is why vets battle the unpredictability of appointments, satnavs and technical malfunctions to get to meetings.

11 mins

The BVNA has announced Wendy Nevins as its new junior vice-president with immediate effect. She will become BVNA president in October, taking over from Samantha Morgan.

3 mins