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Radioiodine Therapy

Radioiodine Therapy

We are pleased to be able to offer a radioiodine service for feline hyperthyroidism at ChesterGates Veterinary Specialists.

This is led by our internal medicine Clinician Menai Heyes. We are currently the only specialist referral centre in the North West able to offer this service.

Hyperthyroidism is a common condition in older cats, which means that the thyroid gland is producing too much thyroid hormone.

Signs of hyperthyroidism

  • Weight loss despite an increased appetite.
  • Increased thirst.
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea.
  • Increased activity levels.
  • Unkempt appearance.

A blood test can identify the condition. If left untreated, hyperthyroidism can adversely affect the heart and the kidneys and can cause high blood pressure.

PDF Guides

Guidance for clients please click here.

Guidance for vets please click here


Benefits of radioiodine (RI) treatment

  • Permanent cure in 95% of cases.
  • All over-active thyroid tissue is treated (including ectopic).
  • No general anaesthetic required.
  • No risk of hypocalcaemia post-treatment.
  • Normal (atrophied) thyroid tissue is spared.
  • Reduced requirement for long term monitoring of thyroid status.

Potential risks of treatment

  • Small percentage of cats become hypothyroid and also azotaemic, requiring thyroxine supplementation.
  • Handling of the patient is somewhat restricted meaning that high dependency cats are not always suitable candidates.
  • Kidney disease can become apparent following treatment (this is usually predictable if the patient has completed a medical management trial and assessment as above).
  • Note that conventional dose RI treatment is ineffective for thyroid carcinomas.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I book my cat in for radioiodine treatment?

This has to be a referral from you own veterinary practice, please let them know that you would like the treatment for your cat and they will send us a referral request.

What happens next?

We will contact you to book your cat in for a consultation with our specialist vet. Your cat will need a full pre-assessment to see if they are eligible for the radioiodine treatment, this will include, blood tests, blood pressure measurement and analysis of the urine.

If your cat passes the assessment, they will then be booked in for the treatment at the next availability

What does the treatment involve?

Your cat will have a mild sedation and will then be given a sub-cutaneous injection of radioiodine until controlled conditions

How long will my cat be hospitalised for?

Your cat will be in the hospital for approximately 2 weeks

Can I visit my cat in the hospital?

Unfortunately due to health and safety reasons you will be unable to visit your cat whilst in the hospital, but you can call for regular updates.

How much does the treatment cost?

The pre assessment is approximately £500 which includes a consultation with an internal medicine clinician, blood tests, blood pressure measurement and assessment of the urine.  If an echocardiogram is required this will be charged at an additional £136.  Further tests may be needed at additional cost but this will be discussed at the time of the consultation.

The treatment is £2310, this includes the 2 weeks stay and the treatment (once your cat is ready for treatment following the assessment, you will be asked for a pre-payment of £250 to cover the cost of the radioiodine)


Your cat will also need a check-up 1 month after treatment this is approximately £300 and will include blood tests, blood pressure measurement and assessment of the urine

the team

Menai Heyes, Advanced practitioner in Small Animal Medicine at ChesterGates Veterinary Specialists

Menai Heyes

Advanced practitioner in Small Animal Medicine

Victoria Foulkes

Victoria Foulkes

Medicine Team Leader

COVID-19 Update

Our practices are open and providing routine, urgent and emergency referral care for your patients. We continue to work safely with social distancing and a combination of telephone consultations and on-site examinations. GP vets should contact our referral centres directly for clinical advice on cases.