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Thursday, October 06, 2005



My cat Murphy had the radioactive iodine treatment a year ago because she had developed an allergy to the methimazole. When she came home a week later, she was a pound heavier!! That's a 10% weight gain in a week! She went on to gain another pound over the next few months, and she was very lethargic and her fur was coming out in clumps--turns out she had hypothyroidism, which is an underactive thyroid. It's one of the potential problems with the iodine treatment--sometimes it kills TOO much of the thyroid. So now I still have to give her a pill every day (L-thyroxine), but it's a lot cheaper than the methimazole, and it's not a big deal if you miss a dose or two.

Sometimes the hyperthyroidism masks kidney disease (because it causes more blood to be pumped through the kidneys). So after the I-31 treatment, the kidney disease becomes apparent. This also happened with Murphy, though the kidney disease is in the early stages.

They say the radioactivity doesn't harm the other cats in the household because they don't live long enough to develop cancer from it. Not a great explanation, if you ask me. So actually, the other cats DO get radiated, but the effects of that are never seen because of their relatively short lifespans.

Murph's doing great now--she's more active, has lost half a pound, and her fur grew back :)


Hi Kar, Glad to hear Murphy's well. I forget which one she is...I can never keep those two straight. I think she's the b&w one. Yeah, I understand that 2% of cats treated w/I-31 will become hypothyroid. Smudgie's starting to get just a little antsy. I'll post here re: his experience. Hope all is well out there.

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