The I 131 is administered as a single oral capsule. Due to the radioactive nature of I 131, patients are housed in our heavily lead-lined nuclear medicine ward until their level of radiation declines to levels acceptable by Federal guidelines on radiation safety (usually 2-5 days, depending on the patient and the amount of radiation received). Patients are monitored by our team two to three times daily, and additionally as needed. Any non-thyroid medications that a patient should receive can be given during the hospitalization period. Additionally, although most patients adjust well to hospitalization (the ward is very quiet, and we have soft music playing, long with low/adjustable lighting), for those patients that are anxious and less inclined to want to eat, we are not hesitant to provide anti-anxiety medication and/or appetite stimulants. We strive for a minimally stressful visit for all patients under our care.
Owners are welcome to bring a small toy and/or a piece of clothing (such as an old T-shirt that the owner does not need to have returned) in order to help the cat feel more comfortable with the scents of home closeby. Unfortunately, our safety guidelines and space will not allow for larger items, such as beds, blankets, etc., especially if we may need to keep them in our ward for up to 3 months after the treatment has been performed.
Clients should be informed as well that due to Federal guidelines on radiation safety, they cannot visit patients during the hospitalization period. We will send regular email or text updates, with pictures, for hospitalized patients. We also have webcams mounted in our nuclear ward cages so that owners can virtually visit 24/7!