Radioactive iodine (I 131) – Radioactive iodine is universally considered the “gold standard” of care, usually resulting in a cure within 1-3 months. Treatment involves a simple injection similar to a routine vaccine.
Surgery – Abnormal thyroid tissue can often be identified and removed surgically, resulting in a cure. Special imaging studies can indicate if surgery will be successful, although this imaging is not widely available. Surgery requires unnecessary risks including general anesthesia and complications that can sometimes prove life-threatening.
Medications – Symptoms can sometimes be controlled by daily medications for the rest of your cat’s life. Although generally safe, severe side effects can occur, including liver and bone marrow conditions. Medications do not address the potential for benign tissue to become malignant.
Diet – A relatively new approach to controlling symptoms includes feeding a strict iodine-restricted diet, exclusive of all other foods and treats. It may even become necessary to provide special iodine-free water. Diet therapy is not appropriate for cats that go outside or live with other cats not following the diet. Even small deviations from the diet will result in a treatment failure.