Feline I-131 Therapy

Feline I-131 Therapy

We came across this article, “Feline I131 Therapy”, from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. ISU is highly acclaimed for their veterinary services. We have posted many articles from them but wanted to add some additional tips to it. The article describes the different types of testing that are done as well as safety measures.

The standard tests involve blood work and physical exams. Scintigraphy and GFR are two diagnostic nuclear imaging studies that are done as well. If your cat is diagnosed with hyperthyroidism after the test, certain things have to be done. If your cat is on methimazole, methimazole should be stopped for 1-2 weeks prior to I-131. Also, your cat should not be on Hills y/d food. Allow a week of regular diet before their treatment.


ISU’s article mentions that your cat will be released 4-5 days after treatment. Some suggestions they make are to, “put your cat as far away from you in your car when you take them home. Minimize contact for the first two weeks, handle your cat and their waste with latex gloves for 6 weeks, put waste in a separate bag and hold onto it for 2 weeks.” Note that waste disposal facility alarms may go off.

Let’s put this in perspective. Radioactive contamination is real, and precautions should be taken. Following the precautions laid out by ISU, will help to minimize your expose, but obviously, there is radioactive contaminate that can harm you. If you come in contact with the radioactive contaminate, it can be absorbed into your skin. It will be used by your thyroid and can cause potential health problems down the road. Your cat will release radioactive I131 through their sweat, urine and saliva. Clean up is crucial.

ISU talks about some safety measures, but we wanted to add some additional safety tips. It is extremely important to clean up any radioactive I-131 contamination properly. Bleach will not work. It actually spreads radiation.  Bleach and acidic cleaners are both well known to cause radioactive iodine to volatilize and become airborne.  Many household cleaners contain bleach.  From sanitary wipes to cleansers to drop-in toilet tank cleaners, it is everywhere.


Laboratory Technologies, Inc has been in the medical industry since 1983, specializing in counting and removing radioactive isotopes. Over the years, we have developed a product, called Bind-It™, that will help protect you from radiation and second hand radioactive contamination. We are the only company out there that sells such a product. Bind-It™ is safe and effective for home use. Hospitals, nuclear medicine departments, cardiac clinics, veterinarians, oil companies and nuclear power plants around the world rave about how well Bind-It™ products work.

Since radioactive iodine ( I131) is so unique, here’s how it works. Radioactive iodine (I-131) emits two types of radiation as it decays toward a stable state. (see our article “What is Radiation”.  Given enough half lives, it is no longer radioactive. I131 has a half-life of 8 days, this means that every 8 days it is now HALF of what is was. For example if you started with 100 mCi of I131, in 8 days you would have 50mCi, after another 8 days you would have 25mCi, and so on.  In most higher dose cases, 11 half lives, or 88 days is enough to bring any contamination you would have to normal safe background levels.

Since cats can develop hyperthyroidism, I-131 Feline therapy is an extremely effective and the only known cure. We came up with a product for all of our feline lovers, the Bind-It™ Feline Care Pack . Developed specifically, for post I131 feline therapy. Bind-It™ will pull the radioactive contaminate that your cat leaves behind from any surface. Bind-It will then hold that radioactive contaminate in solution so you can remove it with paper towels or rinse it away. Radiation can not be killed, but can be removed to a safer location. We also recommend that you store your radioactive waste bag at least 10 feet away from people and pets. The Bind-It Feline Care Pack will also remove radioactive contamination from and around litter boxes. This will be a highly contaminated area.

Nuclear medicine technicians will agree that gloves are not a guaranteed barrier to radioactive iodine. Bind-It Hand and Body Soap, included in the pack, is extremely effective at removing radio-iodine from skin and hair. Nothing else even come close. Best of all Bind-It Hand and Body Soap is safe and gentle enough for routine use.

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