The Cat Doctor Feline Medical Center

2900 Youree Drive
Shreveport, LA 71104



A Note From Dr. Coker ~

I am Dr. Coker and I am passionate about cats and cat care. Although I took a few detours to get here, a feline only practice was always that little voice pushing me on and I opened The Cat Doctor in 2007. My mission has always been to improve the health and welfare of cats by practicing good feline medicine standards of practice, education, and doing my best by them.

Feline hyperthyroidism has always been a thorn in my side as the only options I had to offer were pills or surgery. Pilling a cat is not something either of you look forward to, and surgery is well surgery with all the associated risks. I do offer referral to Dallas or Baton Rouge for radio-iodine treatment and I’m usually given the excuses, it’s too far or they can’t take the cat during the week.

Another thorn, is methimazole which doesn’t cure the disease, but only ‘controls’ the signs. The tumor keeps stimulating the thyroid and as practioners we see the kidney damage, heart problems and wasting away that occurs treated and un-treated. This disease is curable with radioactive iodine (I-131), but this protocol requires special boarding, specific training, equipment, and certifications.

I was tired of watching cats not do well on medication because they respond poorly to methimazole in any form or are impossible to treat on a daily basis, so I did the homework and received a Radio-active Materials License to alleviate the morbidity and frustration of this disease.

The Cat Doctor – Hyperthyroid Center is excited to invite you to refer your hyperthyroid patients to ‘cure’ this disease. This is the first Radio-Iodine Therapy Center in the area and will make treatment more accessible for many hyperthyroid patients in the Ark-La-Tex. We offer double wide condos for a comfortable stay with windows and bird TV. Accommodations for weekend admitting and discharge are available.

I hope this is the option you choose for your cat because it is the best option. Radio-Iodine is safe and effective with no physical side effects. “NO MORE PILLS!.”


What to Expect with Radio-Iodine Therapy

Radioactive iodine has been used to treat hyperthyroidism in people for over fifty years. The first reported use of radioactive iodine to treat hyperthyroid cats was in 1980. Radioactive iodine therapy is a safe and effective choice for treating hyperthyroidism in most cats. The cat does not experience any adverse side effects from the radioactive iodine. Because the delivery of radiation is targeted to the overactive thyroid gland, the cat does not experience any radiation side effects at the normal therapy doses used to treat hyperthyroidism. The medicine is given as an injection, usually on the day the cat is admitted to the clinic. Following the treatment, the cat will be hospitalized for 3-7 days to allow most of the radioactive medicine to leave the thyroid gland or decay prior to discharge from the clinic.  This is different from the situation in human nuclear medicine as most people treated with radioactive iodine for hyperthyroidism are discharged the same day they are treated.

  • There are no restrictions on food or water for treatment day. Your cat can eat and drink normally prior to admission. You may bring food, treats, and a few personal items to be given to your cat while in the therapy center. These cannot be returned because of radiation safety regulations. We reserve the right to limit the amount of material which can be left for a pet.
  • You cannot visit your pet during therapy, nor can pets be removed from the ward until officially released. You cannot terminate therapy or arrange for early release once therapy has begun. Pets may not be boarded/hospitalized elsewhere until they meet the requirements for release.
  • Your cat will be housed with us for 3-7 days. Louisiana mandates that your cat must be held for 5 days if there are any pregnant women or children under 12 in the household. Our condo units are spacious, comfortable, climate-controlled, and complete with videos for your cat to enjoy. Unfortunately, there is no visitation during your cat’s stay because of state and federal mandated safety regulations. You will receive a call daily from the Unit Nurse with an update on how your cat is doing during the stay.
  • When the level of Radio-Iodine being emitted from the pet is below the level the State and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission mandates and we feel it is appropriate, the owner is contacted and an appointment is made to discharge the pet. Arrangements can also be made for clients who wish to have their cat stay with us longer. This extra precaution attests to our commitment to assure the therapy is conducted in a manner that is most beneficial to the patient, safest for the owner, and reflects favorably on the referring veterinarian.
  • After being released from therapy, your cat will still possess a very low level of radioactivity, which is voided primarily through urine and feces. You don’t need to isolate your cat totally from people/pets, but you must follow certain safety precautions and collect the urine and feces for a specified time. Because of the natural decay of radioactivity and the continual loss of radioiodine through the urine and stool, your cat will have no detectable level of radioactivity a few weeks after discharge. When the patient is released from the facility, you will be given Radio-Iodine safety information and instructions on how to manage your cat's waste.
  • This one-time treatment is sufficient to normalize thyroid function in 98% of cases. However, if in the rare case, that sequential thyroid function assessments indicate persistent hyperthyroidism or recurrence of the hyperactive state, then another course of I-131 may need to be scheduled if deemed appropriate. We will retreat at no additional charge within 12 months of the original treatment date if the hyperthyroid state is not resolved with the initial treatment and all follow up conditions have been met.