Animal Emergency and Referral Center of Minnesota Opens New Facility

Share Article

Animal Emergency and Referral Center's new treatment facility for cats who suffer from hyperthyroid disease is unlike any other in Minnesota.

Jayde Quigley has owned her cat Freeway for 11 years. Her young sons started calling him “Old Sick Crabby Kitty” in early 2012 because it seemed like he was always vomiting. He’d also lost weight, yet “He was hungry all the time,” Quigley said. “Suddenly he was stealing food all the time, from the counters, even right off my plate!” Normally a friendly cat, Freeway was isolating himself from the family, and his fur looked terrible.

Concerned for Freeway, Quigley brought him to her veterinarian, who thought Freeway’s symptoms might indicate that he had hyperthyroidism, a disease caused by a tumor on the thyroid gland. Other symptoms of this disease include increased heart rate, diarrhea, fever, and oddly enough, cats with hyperthyroidism often become much more vocal, meowing loudly, even more so at night. A simple blood test was conducted and it was determined that Freeway’s thyroid hormone levels were abnormal. Freeway’s treatment options included daily medication, surgery to remove the thyroid tumor, or a single injection of Radioactive Iodine (also known as I-131) to destroy the tumor.

For a while, Quigley tried giving Freeway thyroid medication. Giving a cat a pill is a difficult task, and Freeway would need pills for the rest of his life. “We tried to pill him twice a day for a couple of months. But he only withdrew more from the family, and it didn’t help his thyroid hormone levels!” Quigley said.

At eleven years old, Freeway wasn’t the ideal surgical candidate. In addition, if the surgeon wasn’t able to remove all of the tumor, Freeway’s hyperthyroidism was likely to return. Quigley decided to bring Freeway to Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota, which has just launched the facility for treatment of hyperthyroidism with Radioactive Iodine.

Dr. Shadwick, Head of Internal Medicine at Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota, evaluated Freeway and approved him to receive the treatment. Freeway was given the injection of radioactive isotope, and then he stayed in AERC’s Hyperthyroid Treatment Facility for five days, until the radiation decreased to a level at which he was cleared to go home. The facility boasts luxurious cat condos, natural sunlight, and resident finches for the ultimate in kitty entertainment. For anxious owners, the facility provides 24/7 webcam access, as well as visiting hours.

Freeway’s hyperthyroidism was cured with that one treatment. Six months later, his fur is shinier, he’s gained weight, and, as Quigley says, “He’s part of the family again. He’s even resumed his nightly wrestling matches with our other cat, Railroad.” And do the boys still call him “Old Sick Crabby Kitty? “No—he has a name again, and it’s just Freeway.”

<br>About the company:<br>The Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota (AERC) was established over 30 years ago by a group of veterinarians who wanted to provide their clients with quality veterinary care during non-business hours.

They started out with one clinic, one veterinarian, and one technician! Over the years, their hospitals have grown, and they highly value the relationships they’ve built with local veterinarians, pets and owners in the many communities they serve. For more information, please visit their website at

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print