Should Iodine Radiation Therapy Separate Me From My Bird?

Should Iodine Radiation Therapy Separate Me From My Bird?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Should a patient receive radiation therapy be separated from his pet bird? 

Christy Writes: 

My husband will be receiving radioactive iodine therapy for thyroid cancer soon.

He is not supposed to get within 5 feet of any human for a week. 

How long would you suggest he stay away from our most fabulous 41-year-old Orange Wing Amazon, whom we love passionately? 


If you have no idea and don’t want to answer, I am thinking two weeks out of the house altogether, then when she returns home she should be moved to sleep in a room where he is not there for about a month after that. 

Just grasping at straws here, but I really want her to be with us for many, many more years.



Hi Christy,

We actually get this kind of question on a regular basis.


The distance thing is an organic firewall against the radiation possibly emitting from the patient’s body.

Keeping the Zon away for two weeks certainly cannot hurt.

I would advocate for you to have a blood workup performed on the bird explaining to the veterinarian your circumstances.

You’ll want to look for any Zoonotic diseases, which are diseases that can spread from animals to humans and vice versa.

Keep one of these close to the bird’s cage as a prophylactic measure 

Our prayers go to the three of you – stay positive.



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