What’s The Cause Of The Seizure
There are now only three etiologic classes of seizure agreed upon by the International Epilepsy Task Force:
- Reactive seizures are due to metabolic, systemic or other nonprimary brain disease.
- Structural seizures are due to primary brain disease .
- Idiopathic epilepsy is subdivided into proven-genetic , suspected-genetic, and epilepsy of unknown origin.
Treatment Of Epilepsy In Cats
Treatment of seizures is focused on managing the underlying condition if it can be diagnosed. In any case, your veterinarian may recommend medication to help reduce the risk and severity of seizures.
Be sure to follow your veterinarian’s dosage instructions carefully. If you change the dose amount or stop the medication suddenly, the seizures may resume and even get worse.
Do you need to give your cat a pill? You can try hiding it in their regular food or use a pill pocket, which is a treat with a hollow center that can hold a pill.
Treatment Options For Seizuring Cats
There are medications that your vet may administer to your cat to stop an active seizure, but these are not preventative.
There are anti-seizure medications that may be prescribed for you to administer to your pet daily, however, your vet will determine if this is necessary. There are side effects associated with some anti-seizure medications, and its a lifelong time commitment, so the decision must be made carefully based on the specific cats needs.
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Treatment Failures General Therapy Guidelines And Considerations For Cats
If a drug fails, consider that you may have an incorrect diagnosis. Instead of epilepsy, the patient may have a primary brain disease that’s progressing, or it’s not experiencing seizures after all. Alternately, the owner may not be complying with the treatment plan, the animal might be developing a drug tolerance, or there may be a drug interaction with another nonseizure medication. Look up any drug interactions that could be decreasing the efficacy of your primary medication.
Dr. Carnes points out that she prefers to maximize the dose of the primary drug before changing to a different medication or adding a second. If you need a second drug, consider how sedated your patient is. For example, if you’re using phenobarbital and the animal is not too sedated, Dr. Carnes would recommend potassium bromide. If the patient is significantly sedated, she would add levetiracetam instead.
Never use a tiger top tube for measuring serum blood concentrations of either phenobarbital or potassium bromide, as the gel can absorb drugs and will artifactually lower your results, Dr. Carnes says. Always use red-top tubes to collect samples for drug concentration submissions.
What Is Causing Cat Seizures In Older Cats
Cat seizures can be a symptom of many different health problems and the causes are often categorised as intracranial or extracranial .
Examples of intracranial causes include brain inflammation, tumours and trauma. Extracranial causes can include ingestion of toxins, kidney disease, liver disease, heart arrhythmias, disrupted blood sugar regulation and more. Older cats are more likely than younger cats to have a concurrent health problem such as those listed here.
A seizure may otherwise be idiopathic. This is more commonly diagnosed in younger cats and is when an underlying cause is not identified with the seizure occurring due to a malfunction within the brain that affects neurotransmission.
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Treating Your Cat After A Seizure
With your veterinarian, the goal of your cats seizure treatment is to find the underlying cause. If something other than epilepsy is determined to be the source, then the underlying cause will need to be treated as well. Sometimes this will be easy to treat, such as in instances where the cause is poisoning, low blood sugar, or certain infections. Once these underlying causes are treated, then the seizures should stop. However, other conditions can be managed, but not completely eliminated.
For a single seizure that lasts less than five minutes, with the cause being determined as epilepsy, treatment generally will not extend beyond stopping the initial seizure. Seizures that last longer, cluster seizures, or recurrent seizures usually require long-term treatment and sometimes even lifelong anticonvulsant medication. These drugs are considered safe for cats. Medication will be prescribed to control the seizures, and if it doesnt work on its own, more will be prescribed in addition. Some of the medications are known to cause side effects as well. This can be very expensive and will often lead to difficult decisions for the owner, depending on your cats quality of life.
What To Do Afterwards:
- Keep calm, use a soothing reassuring tone and speak softly to them letting them know youre there but do not attempt to pick them up or stroke them just yet unless you need to get them to the emergency vet right away if the seizure is prolonged or starts again. If you do need to move them, wrap them in a thick towel to prevent injury to either of you.
- Take them to the vet once you are sure they have come around from their post seizure phase. Your cat will be disorientated and wobbly.
- Establish the cause of your cats seizure with your vet. This may involve a number of tests to determine whether your cat is in fact epileptic or suffering from a brain lesion, kidney failure or any other ailment that can cause seizures in cats.
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Video Answer: Dog Seizures: When To Worry When To Wait
Research suggests that dogs can detect many types of cancers in humans.
Like many other diseases, cancers leave specific traces, or odor signatures, in a person’s body and bodily secretions.
Cancer cells, or healthy cells affected by Cancer, produce and release these odor signatures.
About Dr Pete Wedderburn Dvm
Dr Pete Wedderburn qualified as a vet from Edinburgh in 1985 and has run his own 4-veterinarian companion animal practice in County Wicklow, Ireland, since 1991. Pete is well known as a media veterinarian with regular national tv, radio and newspaper slots, including a weekly column in the Daily Telegraph since 2007. Pete is known as “Pete the Vet” on his busy Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages, regularly posting information on topical subjects and real-life cases from his clinic. He also write a regular blog at www.petethevet.com. His latest book: Pet Subjects, was published by Aurum Press in 2017.
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How To Prevent Seizures In Cats
Some causes of seizures in cats are preventable, such as ingesting toxins. Keep medications, cleaning products, essential oils, and other chemicals away from your pet. Also, avoid giving your cat medicine meant for people or applying dog products to your cat . According to the ASPCA, these are some of the most common causes of toxin seizures in cats.
You can also help your cat avoid another seizure risk factor: diabetes. Obesity increases the likelihood that your cat will develop diabetes. Ask your veterinarian if your cat is at a healthy weight, and if not, what diet would be best.
Maintain regular veterinary checkups to monitor your cats overall health too. Usually, the earlier diseases or infections are caught, the easier they are to treat. If your cat takes a prescription medication, be sure to follow the veterinary guidelines for dosage to avoid overdosing your cat.
While seizures are alarming, many are treatable. See your veterinarian if your cat has a seizure or displays any kind of odd behavior. With proper care, cats with seizures often live long lives.
Why Is My Cat Still Seizuring After We Started The Medication
Sometimes treatment will appear to have failed, especially during the first month or two. In many cases, this is because the dosage and timing of the medication need adjustment. The first thing you should do in this case is to check that you are following the instructions on the medication label correctly. After your cat has been on medication for several weeks, your veterinarian may take a blood sample to ensure that your cat has enough medication circulating in the blood stream. This will allow your veterinarian to determine the appropriate dose of medication.
Other causes of treatment failure include the following:
1. Specific circumstances such as stress – increased medication may be required during such periods.
2. Progression or worsening of the disease.
|Contributors: Ernest Ward, DVM Rania Gollakner, BS DVM|
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Goals Of Seizure Management
The primary goal of management is a good quality of life: to balance the effects of the seizures and the side effects of the medications with the pet’s wellbeing. For most patients, this means less than one seizure every three months, no clusters, no status events, minimal side effects from medications, minimal changes in bloodwork , affordable therapy, and a protocol that’s compatible with the owner’s willingness or ability to comply.
Is Cbd Safe For Cats If So How Much Cbd Oil Should I Give My Cat
Veterinarians widely regard CBD for cats as safe, but before adding anything to your cats diet, always speak to your own vet for guidance on dosage. CBD oil for pets carries a very low risk of side effects, and you can help to reduce the risks even further by paying close attention to the quality and strength of the product you purchase. Any adverse effects are generally mild, like lethargy and increased thirst. However, the side effects that do occur are most often due to poor-quality ingredients, insufficient testing, or inaccurate information, so choose your CBD oil carefully .
Though humans and cats alike can benefit from CBD, dont share your CBD with your cat the difference in potency can bring on adverse effects, so be sure you choose a CBD oil especially for pets. High-quality CBD oils for cats are also third-party tested to ensure that they contain no THC or other harmful byproducts. Independent testing also provides you with accurate information on strength, so the amount of CBD you give your cat will stay consistent. These precautions can help your kitty reap all of the rewards of CBD without experiencing any unwelcome side effects.
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Petit Mal Seizure & Grand Mal Seizures
There are two general types of epileptic seizures in cats: petit mal and grand mal.
Petit mal seizures do not cause convulsions. Typically, the cat will suddenly collapse into an unconscious state.
Grand mal seizures cause the cat to fall on their side and experience muscle convulsions. Grand mal seizures are diagnosed much more frequently than petit mal seizures.
Neither petit mal or grand mal seizures will cause your feline to experience any pain. However, they will often be confused and disoriented once the seizure passes.
What To Do Immediately:
- Keep your cat from harming himself, but unlike with a human having a fit, do not put your finger in your cats mouth. They wont swallow their tongue, and you will most probably get bitten.
- Make sure their immediate environment is safe and secure no sharp object near them that they can hit themselves on, no other pets or children around, and be sure theyre on the ground- not on a high surface as the seizure makes them lose control of their bodies so they will likely fall.
- Be calm and watch your cat carefully. Note the length of the seizure if you can. If it lasts for longer than 3 minutes or has another one straight after the first, then you have an emergency on your hands and need to get your cat seen by the vet asap.
- Expect them to lose control of their bodily functions during the seizure.
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What Treatments Are There For Seizures In Older Cats
The treatment and management plan will depend on the underlying cause of the seizure. Although idiopathic epilepsy is a quite common cause of epilepsy in cats, this is less likely in an older individual and is generally diagnosed through a process of excluding other causes.
A vet will need to perform a thorough health check of the cat and will recommend what diagnostic tests are necessary. This will usually involve blood tests which may be followed by an ultrasound, x-ray, or referral for advanced imaging depending on the findings.
Depending on the diagnosis, the vet will recommend what treatment options are available. In some cases, the underlying cause cannot be cured but can be effectively managed. Medication will often be specific to your cats illness however, the vet may also suggest anti-convulsant drugs, either as a preventative option or for use if a prolonged seizure occurs. Many of these treatments require long-term monitoring and check-ups. Unfortunately, one of the most common causes of seizures in older cats are brain tumours. Heres what you need to know about cancer in cats, including the symptoms, causes and possible treatments.
What Does A Cat Seizure Look Like
The first step in offering your cat any assistance during a seizure is being able to identify what a seizure looks like.
While witnessing your cat having a seizure is incredibly stressful for any pet owner, and might make you feel completely helpless, those first moments are actually crucial in determining the source of your cats seizure. In fact, there are actually signs you can look before your cat has a seizure, that may signify one is coming.
Cats will often exhibit behavior changes shortly before a seizure. This is called an aura or pre-ictal behavior. These behaviors include pacing, circling, yowling or vomiting. Your cat may also appear to be nervous right before he has a seizure.
Often, they will hide somewhere. Others may look for you, their owner. But whichever occurs, it is super quick, only lasting for a few seconds. If youre able to pick out one of these behaviors before a seizure, make sure you note it to your veterinarian when you bring in your cat.
When the seizure actually occurs, it will typically begin with your cat collapsing onto the ground and going stiff. Next, your cat may go into convulsions, which are uncontrolled muscle contractions. This will make your cat appear to be jerking his body, paddling his feet, snapping his jaw, or other seemingly random movements. Often, a cat will empty his bowels or bladder during a seizure.
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Symptoms Of Focal Seizures
The clinical signs of focal seizures differ from those of generalized seizures.
In focal seizures, the cat will often cry out as if they are in pain. Cats can also have behavioral changes and become aggressive, even if they are usually sweet mannered.
Focal seizures can also cause excessive salivation and drooling along with other atypical behavior.
Can Feline Epilepsy Be Cured
If the primary cause of secondary epilepsy can be removed then the seizures may be permanently cured.
If a cat suffers from primary epilepsy, then the seizures may be controlled by lifelong anticonvulsant therapy, but there is significant individual variation in the response to medication and in the long term prognosis for effective control.
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Should Your Cat Be Treated For Seizures
The decision to start medication will be based on several factors:
- Does your cat have frequent seizures? How often? If the seizures are occurring infrequently , it may not be necessary to treat your cat for the seizures.
- Are your cat’s seizures severe? If your cat’s seizures are especially severe, meaning they last more than 1 minute, or result in a prolonged state of disorientation or more severe signs, regardless of how frequently they occur, it may be advisable to start treatment.
- Has your cat suffered from status epilepticus? This is defined as a single seizure lasting more than 5 minutes or multiple seizures in a short time period without fully recovering in between. Or has she had cluster seizures ?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then your cat should likely be started on medication to improve its quality of life and reduce the risk of serious complications from seizures.
What To Do During A Seizure
If you suspect your cat is having a seizure, make sure you do what you can to prevent injury. Avoid moving your cat if possible unless it is in an unsafe place. In that case, use a towel to pick up the cat to avoid being scratched or bitten. Keep other animals in the household away from your cat during a seizure, and keep your cat safely confined after a seizure if it is disoriented and clumsy.
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Reasons Cats Have Seizures
There are lots of different reasons your cat may have a seizure. We need to consider a toxin ingestion, a brain tumour, trauma, liver or kidney disease or an infection.
Epilepsy is the diagnosis we make when all other potential causes have been ruled out. For the majority of epileptics, they will experience their first fit between the ages of one and five.
What Causes Seizures In Cats
In some cases, seizures in cats is an unavoidable condition. Your veterinarian may not be able to pinpoint the underlying cause, and there may not have been anything the pet owner could have done to prevent its development.
However, in other cases, seizures are the result of a specific event or sequence of events.
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Recovery Of Seizures In Cats
Your cat may need to be on anticonvulsant medication for the rest of his life unless otherwise instructed by the vet. In some cases, the vet will allow you to discontinue the medication if your cat has not had a seizure in over a year. But, its important to wean your cat off of the medicine instead of ending it abruptly. Speak to your vet about how to do it if you are told to discontinue the treatment.
Doses of medication may be adjusted over time. For example, if your cats body has gotten used to the level of medication, he may begin to experience seizures again and need a higher dose to control his condition. On the other hand, if your cat has not had any seizures, the vet may try to lower the dose.