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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-03-2003, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Feline Seizures

Does anyone have a cat that suffers from seizures? Snuggles suffers from occasional seizures. He isn't on meds yet, since they aren't frequent. The vet said to be of major concern if there are more than 2 in a month or they last longer than a few minutes, so no meds yet, I hope he doesn't have to either. He has had tests and CBC's done and it shows everything as normal. There is no defined cause for the siezures found. It is just defined as "epileptic" This started (to our knowledge) last June, and has been scattered through out the year. The first one was pretty severe and scared the life outta me, I was freaking, but it didn't last too long. The other ones have been shorter and now I know what to do when one occurs. Try to move him away from stuff he can crash into not to hurt himself and turn off the lights to calm him, and try to keep quiet. It's hard bc when it happens, the dogs start barking b/c they don't know what's going on, and Ginger and Smokie run over to him.
Back in March, when I started the dogs and cats on Natural foods, I was at this store and ran into this vet who was buying the same food for his cats, LOL! Anyway, we were chatting about Snuggles and he suggested to me that possibly some of the vaccines could contribute to this, since he is a young cat and there was no cause found. When I took him at the end of Sept for his check up and vac.'s , I talked to my vet about this. He answered all my questions and talked awhile about this and he said it was all possible. He gave him rabies, feline lukemia and distemper vacs. and to keep an eye on it and let him know of anything. Well he had one 2 weeks after that,( I called him and he marked it on the chart) and I think he had one this morning. Penny was barking and after I came out of my room he was looking rather weird, standing still and meowing alot (hes normally very quiet) and panting. Now hes fine. If you haven't seen a siezure in a cat, man it is so scary. One time, he was foaming at the mouth! I felt so helpless....
I don't know what's causing it, but maybe next year he will get rabies shot only. Anyone else have experiences with this??

~* Jackie *~

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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-03-2003, 06:09 PM
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Jackie -
Many years ago I rescued 2 kittens, both girls from the same litter. I had two young children at the time and they were thrilled. They named them Sarah and Brandy. I was working nights and didn't get to see the first seizure. I recieved a frantic phone call from my husband (kids crying in the background) - He said that one of the kittens was thrashing in the vertical blinds (in front of the patio door), foaming at the mouth and had then vomited and lost total bowel and bladder control. I told him it sounded like a full siezure and to move the cat away from danger - all the things that you do - I told him the same.

This poor kitten, Sarah, had multi seizures daily and was put on Phenobarbitol to control them. It was diagnosed as Feline Epilepsy and she did need additional treatment with Diazepam. Once treated with Diazepam we needed to routinely test her liver function because Diazepam can cause liver problems in cats.

The other cat, Brandy, had something wrong too. We never got a definate diagnoses from the vet other than that he thought Brandy had some degree of brain damage. She refused to litter train, preferring my bathroom sink, and other odd places instead. Brandy had some very strange behaviors which very well could have been mild seizure activity that presented atypically causing her to appear trance-like and hypnotized for a time. Other times she would just totally freak out - run up the walls and chase her tail - it was scary! I can't even describe the frenzied state she would be in at times and other times she'd act totally confused.

With two small children and working hospital hours it was impossible for me to be at home nearly enough to give these kittens the medical care and general care they both needed. It was horrid - the condition they were both in was so sad.

That long story all happened in the course of about 4 or 5 months and during that time I was pregnant again.
I was sooo lucky -I was able to re-home them through my vet. I didn't take them to the shelter because I didn't think they had very much of a chance of being adopted with those medical problems and I wanted them to remain together. They just required someone who had the time to care for and medicate them properly - monitor them and make sure at any point they weren't suffering. My vet at the time was great. He found them a good home where they could remain together.

It was SO unsettling to see a kitten have a grand mal seizure. I know exactly what you mean when you say how upsetting it is to see Snuggles during an episode.

Since it was both kittens from the same litter with similar problems the vet concluded that they had congenital problems.

It's interesting to see that seizures may be linked somehow to routine vaccinations. Since Snuggles had a seizure two weeks post innoculation, do you think it was coincidence or linked to the immunization? Which shot do you think may be the problem?
If he continues to have seizure episodes does your vet want to put him on medication? Sorry for the questions I'm just curious because what I went through with the kittens I had was so long ago I was wondering if they use different protocol before starting medication, and what medications they would use now to control or eliminate the seizure activity.

Snuggles is in very good hands - yours I'm sorry he has to go through any of that. I know it must stress you out and worry you very much! I hope you are able to get to the root of it all. Sometimes just having a logical explanation helps tons.



Sorry that was so long

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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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Wow Linda.. I can't imagine how hard that was for you! Dealing with everything going on and taking care of those poor kittens... It must've been TERRIBLE to see small kittens having siezures!! That was great that you were able to rehome them through your vet, though. Yes, it sounds like a congenital problem to me, too.

Also, Snuggles has urinated and "foamed" at the mouth kind of while having one. Sometimes there is said to be some kind of an pre-seizure activity, like swaying or blank staring, etc. I try to watch for that, but haven't noticed anything. She said if it got worse, more frequent, I think she said would medicate him with phenobarbital, the same stuff you medicated the kitties with. I really don't know what shot would cause it, I think, if I remember correctly, that vet I spoke to in the store, said the feline lukemia and distempers may contribute to it. Since he had one 2 weeks post, I think it's possible it could be from them.

One time, I felt so bad... My dad was watching Snuggles when we all went to my Grandma and Grandpa's house. He called me in a panic, the cat was having a seizure! My poor dad was like "What on earth do I do!?!?" like we were the first time Snuggles had one. I told him to keep him calm and in the bathroom where he was, as not to sieze around the house into something. He was fine a minute later. It's very scary! I think the first one we ever saw was the worst. We were watching TV on the couch, the cats were playing and running, and all the sudden, Snuggles jumped up on the couch arm and let this hideous scream (he's a very quiet cat) He looked weird and flaling (sp?) his leg around, we were freaking, we thought he broke his leg or something. Then Brad layed him down and the cats were flipping out too, like what is going on. We were trying to keep him from hitting the coffee table. After about a min, he calmed down, but he was really off balance, and walked away from all of us, he went and layed down on the cool tile in my bathroom, to calm down. After about 30 min, he came out and was back to normal. I was crying and flipping out. If you darken the room, it seems to stop quickly after that as well. I read about that. It is terrible, I feel so bad for my Snuggies
Yes, I know, we hope we can get to the root of it all too!
Thanks for being there for me!

~* Jackie *~

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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-12-2004, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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I just wanted to bring this up again, since we have so many new members. I don't think he has had any more seizures since I posted, atleast to our knowledge. I worry about him so much. Anyone else have cats that suffer from seizures / feline epilepsy?

~* Jackie *~

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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-13-2004, 12:34 AM
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Jackie, I'm so glad that Snuggles hasn't been displaying any seizure activity. I know you must be still on guard and on edge though. Poor Snugs
You know I'm always here for you!

I'd be interested in knowing if other members have cats or kittens with any type of seizure disorder too. It's stressfull and scary - and all the collective information can be really helpful and supportive.

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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-13-2004, 12:49 AM
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I very, very rarely see any cats with epilepsy come into the ER. I do see TONS of dogs though. Owners often call me completely freaked out - seizures are SO scary. Research has shown though that the one seizing is not aware of what's going on, it's as if they just lose control of their bodies and 'black out' during the seizure. It does of course scare them that they were just over there and now they're over here, covered in feces and urine and very disoriented.

The disorientation is what we call a post-ictal state and can include everything from extreme agitation to extreme lethargy, drooling, etc. In a diagnosed epileptic the ER docs say that we don't need to see the animal unless the seizure lasts more than 5 minutes or takes more than 30 mins to recover from.

Epilepsy usually shows up in animals 2-4 years of age. Usually bloodwork is recommended to rule out a systemic problem rather than a neurologic (epilepsy), which may or may not include exposure to a toxin. A first seizure is always recommended to be seen to make sure that it's simply epilepsy vs. the other options. Older animals that develop seizures are much sadder for me to deal with, as it usually indicates a brain tumor. The same thing is recommended - bloodwork and physical exam, then documentation and later stabilizing medications if the seizures are frequent.

Anyone with a medicated epileptic should periodically have their levels checked - phenobarbitol is the most commonly used med and can cause some issues if too high.

*whew* Ok, I think that's all I have to share. I can totally sympathize with anyone who's been there, it's a very scary thing to watch your loved pet go through. Try to remember that they aren't in pain and aren't aware of what's going on at the time - it can help to keep you calm so that you can prevent injury due to the potential flailing.

Stephanie

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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-13-2004, 10:28 AM
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Oh no! Poor guy, I don't have any experience with seizures yet but I wanted to say that Snuggles is in good hands with you at least! You are a great person Jackie.


*Brandy*

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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-13-2004, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you guys! You are wonderful!
Thank you Stephanie, for all that great information!!!! Yes, it is rare to see cats with seizures. Both of my vets said the same thing.
And yes, what you said, I've read and my vet said, thankfully, they aren't aware of a thing. Oh its so scary to see! I was terrified. We discussed medication, and my vet said we won't medicate him unless it's necessary/ or becomes more frequent. I hope he won't need medicine. All the blood tests and everything came back normal, so at this point it's classified as epilepsy. He was about 2 years old when he had his first one, just like you said Steph.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jade
Epilepsy usually shows up in animals 2-4 years of age.
He will be 4 in June.
My vet said the same thing as your office, if it lasts longer than 5 mins to bring them in, also my vet had said she would be concerned, too if he had more than 1 in a months time.
Oh thats the scariest, when he is having one, trying to make sure he doesn't injure himself. We try to move him away from any furniture, so he doesn't get hurt. I've also read to keep things quiet and calm and darkness helps too. Brad turned off the light one time, and it stopped right then. It's hard to keep things quiet though, b/c the dogs know know something is going on and start barking and my 2 cats go running over to Snuggles to see if he is ok. Oh its so heartbreaking.
Thank you so much Stephanie for all the great information. And thank you guys for being there for me.

~* Jackie *~

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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-13-2004, 03:40 PM
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Steph, thanks for that great information! While I went through it with 2 kittens from the same litter both , oh I'd say about 2 months old when it presented and by 4 months old one of them was seizing more than once a day and it was hard to regulate the medication dosages because of that) , - so they definately didn't present in the classic way, the information you gave us leads me to think that these kittens had some kind of brain anomaly (which was suggested by my vet at the time).

Jackie - I know I have said this before, but I really, really feel for you having to go through this with Snuggles. It is so scary and can make you feel so totally helpless.
I'm here for you - and give the Snug-guy a big smoochie for me

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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-28-2004, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Well... Snugs had another siezure about a week and a half ago. I was home alone and I was on the computer and I looked down where Snuggies was sitting and he started doing something weird. I guess they call this the "auora" phase, before a siezure. I have never seen this before. He was moving his head, to the right and left, and he started to twitch and I knew something was wrong. I got down on the ground and tried to hold him down the best I could, to try to keep him from running into anything. I don't think it lasted long, but it seemed like an eternity, you know. He had some foaming at the mouth, and the dogs started barking and the cats came over to see him. It's so scary. I mark them down on the calender to keep track of them. Brad came home right after that, I was freaking out. My poor Snuggles. Thanks for being there, guys.

~* Jackie *~

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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-04-2004, 09:26 PM
 
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My cat a seizure yesterday..

Hi all
Yes I can sympathise with this and how scary and confusing it is. My 5yr old male cat had some sort of spell yesterday, and we rushed him off to the vet. It is the first time we have noticed anything like this, and he did recover back t normal pretty quickly. The vet said it may be a one off and never happen again (pray that she is right!) so we should just monitor him before doing anything further.
She also said it may have been a mild stroke, although she didnt think so because he is still quite young.
Makes me a little concerned tho, if he has one and we are not around to know about it. I guess we just have to hold tight and see.

Will say a prayer for Snuggles and Snuffy and all the other cats with problems.

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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-07-2004, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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Oh no! I am so sorry to hear Snuffy had an episode. You must've been very scared!!! It sounds like Snuffy may have very well had a seizure. Did the vet do any blood tests to rule anything out/ or find a definate cause? Snuggles had blood tests done and there was nothing abnormal in his blood work. His condition is classified as feline epilepsy. Exactly what you said, you don't know if it will happen when you aren't there, etc., it's all so scary.
There are few things my vet told us to do when Snuggles is having a siezure. Turn out the lights if you can, the darkness calms them and when we turned the lights off, Snuggles siezure even stopped a few times. Try to keep things quiet, and for a little while after. It is so hard for us to keep things quiet, my dogs start barking b.c they don't know what is going on and my other 2 cats come to check on Snuggles. Also, if you can, try to hold him down if he is in a place where he in danger of hurting himself by running into something. I keep track of when and how long they occur. My vet is very concerned if they last more than a few mintues and more than 2 times in a month. Jade gave such wonderful information and I try to remember what she said.. that they aren't aware of what is happening or feeling any pain.
I know this is so scary! I hope Snuffy is ok. Thanks for the prayers for Snuggles. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Snuffy. Oh and by the way, welcome to Paw-talk!!! It is so nice to meet you!!!

~* Jackie *~

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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-07-2004, 09:04 PM
 
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Oh gosh how scary for you kitty mommies. Prayers go out to Snuggles & Snuffy, and please give em both lots of head rubz rubz from me.
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-07-2004, 11:04 PM
 
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Thank you all of you for your prayers and thoughts. Its so comforting to have support of other animal lovers at times like this!
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-08-2004, 12:28 AM
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Oh my gosh Jackie, I just read this now (where has my brain been?) I'm so, so sorry to hear that Snugs had another episode

You must have been so scared! I think the other animals can sense something is wrong and they react to it too! I'm glad it didn't last very long (although I am sure it seemed like enternity!)
and that he's OK now.

It must be so frustrating and frightening to know that he can have an episode like that at any time and you have no idea, no way to predict... kind of like waitng for the other shoe to drop kind of thing

I'm here for you! Give Snugs chin rubz and a belly scratch for me. He's so cute. I wish you didn't have to go through this with him.

rach_sk8 - I'm so sorry that Snuffy had an episode that might have been a seizure too. It's such a frightening thing and makes us feel so helpless! I'm glad Snuffy is OK now and I hope it never happens again.

Huggs to both of you - and the kitties

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