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Unread 03-13-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default Unanswered: does anyone have an epileptic cat?

i have just had the most frightening episode ever with my eleven month old cat jonesy, she was settling down to go to sleep and suddenly she leaped up, started running around in circles, her tail all bushy making a choking noise, she then started frothing at the mouth and nose and she also wet herself, this was extremely distressing, at the time i thought she was going to choke to death and i attempted to look in her mouth and got bitten very badly. After a few minutes of total panic she suddenly stopped and walked over to her bowl and ate a lot of food cleaned her self up and ran around the house for a bit and then went to sleep. so the thing is i phoned the vet and said was cat has had a choking incident but seems okay, and the vet said it could have just been a small obstruction which has cleared, and to keep an eye on her and if anything else happens to take her to the surgery, but since speaking to the vet and looking online, the symptoms look exactly like the ones described for cat epilepsy, has anyone got information about this, i would be grateful...
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Unread 03-13-2010   #2 (permalink)
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I can't offer any advice but just wanted to say I am so sorry to hear this.
Poor you & poor little Jonesy. I hope you can find treatment for her. Give your gorgeous cat a cuddle from me. x
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Unread 03-13-2010   #3 (permalink)
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thanks helen, unfortunately it happened again tonight, phoned the vet again and when i explained the symptoms she thought it was a fit of some kind, so she said to bring her in tomorrow morning, so i just need to watch over her tonight and if it happens again she said to contain her in the one room and turn the lights out till she comes out of it, but its so distressing to watch, i have never seen a cat having a fit, its absolutely terrifying, so i hope the vet can find out whats going on, she has asthma as well, and when she got her immunisations she took a really bad side effect, so she hasnt had much luck, thanks for your concern, xx jan
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Unread 09-16-2010   #4 (permalink)
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Smile Epileptic Cat and knowing what to do

Hiya....i realise this is a late reply but i too have an Epileptic Cat !!

I experienced almost word for word the same as you did with my cat lulu's first attack back in 2008. I was gobsmacked and initially thought she had been poisoned as severe frothing at the mouth and almost choking/gagging at same time.

I immedietely took her to the vet and after seeing my recorded video footage of an attack, he suspected Epilepsy and informed me she would need to be on tablets for life!! Lulu has what's known as 'Grand Mal' attacks/seizures.

I monitored and logged each fit, 2 years on and still occuring, i know when my little girl is going to have an attack as she rushes home from wherever she has been and makes a different tone in her 'meow' that tells me 'mummy help me'.

Within seconds the fit takes place with chattering at the mouth and circular body movements and then the 1 or 2 min convulsions (fitting), frothing at the mouth and almost always peeing (all at once) and once fitting has stopped she then slowly comes out of her 'trance' followed by rapid eye movements for approx 2 mins and a sense of 'where the hell am i' so i calmly stroke her and talk to her in our little cat lingo (you know we all do it) for reassurance.

Then it's straight to the food bowl and she eats everything (as if she is starving)!

When she is in the 'fit' i do hold her head by placing my hand underneath and place my hand on her middle body so she isnt jumping whilst fitting. I know some say to leave them during this as you can get badly scratched but i have gotten so used to it now i know exactly how to handle her.

I have studied various youtube footage (which was a great help in the early stages) and also researched the reasons why an animal fits and what to do with an epileptic animal.


Cats with epilepsy may experience one of three types of seizures, which are named for their levels of intensity. Epileptic seizures are labeled petit mal, grand mal and status epilepticus. Grand mal and petit mal seizures are short in duration and don't usually present a threat to your cat's life, unless your cat is in an uncontrolled or unsafe environment.

Petit mal epileptic seizures are the least intense kind of epileptic seizure. If your cat experiences a petit mal seizure, he may stare blankly, make noises or shake one of his legs. This type of seizure typically lasts less than a minute.

Grand mal seizures are more common and more intense than petit mal seizures. If your cat experiences a grand mal seizure, he may fall over, soil himself, paddle his feet as if running or swimming, drool or foam at the mouth and vocalize. He'll become unconscious, and will have no awareness of his surroundings or of what is happening to him. Grand mal seizures last five minutes or less.

While feline epilepsy can't be cured, you can manage the symptoms with medication. Your vet will prescribe anticonvulsant medication if your cat has more than one grand mal seizure per month, or if your cat enters status epilepticus even once. Anticonvulsant drugs like phenobarbital sedate the nerves and membranes in your cat's brain, helping to prevent seizures.


Hope this is of help to anyone who is experiencing a cat seizure.

Thanks

Last edited by lulubells; 09-16-2010 at 06:17 AM.
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Unread 09-16-2010   #5 (permalink)
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I have a seizure kitty. His seizures are a bit different from the classic grand mal epileptic episodes, but they were very serious and life threatening, as they came every half hour to hour, non stop, when untreated. They are called "Fly chasing seizures". They are now are controlled with phenobarbital.

Tolly's (11 years old now) diagnosis is 'idiopathic partial seizure disorder'. He was diagnosed by a veterinary neurology specialist at Cornell University Companion Hospital. He has been on phenobarbital for over 8 years. He began showing signs of liver damage (from the phenobarbital) in January 2010 and now takes Denosyl (sam-e supplement) and his liver numbers have now gone back to and remain in normal range.

Keeping up with regular scheduled bloodwork is essential for a cat on this medication.

I'm sorry I never saw this thread before. I hope the OP will come back and let us know how her kitty is doing.

By the way Tolly also had a ravenous appetite after an episode, it is quite common with seizure activity. He also would be excessively loving.

PS: Is Lulu on medication?

Last edited by acerlt; 09-16-2010 at 02:40 PM.
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Unread 09-16-2010   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Acerlt,

Thanks for your post.....great read!

Lulu was on medication but trying to place a tablet in her mouth was proving quite difficult but was the only promosing method to guarantee she swallowed it. Tried crushing her tablet in food etc but she knew - and never touched the food!!

I felt (at that time) the medication wasnt working so i stopped it. The seizures stopped but have recently come back again so i am going to take her to the vets for some advice and no doubt more tablets!!

Like Tolly, after a seizure, lulu would also become very affectionate and loving and her temperament does indeed change slightly.

I have just joined this site to seek advice or tips from other Owners of Epileptic Cats as lulu had a seizure again this morning and it is becoming more frequent, say at least 2 in one month that i am aware of.

Incidentally, she does an awful lot of stretching and grooming, quite often pulling at her fur - little bit jumpy and at times nervous almost like she has had someone attack her !! I wondered if this was a related thing?

Like you i adore my cat and just as i know her mood she knows mine!!
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Unread 09-16-2010   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lulubells View Post
Hi Acerlt,

Thanks for your post.....great read!

Lulu was on medication but trying to place a tablet in her mouth was proving quite difficult but was the only promosing method to guarantee she swallowed it. Tried crushing her tablet in food etc but she knew - and never touched the food!!

I felt (at that time) the medication wasnt working so i stopped it. The seizures stopped but have recently come back again so i am going to take her to the vets for some advice and no doubt more tablets!!

Like Tolly, after a seizure, lulu would also become very affectionate and loving and her temperament does indeed change slightly.

I have just joined this site to seek advice or tips from other Owners of Epileptic Cats as lulu had a seizure again this morning and it is becoming more frequent, say at least 2 in one month that i am aware of.

Incidentally, she does an awful lot of stretching and grooming, quite often pulling at her fur - little bit jumpy and at times nervous almost like she has had someone attack her !! I wondered if this was a related thing?

Like you i adore my cat and just as i know her mood she knows mine!!
This sounds like FHS, feline hyperesthesia syndrome they are similar though. There was some thought that Tolly's episodes were FHS rather than seizures, but there were certain things that didn't add up to FHS.

Info on FHS:
Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome - VeterinaryPartner.com - a VIN company!

You can search FHS on youtube also, to see what it looks like.

I can offer you a pilling method, that, once you get skilled at it, you will be able to pill Lulu without any problem. I've had special needs cats for many years and have developed a lot of useful skills. I know I am bragging when I say this but it's true: I have never met a cat I can't pill, and that includes other people's cats too.

I'll be happy to post my method if you are interested.

What are you feeding Lulu? Often diet plays an important part in these kinds of issues.
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Unread 09-17-2010   #8 (permalink)
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hi lulubells, have just noticed your reply, jonesy is 18th months now, and she gets phenobarbitol every morning and night, two months ago she had her medication increased after having four fits in two days, and yesterday she had a fit so she is going to the vet next week for blood tests and review of medication, your cats fits sound exactly like jonesys, although my cat seems to be able to run around the house whilst in the middle of a fit then she falls over on her side and after a couple of minutes she sort of wakes up, im starting to get used to it but its still really upsetting, im thinking of ways of containing her in one area when she is fitting cos im really frightened she is going to hurt herself thrashing around, i thought i could maybe put a large cardboard box over her, if she bashed off the sides it wouldnt hurt her and would be nice and dark till she was about to come round, dont know if it would work but could be worth a try, regarding medication i have found the best way to give her it is by halfing the pills and putting them in those moist treat sticks, she just wolfs them back without noticing, with my previous cats i could just open their mouths and throw the pill to the back of their throat no problems, but jonesy wont let anyone mess with her, when she has to get blood tests done the vet has to knock her out or he cant get the needle in! and hi to helen i havent been on for a while good to hear from you, hope wee lulu is okay ....jan
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Unread 09-17-2010   #9 (permalink)
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Jan thanks for the update on your kitty. I can see how you would think a cardboard box over her sounds like a good idea, but it really isn't if you think of it, it will cut down on her air supply and air circulation.

<edit>Perhaps putting her IN a large, open, cardboard box lined with a soft absorbent blankie. Put some plastic sheeting (old shower curtain) under the blankie to keep any body fluids from seeping through, so you can use the same box any time you need to.

Of course the goal is to stop all breakthrough seizures completely.

It does take time to find the lowest possible dose to control breakthrough seizures. It took my vet and I about 18 months to find the right dose for my Tolly.

Keep us posted on your Jonesy.

Last edited by acerlt; 09-17-2010 at 08:41 PM. Reason: to add
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