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 Post subject: My kitty just had a seizure
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:49 pm 
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I adopted her about 3 weeks ago. She was returned by her previous adopter because she had at least one seizure, but the shelter said she hadn't had one in over two months. Plus, I'm a sucker for the underdog. She's on phenobarbatol.

Anyway, I hadn't seen her have a seizure until now. She was sleeping at the top of the cat tree, and out of the corner of my eye I see her jump off and dive straight into the wall. She then proceeded to freak out behind the t.v. and then go into the corner and make sounds as if she were posessed. She stopped after about 20-30 seconds. Then I picked her up and held her for a bit and then set her down. She walked around like she was drunk for a while and now I think she's hiding under the bed.

I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with this. She's about 7 mos. old. The cutest thing I've ever seen, btw. Is this life threatening? Is it something they can grow out of?


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 Post subject: Re: My kitty just had a seizure
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:03 pm 
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I'm sorry, that's really scary! I had a similar situation with the kitty I had in college. When my ex and I got her, we were told that she had had seizures in the past, but not frequently or recently and that it was not anything life-threatening. She was perfectly fine for a few months, and then one night she was laying on the couch with us and just started flipping out. At first I thought she was just taking a big old leap off the couch, but once she was on the floor she started seizuring. It was really, really scary, even though we were told it might happen; we rushed her to a nearby emergency vet as soon as she calmed down. They did a bunch of tests but nothing was wrong; aside from being freaked out by the vet, she was fine. She's never had another one, as far as I know - she's lived with my ex for the last 3 years and by all accounts is perfectly healthy.

Obviously every case is different, but I would wait until you get her checked out before you worry too much. It definitely could be serious, but it could also be a minor issue.

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 Post subject: Re: My kitty just had a seizure
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:11 pm 
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Thanks. Yeah, she was just at the vet last week and they upped her dosage of pheno. Good to hear that it can be a temporary thing.


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 Post subject: Re: My kitty just had a seizure
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:17 pm 
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I have nothing to add except to say I hope she feels better soon and that you should post pics to prove her cuteness.

Get well soon, kitty!

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 Post subject: Re: My kitty just had a seizure
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:43 pm 
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jordanpattern wrote:
I have nothing to add except to say I hope she feels better soon and that you should post pics to prove her cuteness.

Get well soon, kitty!

Thanks Jordan. Pics coming soon.


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 Post subject: Re: My kitty just had a seizure
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:03 pm 
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I don't have much experience with cats having seizures but I do with dogs. I know with dogs if they have a tough time recovering from them then that's when you should be concerned or if they last a really long time. I'm sorry your kitty is having a tough time, watching an animal have a seizure is a really hard thing. Just make sure if you see it happening there isn't anything nearby she could hit her head on and hurt herself too.


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 Post subject: Re: My kitty just had a seizure
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:37 pm 
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I once fostered a kitty with feline epilepsy for a few weeks- so I know a little tiny bit.

My understanding was (and this is from a few years ago so I don't know if there is more recent information out there and also remember that anything I tell you is no substitute for advice from a vet) is that seizures in cats are either caused by an underlying condition such as a tumor or head injury ......or they aren't .......... in which case the the cat's condition is "epilepsy."

If the seizures are caused by another condition - the best course of action is to try to treat that condition as best you can.

If everything that might cause seizures has been ruled out, then the seizures hopefully can be controlled by phenobarbital or some similar drug.

Cats can and do live fairly normal lives with epilepsy but they do need to be under the care of a good vet who can monitor their condition over time.

There are veterinary neurologists out there and if its at all possible I would try to consult with one at least once and then follow up with your regular vet.

And like any special needs kitty- epileptic cats need more frequent vet visits and attention than your average cat.

But that doesn't mean you wont be paid back in spades with kitty kisses and purrs.

I have heard that alot of cats with this type of illness are extremely affectionate and loving. I don't know if its because they need more care that they are generally "needier" emotionally too, or their guardians just think they are sweeter because they (the guardians) are biased.

So really the first thing that you need to do (assuming that you haven't already done this) is have your kitty get a very thorough exam and then go from there.

Good luck and yes! please post pics.

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 Post subject: Re: My kitty just had a seizure
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:04 pm 
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One of our dogs had seizures when I was a kid. (The result of a neighbor feeding her rat poison we think.) The only thing I remember is having to rub corn syrup on her gums afterwards to get her some glucose. I don't think it would be the same for a cat though. I hope she gets better.


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 Post subject: Re: My kitty just had a seizure
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:57 pm 
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My partner adopted a one-year-old cat several years ago and wasn't aware that the cat was actually epileptic until the cat had a seizure one day and needed to be rushed to emergency care. After doing a bunch of tests, kitty was diagnosed with epilepsy and put on phenobarbital. The phenobarbital made him really sluggish and uncoordinated, though, which the vet warned were side effects of the drug.

We kept kitty on the phenobarbital for a month or so, but the side effects weren't going away (kitty would walk off the couch, not realizing that the couch had ended and he was going to fall off, would try jumping onto a chair, completely miss it and hit himself) and it was just really hard watching him stumble around all the time. So we decided to take him off the drugs and just keep a close eye on him (which was pretty easy since my partner wasn't working at the time.)

Then kitty had a few pretty bad seizures in a row (his body would get really tense and he would usually throw up, then try to crawl underneath the sofa or the bed to be by himself), so we put him back on the phenobarbital. He hasn't has a really bad seizure since, but he has to be medicated for the rest of his life.

We've also taken kitty to a veterinary neurologist because he had been losing a LOT of weight and our regular vet couldn't figure out what was wrong and recommended that we get him checked out by a specialist to make sure that it wasn't something neurological. (It just turned out that he became super picky and refused to eat the food that our other cat liked.)

I hope your kitty feels better soon!

SuzyHB wrote:
I have heard that alot of cats with this type of illness are extremely affectionate and loving. I don't know if its because they need more care that they are generally "needier" emotionally too, or their guardians just think they are sweeter because they (the guardians) are biased.


My epileptic cat was the most affectionate cat I've ever met. He LOVED being picked up and carried around the house and got along with just about everyone.

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 Post subject: Re: My kitty just had a seizure
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:48 pm 
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SuzyHB wrote:
I have heard that alot of cats with this type of illness are extremely affectionate and loving. I don't know if its because they need more care that they are generally "needier" emotionally too, or their guardians just think they are sweeter because they (the guardians) are biased.

My dog Apple who has epilepsy (very mild, doesn't need drugs for it) she is indeed one of the most affectionate dogs I have ever known. And I don't think I'm being biased as a guardian because I'm even comparing her to my other dog who does not have epilepsy whom I love just as much. :) I have always thought her personality and the epilepsy do have something to do with one another.

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 Post subject: Re: My kitty just had a seizure
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:20 pm 
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Mars wrote:
SuzyHB wrote:
I have heard that alot of cats with this type of illness are extremely affectionate and loving. I don't know if its because they need more care that they are generally "needier" emotionally too, or their guardians just think they are sweeter because they (the guardians) are biased.

My dog Apple who has epilepsy (very mild, doesn't need drugs for it) she is indeed one of the most affectionate dogs I have ever known. And I don't think I'm being biased as a guardian because I'm even comparing her to my other dog who does not have epilepsy whom I love just as much. :) I have always thought her personality and the epilepsy do have something to do with one another.



That was my experience with Weebles too during the brief time I was looking after her.

But I had thought that given my tendency for usually being drawn to the difficult, challenging, pain-in-the-ass types (both in cats and in men) that I just wasn't used to a cat who was actually a snuggler.

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 Post subject: Re: My kitty just had a seizure
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:53 pm 
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We appreciate the well wishes and thanks to everyone who shared any experience with this kind of thing. I learned a few things.

Since my last post, she has had three more seizures. One happened in the afternoon, and after that, I immediately called my vet and they had me bring her in. While we were waiting in the visiting room, she started to have another one, so I got one of the techs attention and they took her and gave her some anti-seizure meds and then a bunch of valium. They took blood to check her pheno levels and some other things. They sent me home with two syringes of valium in case she has another episode. They're going to call me back tomorrow with the results and further instructions I guess. I don't know why all of a sudden this is happening. She had no problems for a month, and now like 4 seizures in less than twenty four hours. Sucks. Well at least right now she resting peacefully. One thing I've noticed is all the seizures have come while she is sleeping. Not sure if that makes a difference or not.

p.s. I tried to post a pic and for the life of me I can't get it to work. I've posted them before, so I don't know what the problem is. I'll try again later.


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 Post subject: Re: My kitty just had a seizure
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:30 pm 
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My cat had about three seizures in a row (he had been sleeping too, and woke up having a seizure, then proceeded to have two more after that), and the vet also told us to bring him in right away. That's when they put him back on the phenobarbital.

From what I can remember, the vet said that the phenobarbital dosage was kind of a guessing game (for some cats, a small dose is fine, but for others, you need to ramp it up quite a bit) to find how much to give the cat to be able to manage the seizures.

Good luck, and best wishes to your kitty.

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 Post subject: Re: My kitty just had a seizure
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:18 am 
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I don't have any experience with this, but I just wanted to give best wishes to your little kitty.


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 Post subject: Re: My kitty just had a seizure
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:31 pm 
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Poor baby. I hope she feels better soon.

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 Post subject: Re: My kitty just had a seizure
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:58 am 
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My last kitty had a few seizures. For about a year before he had his first seizure, he would be incredibly sensitive to certain sounds. He would twitch at these sounds, and eventually, he would almost freeze up if he heard one. As I began to recognize what sounds were bothering him, we were very careful and tried to prevent him from experiencing this.
Last year, I walked around the corner in my house and when he saw me, he just went into a full on seizure. He looked like one of those wind up toys that vibrates. I've never seen anything like that before and is scared the bejesus out of me. The vet wasn't so sure it was epilepsy, so we didn't go with the meds. He had about 3 seizures after that. He was still sensitive to certain sounds so we continued to be very careful around him. It helped that we moved into a place with mostly carpet so it dampened noises. Before that, our house had all hardwood and ceramic floors so sound travelled. Last summer, we discovered he had a cancerous growth on his front shoulder, and I wondered it these events were connected in any way.


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 Post subject: Re: My kitty just had a seizure
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:58 pm 
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Well, the vet called and said her pheno levels should be between 15 and 45 and hers were at 5. So, we're going to double the dosage and see how that goes. I'm going to ask if I can get it in pill form though. I have a hell of a time getting her current dose down her throat, let alone double.

Thanks again for the good thoughts.


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 Post subject: Re: My kitty just had a seizure
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:07 pm 
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von m wrote:
He was still sensitive to certain sounds so we continued to be very careful around him.

This reminds me, definitely always be very quiet when your animal has a seizure. Apparently loud noises (Stereo to high/barking dog/dropping something...) can make the seizure last longer and might make it more likely they will have another sometime soon after. I read that speaking really quiet, calm and lovingly to your animal, even though they are most likely unconscious, it apparently is really helpful for them.

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 Post subject: Re: My kitty just had a seizure
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:24 pm 
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If its just a matter of adjusting her phenobarbital and everything else comes back ok- I would think that that's probably solvable.

But I think its good that they are running alot of tests- you want as close to a definitive diagnosis as you can and then you can move forward from there.

Still sending out good thoughts (and waiting for those pics gosh darn it :) )

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 Post subject: Re: My kitty just had a seizure
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:59 pm 
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I deal with this all of the time with my dog. He has epilepsy. We have it pretty much under control now but he still has seizures every once in a while. You really have to watch them during and after the seizure to make sure that they don't hurt themselves. When my dog has seizures he has seizure clusters so right after his first one we have to give him Valium.

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