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Thread: Feline Epilepsy?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Geraldton, Western Australia
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    Feline Epilepsy?

    Hello everyone

    So here is our little Pip's story.
    In August 2012, Pip was sitting on a chair, when suddenly he jumped down and started running circles around the table. Then he ran of into the bedroom, I followed him, before I could reach the bedroom I heard a huge cry, I ran into the bedroom, and there he was, our little boy convulsing on the floor uncontrollably. During the seizure he had urinated himself and also hurt his gum, so there was a little bit of blood. This lasted about 45 seconds. Then he came around. By this time we already had the vet on the phone, and we were getting ready to take him into the vets.

    Apart from slightly high temperature everything was fine with him by the time we got there, but the vet decided to keep him for observations. We also decided to do blood tests to see if they could find anything.

    Next morning, results were in and nothing showed up, he was a perfect little healthy boy. So he was sent home.

    About 6 weeks later, it happened again, he didn't run as much but still dashed, and this time I noticed his head was very close to the ground and he didn't look right. He fell next to my legs and had a 35second long seizure. Straight after that he was taken to the vets. They did another round of blood test, and also sent of for a toxicology report. Everything again came back clean. They gave him some antibiotics and sent him home.

    About a month after that it happened again, this time he did not run or anything, and the seizure was a lot less violent. We again took him to the vets but the vet did not see any reason for running any more tests. And sent him home straight away.

    About another month goes by, and he has another non-violent seizure. We rang the vets again, and they said not to bring him in and just keep an eye out.

    They have given us a referral to go to a Internal Medicine department in Perth. The only thing all of the test they want to run is going to cost us around $3000, and that is not sort of money we have laying around. We love our little boy and trying to get some advice, we don't know anyone else who has experienced feline epilepsy.

    He has not had a seizure now in almost 2 months (knock on wood).
    I guess what I am after is any advice, any experience with this? Putting him down is not an option, and vets say his seizures are not often enough to medicate.

    Please if anyone has anything to add or say, I would greatly appreciate it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Rhode Island; USA
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    I am sorry you and Pip are having this experience; it must be quite scary for you to see this happen.

    Be cautious about saying Pip has feline epilepsy. From what you wrote, at this time you do not have a diagnosis. You have witnessed seizures, but have yet to learn the cause.

    I did not see, how old is Pip?

    Other than this, I have no personal experience, to help guide you. I did some quick search online using Google, and it does seem and MRI or CAT scan is the next step. However I also read that often even this does not provide a clear diagnosis. Since the seizures are so far apart, I think I would do as you are doing, search for more info before spending the money on those tests.

    I hope someone else will have some ideas to help you.
    I've been BOO'd!!
    Thank you Karen, for fixing my siggy!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Geraldton, Western Australia
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    Thank you for replying.

    Pip is 1 year and 2 months old. Reason why I'm saying feline epilepsy, is because that is what our vet has told us it most likely is. There are no symptoms with epilepsy, and he has no symptoms, we're just worried that we will go through these expensive tests, not to mention the 500km drive down to Perth, and if nothing comes up on the results they will just tell us that its epilepsy.

    It is very scary, and I worry about it everyday. I'm still looking for other people, I post on quite few forums and websites, but yet to find an answer. Or experienced person, its not very common apparently in cats :/

    But thank you for replying. I hope someone can shine some light on this for me.

  4. #4
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    I will be recording a radio show on January 11th with a couple well-known vets, I can ask them about your case, if you want, and will let you know what they say/ I know Epilepsy can be tricky to diagnose.
    I've Been Frosted

  5. #5
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    That would be fantastic Karen. Anything would really help, and thank you so much
    Today you are you,
    That is truer than true.
    There is no one alive,
    Who is youer than you.

    - Dr Seuss, author of The Cat In The Hat

  6. #6
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    I will do it!
    I've Been Frosted

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Thank you so much Karen. I really do appreciate it
    Today you are you,
    That is truer than true.
    There is no one alive,
    Who is youer than you.

    - Dr Seuss, author of The Cat In The Hat

  8. #8
    Hi Irina

    I do have a fair amount of feline epilepsy experience and my cat started similar seizing to yours at two and a half This has now gone on for two years but because they are more than six weeks apart my vet, (and most vets do I think), consider that is controlled and no need for meds. The usual med is pheno and although the vet will probably warn of side effects, once the dose is right the cat will lead a normal life but sometimes a little subdued and you can always get the odd break thru seizures.
    There are two types of seizure - the grand mal which is what you describe and which my cat has also. The other type is is the petit mal which is more subtle and involves twitching, being spaced out etc. as I have never experienced that I cannot write more about it.

    Sometimes the fits are caused by something new in the house like new furniture, carpets etc, which have toxic materials in them, or sometimes flea treatment can trigger them, or maybe a fall. BUT a lot of epilepsy is idiopathic - no known cause. I would keep a diary of your cats seizures and see if any pattern emerges.

    There are homeopathic things you can try if your cat is not on meds - I use valerian drops - liquid valerian in non alcholic glycerine - a few drops twice a day on her food has extended her seizure free period by several weeks and we only started it this summer.


    There is so much I could write but I would advise you to join a specialist Yahoo Group where we live, breath and eat seizures and you will get a lot more help.

    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/epi-felines/

    Everyone is very friendly there.

    Many of us have not gone down the expensive test route - usually a MRI scan and usually if the seizures are controlled by pheno they are happy with that.

    We have found a lot of vets are inexperienced with feline epilepsy and I really do feel our little group has more knowledge and I really encourage you to join us - of if you don;t want to then just ask me some questions. One of our most knowledgeable members is also in Australia.

    I know these things can be very scary when they happen but you do learn to cope.

    best wishes Rob (in UK)



    Quote Originally Posted by Irina.B View Post
    Hello everyone

    So here is our little Pip's story.
    In August 2012, Pip was sitting on a chair, when suddenly he jumped down and started running circles around the table. Then he ran of into the bedroom, I followed him, before I could reach the bedroom I heard a huge cry, I ran into the bedroom, and there he was, our little boy convulsing on the floor uncontrollably. During the seizure he had urinated himself and also hurt his gum, so there was a little bit of blood. This lasted about 45 seconds. Then he came around. By this time we already had the vet on the phone, and we were getting ready to take him into the vets.

    Apart from slightly high temperature everything was fine with him by the time we got there, but the vet decided to keep him for observations. We also decided to do blood tests to see if they could find anything.

    Next morning, results were in and nothing showed up, he was a perfect little healthy boy. So he was sent home.

    About 6 weeks later, it happened again, he didn't run as much but still dashed, and this time I noticed his head was very close to the ground and he didn't look right. He fell next to my legs and had a 35second long seizure. Straight after that he was taken to the vets. They did another round of blood test, and also sent of for a toxicology report. Everything again came back clean. They gave him some antibiotics and sent him home.

    About a month after that it happened again, this time he did not run or anything, and the seizure was a lot less violent. We again took him to the vets but the vet did not see any reason for running any more tests. And sent him home straight away.

    About another month goes by, and he has another non-violent seizure. We rang the vets again, and they said not to bring him in and just keep an eye out.

    They have given us a referral to go to a Internal Medicine department in Perth. The only thing all of the test they want to run is going to cost us around $3000, and that is not sort of money we have laying around. We love our little boy and trying to get some advice, we don't know anyone else who has experienced feline epilepsy.

    He has not had a seizure now in almost 2 months (knock on wood).
    I guess what I am after is any advice, any experience with this? Putting him down is not an option, and vets say his seizures are not often enough to medicate.

    Please if anyone has anything to add or say, I would greatly appreciate it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Geraldton, Western Australia
    Posts
    13
    Thank you very much for posting.

    I'm going to definitely check that group out, it would be great to talk to people who are in the same situation.

    Our little man had another seizure today We don't know exactly when it happened, but he did not run around today or anything, he must have been laying in his comfy place when it happened. Poor little thing. He is okay now though, very tired.

    Again, thank you for replying, going to go and visit the group now.


    Quote Originally Posted by silvertabbies View Post
    Hi Irina

    I do have a fair amount of feline epilepsy experience and my cat started similar seizing to yours at two and a half This has now gone on for two years but because they are more than six weeks apart my vet, (and most vets do I think), consider that is controlled and no need for meds. The usual med is pheno and although the vet will probably warn of side effects, once the dose is right the cat will lead a normal life but sometimes a little subdued and you can always get the odd break thru seizures.
    There are two types of seizure - the grand mal which is what you describe and which my cat has also. The other type is is the petit mal which is more subtle and involves twitching, being spaced out etc. as I have never experienced that I cannot write more about it.

    Sometimes the fits are caused by something new in the house like new furniture, carpets etc, which have toxic materials in them, or sometimes flea treatment can trigger them, or maybe a fall. BUT a lot of epilepsy is idiopathic - no known cause. I would keep a diary of your cats seizures and see if any pattern emerges.

    There are homeopathic things you can try if your cat is not on meds - I use valerian drops - liquid valerian in non alcholic glycerine - a few drops twice a day on her food has extended her seizure free period by several weeks and we only started it this summer.


    There is so much I could write but I would advise you to join a specialist Yahoo Group where we live, breath and eat seizures and you will get a lot more help.

    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/epi-felines/

    Everyone is very friendly there.

    Many of us have not gone down the expensive test route - usually a MRI scan and usually if the seizures are controlled by pheno they are happy with that.

    We have found a lot of vets are inexperienced with feline epilepsy and I really do feel our little group has more knowledge and I really encourage you to join us - of if you don;t want to then just ask me some questions. One of our most knowledgeable members is also in Australia.

    I know these things can be very scary when they happen but you do learn to cope.

    best wishes Rob (in UK)
    Today you are you,
    That is truer than true.
    There is no one alive,
    Who is youer than you.

    - Dr Seuss, author of The Cat In The Hat

  10. #10
    Ok fine - any problems getting to our Yahoo group let me know.


    Quite a lot of cats seize when they are asleep, mine always has her seizures in the early hours of the morning when in very deep sleep - I assume the brain is more relaxed and let's the seizure happen.

    If ever you are not sure your cat has had a seizure - maybe when you were out - you can usually tell as they have drool/saliva down their fur, sometimes there is urine as they have wet theirself, also increased hunger as the seizure takes a lot out of them they crave food. Also eyes dilated for a few hours and increased affection.

    regards
    Rob

    Quote Originally Posted by Irina.B View Post
    Thank you very much for posting.

    I'm going to definitely check that group out, it would be great to talk to people who are in the same situation.

    Our little man had another seizure today We don't know exactly when it happened, but he did not run around today or anything, he must have been laying in his comfy place when it happened. Poor little thing. He is okay now though, very tired.

    Again, thank you for replying, going to go and visit the group now.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Geraldton, Western Australia
    Posts
    13
    Thank you.
    Yes, his fur was wet around his mouth and his main. He was set around his tails and legs.
    He did also eat a lot and he slept a lot too.
    Its just scary when it happens, and I worry so much


    Quote Originally Posted by silvertabbies View Post
    Ok fine - any problems getting to our Yahoo group let me know.


    Quite a lot of cats seize when they are asleep, mine always has her seizures in the early hours of the morning when in very deep sleep - I assume the brain is more relaxed and let's the seizure happen.

    If ever you are not sure your cat has had a seizure - maybe when you were out - you can usually tell as they have drool/saliva down their fur, sometimes there is urine as they have wet theirself, also increased hunger as the seizure takes a lot out of them they crave food. Also eyes dilated for a few hours and increased affection.

    regards
    Rob
    Today you are you,
    That is truer than true.
    There is no one alive,
    Who is youer than you.

    - Dr Seuss, author of The Cat In The Hat

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    278
    I had some experience with feline epilepsy many years ago. My Cassandra suddenly had one, and off to the vet we went. There was no known cause for it, so he put her on phenobarbitol. It was so long ago that I cannot remember how long she stayed on it, but I do know we eventually took her off it, and she never had another seizure. She lived to be almost 18.

    Althea had one several weeks ago - not a lot of thrashing, but she wobbled when she tried to walk, and then fell over onto her side. To say I was frightened doesn't even begin to describe what I felt! By the time I had the hospital on the phone (she had just been seen by her doctor about an hour previously), she was fine. When I spoke with him and we discussed what had happened (she'd had some diarrhea, and I'd had to wash her tail end), the doctor said that it was, indeed, a "mild" seizure most likey brought on by the stress of my washing her. She had fought me really, really hard. Since Pip has seized more than once, stress is probably not the cause, but it is something to keep in mind.

    Best of luck to you and Pip!



    Lady-in-Waiting to HRH The PrinCESS Althea

  13. #13

    Previous cat had seizures

    Hi, and sorry to hear about your family having this happen, but very glad to hear you are holding up and that Pip is not having the seizures very frequently.

    My cat had seizures for most of it's life, but they weren't very frequent. One thing that I found helpful was to develop a loving routing when he had them, and for some reason, he really liked a cat milk called Cat-Sip, so when he was coming out of his seizure, and I was saying gentle things to him when he was having them, I would take time to just be with him, leaving him be, until he came back around, just being there, saying soothing things. When he got back to consciousness, I think he recognized it was a scary experience, which I tried to acknowledge in my communication with him. So I would smile, speak kindly, ask him questions, and then when he seemed ready, I would ask him if he wanted his Cat-Sip, and I would go get it and put it out. I would also get some towels, paper towels, damp something, to gently wipe him off where he had slobbered on himself or peed on himself, nothing major as far as cleaning, since he had just been through a lot. And then when he was all better, if he needed more cleaning, I would do that. I stayed with him while he had his Cat-Sip and for a bit after that, listening to him tell me about it, as he would be meowing and seeming a bit agitated. I also had other cats, and I made sure none of them came around, creating a safe zone and safe recovery time for my little guy. I think he really appreciated that, as it really seemed he felt vulnerable and afraid and a bit freaked out, and I don't think he liked peeing on himself, and I think he appreciated as much gentle cleaning as he wanted/appreciated/tolerated, not more. It ended up being a very loving time and routine.

    We one year took him to a holistic vet that gave him some homeopathic pills, and I don't remember him having a seizure after that, but I don't know if he just had some chemical change in his system or what. It could be the homeopathy triggered a change. I had also changed foods to a more natural food, in case some additives, food dyes, preservatives, whatever could've been contributing, and I think the vet also recommended some dietary changes, but I don't remember now. I do know the regular vet had mentioned some meds they could give, but he wasn't having them a lot. It could also help to keep a log, just to see what an animal has been eating/doing, just in case there could be some hidden pattern, listing any meds or flea treatments, baths, treats, etc., and I made a short form in my planner once where I just had checkmarks so I didn't have to write common things down a lot. The easier it is to do, the better, for me at least.

    I hope you and Pip are having many days without seizures, and I wish you my best.

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