Cat with CRF and convulsions

lascatxSeptember 4, 2011

Of course this would happen at the beginning of a holiday weekend, but my 19 year old cat was diagnosed with CRF two years ago. She got thinner and seemed generally worse for a while this summer, but she's been doing well lately. Then tonight, just before DH and I were about to eat dinner, she was in the other room and we heard some things banging and crashing. By the time we got there, she'd fallen off the table and was thrashing on the floor. We held her, comforted and petted her until it was over and she was oriented again. She seems fine now.

I've been doing some searching and, as I suspected, this appears to be an end stage symptom, but none of the discussions of experiences with CRF mention dealing with convulsions. I'm wondering if anyone has experience with this. Any guesses as to whether we'll make it through the weekend to see her regular vet without another episode? The thought of this happening when we aren't here worries me, and I'm wondering how near end of an end symptom this is. We don't want her to suffer.

I'm going to go check on her again. I'd appreciate any insights or experiences, if there are any on this holiday weekend. Thanks

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This happened with my CRF cat - same age and after a couple years with CRF. He actually had several seizures that I knew of. Maybe he had more when I wasn't around. He carried on for months after the first incident and went quite awhile between the episodes I was around for. The last time he had one I thought that was the end - that he was dying. But he came out of it and lived a while longer after that.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 1:07AM
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Thank you for your reply. I saw yours among earlier posts, but didn't notice anything about seizures. Did you do anything differently once he started having seizures? Do you mind answering whether he went naturally?

I really don't want Angel to suffer. She's been a most amazing and incredibly sweet cat. Coming out of the seizure tonight, we weren't sure how well she was breathing (she was making almost hissing sounds) and it was pretty scary.

At least right now, she seems as good as before the seizure -- just resting quietly. I know someone else who lost their cat just weeks after the CRF diagnosis, so I guess the only thing for sure is that you can't be sure what will happen.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 1:31AM
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No, I didn't do anything different after the seizures. It wasn't like it was a frequent thing and like you I investigated on my own and determined this was just something that could happen as the disease progressed. As long as he still seemed to be enjoying life I just carried on. Unfortunately Ernie didn't go naturally which of course I was hoping would happen. He'd gotten to be quite thin and frail and when he had the seizure that I thought was the end I was holding him and thinking - well if this is it this will be a good thing - he's home, I'm holding him, I'll be okay with this. But that was not meant to be.

One day I came home and found him on my bed just a couple feet from where I left him in the morning. He was all wet. Turns out he had peed on the bed in the spot he'd been laying when I left in the morning and of course all over himself. He looked so forlorn and sad and frail and weak and I felt so bad for him. I just knew at that moment that he would not want to go on living in such an undignified manner. So he went out peacefully and with dignity.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 11:11AM
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Seizures use a lot of energy;
You might give your kitty Pedialite or a little Karo syrup in warm water.

I wish both of you the best.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 3:03PM
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Gibby, I know exactly what you mean by holding them and being ready for whatever happens. I watched my other cat gasp for breath and die in May, and I didn't want to be watching a repeat, but I also didn't want her to suffer or have repeats. Her face and chest were wet last night -- I'm not sure of the source, but I wiped her clean the best I could. Also something I don't want her to have to deal with repeatedly.

I suspect her vision and hearing may both be lessened this morning. Other than that, she is quiet, which I expected, but seems good.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 3:46PM
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I don't know if the causes are the same, but my CRF kitty has some seizure-like activity a few months back, she's rallied back from that point. She didn't convulse as much as she would stiffen and fall over- it is very disconcerting when this happens.

At about this same point in time, our vet became concerned about her having signs of high blood pressure, and I suspect that might have been the trigger for her events. Along with everything else, we've been working on controlling her blood pressure. She is hyperthyroid as well and I am drawing a blank as to if the HBP is strictly related to hyperthyroid, or if it is also inter related to the CRF.

You've kind of already said what I have come to learn- you can't predict anything with this disease. That's also assuming that the cause of her seizure is related to the CRF. My old dog had vestibular disease, which is an inner ear problem, she would have vertigo events that some people mistake for seizures, and I initially mistook for a stroke.

Hope your kitty is okay for now.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 3:54PM
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Our cat is on blood pressure medication which we have compounded into a gel we can rub on the inside of her ear. I think that is a CRF issue and I'll ask the vet about that. Of course, taking a cat's blood pressure gets such cooperation from the patient that you can be assured of getting a high blood pressure reading. ;-)

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 6:38PM
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Well, darn it! She had another episode -- and may have had one in between. She had some stuff stuck in her fur before this episode and I don't know if that means I just didn't clean her up completely yesterday or if something happened again. This doesn't seem to bode well.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 9:30PM
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Oh I'm so sorry to hear that your kitty is having more problems. It's so hard to see them go through this.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 12:51AM
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Had another one in the middle of the night and it sounded like she fell down the stairs. She doesn't usually go upstairs these days, but her behavior is a little different. It's looking like the decision is probably being made for us -- just wondering if the timing will allow us to get to her regular vet. We'll see what happens during the day.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 6:14AM
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Didn't realize that I hadn't posted an update. We took her in Tuesday morning. I was sure we'd be putting her down, but int he couple of hours before we took her in, she started perking up. None of us saw her as ready to go, so they did a blood pressure check and a blood panel. Her blood panel was all improved -- I think the vet said even over the diagnosis 2 years ago. Doesn't make sense tome, but I'll take it. Her BP was up, so we have increased her BP medication. Her BP is down but the seizures are still running 2 a day. We hope to see them drop off in the next few days. If that isn't it, we will have another set of decisions to make next week.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 11:33PM
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Didn't make it to next week. The seizures got even more frequent and we started noticing other things. If it wasn't BP and her blood work was good, both vets suggested a brain tumor as a top possibility. She had a heart murmur and in the end I think her heart may have been weakened too. In some ways it was harder to say goodbye after hoping a change in medication would avoid that, but at least we tried. That was only three days ago. What a short long time. Goodnight Angel.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 1:14AM
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I've been wondering what happened after Labor Day weekend. So sorry to hear the sad news.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 10:52AM
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Thanks gibby -- been thinking of you too. ((( )))

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 1:24PM
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