5 Year old Orange Tabby Sudden Seizures (2-3 Per Day)

rblenNovember 30, 2013

Hello, I am new to the forums and I appreciate any advice you may have for me in advance.

I'll tell you about my current situation with my dear friend kitty. He is turning 5 in a month or so now, and out of the blue he has started to have cluster seizures(roughly 2 per day). He has had a relatively normal life. He is an indoor cat, and loves to laze around the house mostly.

It all started last week when I saw that he had a twitch in his face and I though maybe it could of been a dental problem, so I searched his gums but found little. The next day he started to have another one and by this time it was occurring about twice a day. I thought I would take him in for a check up with the vet and try and determine what was going on with him. I waited until the next morning, and this seizure was alot different. He began running in a circular motion, face twitching and salivating heavily from the mouth. Each one of these last from anywhere from 15-30 seconds. Once he 'comes too' he looks around and meow's a bit and then goes straight for his food dish. After 10-15 minutes or so he is back to his regular self.

Now a little bit leading up to the seizures. My cat has always been quite a scardy cat.. He is easily spooked, and has always been kind of a lone ranger in a way.. does his own thing, comes around when he feels like it. The day before the seizures started I asked myself what had changed in the past that may have triggered these seizures and I have only come up two possibilities. I bought him some kat nip, which he never has had before. I sprinkled a pinch or so down and he rolled around and loved it. I later put some on a toy of his and left him to play. I am not sure if somehow he managed to hit his head somewhere inbetween that time, or that the nip somehow triggered some sort of epileptic break?

Here is what I have done so far. I have taken him to my vet, and he checked his temperature and made sure he didn't have any sort of fever. He looked at his pupils, and looked around a little more. He told me that to better predict what could be causing the seizures that we would likely want to do a full blood sample and tests for any irregularities.

I haven't had the blood test completed yet just because I haven't quite got the money, especially if it is going to come back normal and will result in having to do more tests and prescriptions. My Dr said that he recommended we try putting him on valium so that we can break the seizures because he has been having 2-3 / day. I started him on a dose of valium Thursday, and he is getting 2.5mg every 6 hours. This dose has pretty much sedated and he just lays there. Last night he got up around midnight and walked around and meowed for about 5 minutes. He then went back to lay down and turned and had a little bit of a seizure where his face twitched and he started salivating quite a bit. The thrashing wasn't as bad but I expect that was because he was pretty loopy and couldn't really move his body all that well anyhow.

I guess my question is, I have no idea what to do next. My Dr said we can try and put him on phenobarb, and see how he reacts to it, and see if that helps with the seizures. All I know is that having him doped up on valium all day to stop the seizures is pointless because hes like a cat with no soul, he just lays there helplessly and that is know way for him to live. He is so young at age 5, and I am shocked that this has even happened. I hope anyone out there could give me some advice on what I should do next? Should I start the phenobarb and see how that works? Or should I schedule him to get his blood work done up?

Also, I have recently changed his diet since the seizures because I read that sometimes diet can effect them also. I he was on Whiskas's for most of his life, but have recently changed to a grain-free high fat content dry food.

I appreciate any help or advice. Thanks

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Why not try the phenobarbital?

If you are considering having the blood work done, find out in advance how much it will be. If you want to go ahead, ask if they would accept payments from you if you cannot handle the expense all at once.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2013 at 9:45PM
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Thats kind of the feeling I am getting from my vet as well, I am just worried that if the phenobarb does begin to work, is that to say that he than for sure is epileptic? or would the phenobarb mask the real underlining issue that may be solvable with cheaper/less harmful medication?

I am worried that once I begin phenobarb, that it is a drug that usually needs to me given for the rest of his life. I just want to make sure I am making the right decision before I decide.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 12:33AM
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Personally, I would seek out a cat-only vet or Cat Clinic. If you choose to stay with your vet then I would at least have a blood panel done to rule out any obvious underlying problems. But keep this quote in mind, which was taken from the article below: "You should be aware that few vets (referring to dog/cat vets) have any experience with seizures in cats. They are rare, compared with seizures in dogs".

I think the info linked below may be of help in your decisions.....be sure to read the paragraph titled Decide What Your Limits Are.

Hopefully laurief pops in and is able to give some advice.

Here is a link that might be useful: Seizures in cats

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 12:37PM
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Phenobarb does not seem to be any less safe or problematic in cats than it is in dogs, though some cats are notoriously harder to pill and may need their phenobarb compounded. It is a far superior drug for seizure control than is valium, but he may seem doped up at first with phenobarb, too... but it will only be temporary! Starting a pet on phenobarb does not mean they have to be on it their whole lives, but more often than not, seizures come back if you stop seizure meds in epileptic pets.

But before you get to that point, blood work is pretty important, particularly an Felv test. Seizures are less common in cats than they are in dogs, and sometimes are NOT epileptic in nature... leukemia virus, FIP and some other brain infections can lead to seizures as well. Testing for Felv is usually straight forward (though rare cats will still be positive for Felv but test negative every time... makes diagnosis very difficult unless you get a bone marrow sample, though I am not suggesting you go that far at this time... pretty expensive!). FIP testing, on the other hand, is not straight forward... and so hard to interpret that most just hope that is not what is going on... not treatable anyway. Brain tumors can only be picked up on MRIs and cat scans, but are not common in 5 year old cats. Toxoplasmosis and a few other much rarer parasitic infections can lead to seizures, so that might be a test your vet will recommend (have yet in 27 years seen one, though). And rarely liver disease can lead to seizures, but most cats 5 years old would be ill and showing other symptoms... Good luck with treatment! Get off the valium though... not a good way to control seizures, as you have already discovered.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 7:00PM
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My cat was having seizures and thankfully it was a quick fix. She had high blood pressure! A vet tech suggested that the vet check her blood pressure and sure enough that was it. She gets a liquid dose of med every day and has not had a seizure since so please ask your vet to check that.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 6:57PM
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Please work out a payment schedule with your vet and have further testing done, including the blood pressure that chloekitty had done. I hope this is a simple fix and your kitty does well.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 1:06PM
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