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Author Topic: Seizure?  (Read 2990 times)
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cats8398
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« on: June 16, 2014, 06:29:41 AM »

What is the difference between a stroke and a seizure symptom wise?  My cat (I've already talked to my vet) stretches out all his paws and seems incoherant for about 10 seconds and then rolls for 10-15 sec... then stops... lays there for 5-7 min... then gets up and eats/walks around.    He has been treated w/radiation for a nasal tumor which they "think" may not have worked.  She suggested an MRI which I can't do ($2,500) since I used everything on his radiation treatments, cat scan and cardiac consult.  She said seizures usually result in loss of urine (he doesn't) so shes confused.  He has very mild heart disease but she said it might be cardiac - stroke (he had a full cardiac workup w/ultrasound 1 month ago). Just did CBC and chem - all normal except for his ongoing kidney disease. 
 I'm at a loss.. I have next to no money left, may be losing my job.... and can't afford anything but regular vet visits.  My local vet wants to put him on phenobaritol (Sp?) and steriods (are steriods bad for the heart if he has heart issues?).  I'm so distraught that I put him through all this and it may not have worked and now I'm so broke and I can't follow up with the tests he needs.  Any input on seizure and stroke differences would be helpful.  He goes back to my reg vet to have his BP taken and heart listened to tommorow. 
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Meowli
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2014, 07:30:24 AM »

Poor baby, sending a prayer that the vet finds that kitty is ok or it is something easily treatable.  ((hugs))
« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 09:09:05 AM by Meowli » Logged
GKit
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2014, 10:45:05 AM »

I do not have any personal experience, but from reading it sounds like it can be hard to distinguish between the two. Hope one of the members with more knowledge will chime in. 

A brief description of seizures: http://www.vetinfo.com/causes-seizures-cats.html#b
Stroke: http://www.vetinfo.com/symptoms-cat-stroke.html#b
Covers both dogs and cats, about seizures, and info about phenobarbital  : http://www.marvistavet.com/html/seizure_disorder.html
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NedF
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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2014, 12:23:15 PM »

That sounds like a seizure not a stroke. There are different kinds of seizures and not all cause loss of urine/bowel control. My cat had a heart murmur but did fine on phenobarbital and prednisilone (steroid). Both medications helped with seizures and tumor growth. She had a brain tumor which actually spread to her nose. It could be that your cat's nose tumor has spread to the brain, causing the seizures. I hope that's not the case but if it is both the pheno and the pred should help your kitty be more comfortable.

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mikken
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2014, 12:31:54 PM »

It may be a focal seizure.  Cats can remain conscious and aware during the mild ones.  

If this seizure activity or whatever it is doesn't really upset the cat, I would leave it be.  It sounds fairly mild and pheno is a drug that you want to research carefully before you go for it (especially with renal failure!).  This link is for dogs, but it gives you an idea -http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/If_I_knew_then.htm.  You also have to factor in how often this activity is happening.  If it's not often, I would definitely leave it be.  If it is 20 times a day, or starts to happen more and more, then that warrants a different approach.

Sometimes though, less is more.  If your goal is to keep this cat comfortable and happy for as long as possible, then I'd straight up tell the vet that.  Work on palliating the renal failure and do what you can to make the cat happy.  
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catbird
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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2014, 01:05:43 PM »

I agree that this is most likely a seizure. And it is also true that not all seizures result in incontinence/loss of urine. After a stroke, even a "mini-stoke" or TIA, the cat would not ordinarily bounce back to baseline so quickly.

Seizures can have many causes. The "smoking gun" is of course the nasal tumor (which could as has been stated be related to a brain tumor), but there are other possible causes, too. One possible cause to consider is electrolyte imbalances due to kidney disease (a blood test will tell you that.) That could be managed fairly easily. Sometimes, even an allergic reaction can cause a seizure; that happened to my friend's cat.  There are many, many possibilities.

How many times per day is this occurring?

There are also medications other than phenobarb to treat feline seizures that could be considered.

Overall, I agree with mikken. If this is an older cat, and the seizures are infrequent and not upsetting to the cat, it may be best to focus on the renal insufficiency and not worry too much about the seizures.

There used to be a Yahoo group on the topic of feline epilepsy; if they are still around, you may find them helpful also.

ETA: The Yahoo group is still listed; here is a link to the page to join:

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/epi-felines/info
« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 01:55:26 PM by catbird » Logged

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NedF
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« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2014, 04:27:05 PM »

Is this the same cat you posted about in 2011 about the head shaking? If so, then that makes me think this seizure activity has been going on for quite some time. The same thing happened with my cat - head shaking & paw jerks that went on for years getting slowly worse until she had a grand mal seizure. That's when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She developed the nose tumor about a year later.
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"It seems that some creatures have the capacity to fill spaces you never knew were empty."  - Jean-Luc Picard
cats8398
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2014, 11:54:07 AM »

Is the Phenobarbital harmful?  The reason I wanted him on it is the seizure (?) is quick but he rolls like an aligator roll over and over so quickly that I'm afraid he'll hurt himself.  I've got the house as safe as I can get it but my fear is he will get on the bed, even though I have pillows on the floor and the bed as safe as I can get it but he will roll off and  hurt himself.  He had one episode last Tuesday and another on Saturday but thats when I've been there.... I've been working during the days. 

Ned.. this is the same cat, however, since 2011 he had zero signs of anything... not even a tiny twitch.
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GKit
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2014, 04:56:51 PM »

I believe phenobarbital is one of those medications that requires follow-up bloodwork for monitoring levels and to monitor any side effects on the liver, and it is also one of those medications that cannot be suddenly discontinued.    I would make sure to ask the vet what follow-up testing procedure they recommend, and in their experience, how often they need to correct up/down the dosage and what to expect, how long it will take to take effect, what happens if it doesn't work, etc.
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mikken
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« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2014, 05:49:19 PM »

Something I found on Tanya's site -

"Seizures
These may be a symptom of hypertension. Seizures may take a number of different forms. There may be the classic jerking and loss of consciousness, but being "spaced out" or mentally absent, may also be a type of seizure. Harpsie' s website has more information on what seizures may look like.
 
Seizures in CKD cats may also be caused by high potassium levels, calcium imbalances, high levels of toxins, or metabolic acidosis. The use of metoclopramide (Reglan) for stomach problems or Advantage for fleas may lower the seizure threshold. Other possible causes of seizures include epilepsy or a brain tumour, but the causes mentioned above are far more likely in a CKD cat and should therefore be considered first.
 
I am really surprised how many vets do not seem to realise that seizures may be caused by hypertension or other CKD-related causes. I have lost count of the number of cats I've heard about who have simply been put on phenobarbital, an epilepsy medication, rather than having their blood pressure measured. In every single one of these cases, once the cat was given appropriate blood pressure medication, it was possible to stop the phenobarbital (which should always be done gradually) and the seizures never returned."
 
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cats8398
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2014, 05:47:31 AM »

I had my guy at the vet last night for a BP and he went off the wall and they couldn't take it.  It would have been inaccurate anyway due to his incredible stress.  As soon as they touched his back foot to shave it ... it was all over.  He had his BP taken a month ago and it was normal, although it was done with a machine that you didn't need to shave.  I was shocked his bp was normal at that appt. as he is incredible high stress at the vet but nothing like yesterday. 
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mikken
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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2014, 10:50:57 AM »

We had an incident like that.

What we ended up doing is getting the shaving done one day, then coming back another day for the actual test.  Made sure we were in a quiet room (and didn't have the shouty vet - honestly, why would you be so LOUD in a little room with a stressed animal?), had plenty of time to chill, fed little snacks, brushed him, had him on a blanket from home, etc. 

I think a lot of vets just don't think to take the time some animals need for these sort of things...
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NedF
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« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2014, 07:06:42 PM »

If you do go with the pheno start with the smallest dose possible and then work up if necessary. It took about a month or two to get Thunder's dose right. Her initial dose was too high and she was very wobbly and dopey. We had to adjust the dose down and it took about 3 weeks for her to get used to it and was able to walk without falling over. I have to say she was never the same after starting the pheno. She was still a happy cat but no longer frisky.

Since your cat is having somewhat violent seizures (the rolling) I would probably give the pheno a try if ok'd by the vet.
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"It seems that some creatures have the capacity to fill spaces you never knew were empty."  - Jean-Luc Picard
cats8398
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« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2014, 05:25:05 AM »

 Lawrence is on 16.2 mg every 12 hours that I crush into a small amount of food and watch him to make sure he eats it all.  He's a 15lb cat.  Hes already kinda of zombie after only 2 doses. 
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Mandycat
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« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2014, 10:54:04 PM »

The dose could be a little high.  My veterinary medication book says to start at a low dose and increase on an as needed basis.  The dose recommendation for cats is 0.5 - 1.0 mg/lb twice a day.  If Lawrence is "like a zombie", I think I would talk to the vet about lowering the dose.
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