Convulsions are temporary disturbances of electrical activity in the brain that lead to a loss of control of all the cat’s skeletal muscles. A severe or lengthy convulsion does not necessarily indicate a serious underlying disease.
The aura, or pre-seizure period, may last from a few seconds to hours. Your cat may be staring, licking its lips, twitching, getting restless or nervous, salivating, hiding, wandering, or displaying more affection toward you – all are common pre-seizure behaviors.
The signs of a generalized seizure are an inability to stand, a loss of consciousness, a loss of bowel and/or urine control, and violent muscle spasms. The cat’s body may stiffen and twitch, frothy saliva may appear, and the eyes may jerk back and forth. After a seizure, the cat will be confused and appear blind and unresponsive, while at the same time salivating heavily and pacing back and forth.
Cat Convulsion Home Remedies
Try to hold the cat down gently with a blanket. If you can’t do so, clear the area of objects that may injure your pet. Stay calm watching a seizure can be a frightening experience, but most seizures are not life-threatening. Your pet may have a few seizures in a row. If there is a high fever greater than 106 °F an ice water bath will help lower the fever. Ice packs placed on the inner thighs and under the front legs are also helpful.
After the convulsion, calmly and quietly pet your cat and reassure it with your presence. Keep lights and noise to a minimum, because the brain is very sensitive. Seek veterinary aid as soon as you can.
Cat Convulsion Treatment
Intravenous injections of anticonvulsants and thiamine will be given if the seizures have not stopped. The veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination and will probably suggest hospitalization.
In veterinary medicine, a good history is very important for diagnosis – especially if your pet has had a seizure because several serious diseases could be indicated: feline infectious peritonitis, toxoplasmosis, lymph sarcoma (leukemia), thiamine deficiency, cardiomyopathy, and epilepsy (which has no known cause) can all bring on convulsions. Another cause of seizures in cats is low blood calcium, which can be seen in a pregnant or nursing mother cat. Many household chemicals, if ingested, will cause seizures. Finally, if your cat had a head injury followed by unconsciousness within the last two years, this could also be a factor.
Tests may be necessary to diagnose the cause of the seizures. Your veterinarian may recommend several of the following:
- Blood count (infection, lead poisoning)
- BUN and creatinine (kidney disease)
- Urinalysis (kidney, liver disease)
- Blood sugar test (low blood sugar, hypoglycemia)
- Blood calcium test
- Liver function blood tests (liver disease)
- HP, FLV, FTLV, and toxoplasmosis tests
Electrocardiograms, spinal taps, specialized X-rays, CAT scans, and electroencephalograms are required, they’re usually done at referral hospitals or universities. Medication can control convulsions but may be necessary to try various doses and dozen combinations of drugs, so you must be patient. No medication is needed if your cat has only one seizure and the cause is not determined. Occasionally, your veterinarian may not be able to regulate the animal. You should then be referred to veterinary neurologists.
- Keep toxins containing lead, organophosphates, chlorinated hydrocarbons, and strychnine away from your cat.
- Do not feed your cat raw fish. It contains thiaminase, an enzyme that breaks down thiamine (vitamin B,). Thiamine is needed for normal nervous system functioning.
- Keep antifreeze away from your cat. A few drops can cause seizures, kidney damage, and death.
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