Cat goes into convulsions when petted on certain areas of back

Pudner1

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Hi,

I am at a loss about what to do with this - it has been happening to my older bicolour for some time.

If he is petted on groomed in certain areas of his spine he has a reaction in that he uncontrollably starts to jerk and lick under his head; sometimes he will literally go into convulsions - like a seizure - he loses motor control and goes into a ball and his limbs and head jerk. It is always precipitated by touching an area of his back but not the same area. He is a very old cat and is arthritic; the arthritis started in his right back leg.

Before anyone says anything about a vet he is a feral cat and extremely nervous - I only managed to get him into the vet after years of trying one time when I with the help of someone else strong decanted him from his cat bed into a cat carrier - every since then no matter if I try and feed him in the cat carrier - he won't go near it and I tried for years with the cage. My only option is a cat grabber and I don't want to do that to him.

I have gotten anti inflammatories from the vet but they irritate his stomach and then he stops eating. Has anyone got any advice on what this condition is. He is nearing the end of his life but is still eating and able to enjoy the garden and the sun. I just want him to have a peaceful end I don't want his last moments to be terrified on a vets table.
 
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Pudner1

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Thanks for replying. Unfortunately there is no vet that will do a housecall where I am based. I am in Europe, Ireland.

I will look into cbd - I presume you mean CBD oil? He has a sensitive stomach so won't eat sardines - I would like to get him glucosamine with condroitin that is suitable for cats - I have not seen anything like that in any of the pet stores I use but will definitely check them out. I did use one made for humans (in others words I halved the tablet a few years ago) but it did not seem to make much of a difference.

I like to groom him twice a week as he is unable now to groom himself really and if I don't do it he gets matts.in his fur. It is hard to know in advance where he is going to have a reaction as it could be anywhere along his spine. He doesn't seem to be in pain when I do this - it's like i have touched on a nerve on his back and that starts an involuntary muscle reaction elsewhere in his body.

In my photo he is the cat on the right. He is well over 10 years old according to the vet on the one occasion I got him in there.

Thanks for the advice - I will check these things out.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. My cat, Feeby (17+ yo) does a twitching thing when petted a certain way - although nothing like a full-on convulsion. I've always assumed she has a mild form of hyperesthesia, and because the twitching isn't all that bad, I have not considered treating her with anything for it. She also has a bigger reaction when she is experiencing an outbreak of fleas - so, another thing to consider.

What about taking a video and sharing with your vet, just to see what they think? You are welcome to share it here as well. Just upload the video to a platform like YouTube, Vimeo, etc. and then download that link in our site under "media".

As far as some sort of arthritic supplement, you have to give it consistently for at least 4 weeks or so to notice any type of benefit. And, it really needs to be given thereafter permanently to help long term. You might try Cosequin or Dasuquin which you can sprinkle the powder from the capsules onto his food if he eats any wet food. If dry food only, then try mixing the powder with tuna 'juice' (water from canned tuna) or low sodium bone broth, or even a lickable treat.

Another member on this site gave me some links (see below) regarding CBD oil - which can also help with hyperesthesia, as well as arthritis pain - that she has been using with at least one of her cats for years now - a good way to get some education and consider who to trust to buy CBD oil from.
Cannabis 101: CBD for Cats | Boulder Holistic Vet
CBD Pet Tincture with Hemp Oil - Organic, Non-GMO, Food Grade Ingredients (4cornerscannabis.com)
 

Margret

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I used to have arthritis in my knees, but started on glucosamine and chondroitin. It worked beautifully to restore the cartilage in the joints, but it took years to do so. I presume it would be faster in small animals (smaller joints, less cartilage to restore), but I can't imagine that it would be instantaneous; that's not how glucosamine and chondroitin works.

When my husband's nephew and his family were staying with us about ten years ago they were giving glucosamine and chondroitin to their little fox terrier, who was rather elderly. I saw the bottle, and it definitely said that it was for dogs. I suggest that you either ask your local pet store to special order for you or search online for glucosamine and chondroitin that's specifically intended either for cats or for small pets (the dosage should be similar for a small dog as for a cat). You may be able to find a chewable that's specifically intended for cats; that would be ideal as it would be in a flavor that would make it easier to administer. I wouldn't try breaking a tablet intended for humans in half; the dosage would still be seriously off.

That's for the arthritis, though. I don't know what's causing the problems with seizures. I suppose that arthritis could be a factor there - a lack of cartilage making the spine more vulnerable - but I've never dealt with this. There are drugs that can help prevent seizures - Keppra (levetiracetam) springs to mind because that's the one I'm on - but I doubt that a vet would prescribe something like that without a proper diagnosis, and it can be difficult adjusting to some of these drugs. In my early days on Keppra I had really bad vertigo, to the point where I was using a quad cane to get around just so I'd have something I could hold on to that would tell me which direction "up" was.

Margret
 
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Pudner1

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I used to have arthritis in my knees, but started on glucosamine and chondroitin. It worked beautifully to restore the cartilage in the joints, but it took years to do so. I presume it would be faster in small animals (smaller joints, less cartilage to restore), but I can't imagine that it would be instantaneous; that's not how glucosamine and chondroitin works.

When my husband's nephew and his family were staying with us about ten years ago they were giving glucosamine and chondroitin to their little fox terrier, who was rather elderly. I saw the bottle, and it definitely said that it was for dogs. I suggest that you either ask your local pet store to special order for you or search online for glucosamine and chondroitin that's specifically intended either for cats or for small pets (the dosage should be similar for a small dog as for a cat). You may be able to find a chewable that's specifically intended for cats; that would be ideal as it would be in a flavor that would make it easier to administer. I wouldn't try breaking a tablet intended for humans in half; the dosage would still be seriously off.

That's for the arthritis, though. I don't know what's causing the problems with seizures. I suppose that arthritis could be a factor there - a lack of cartilage making the spine more vulnerable - but I've never dealt with this. There are drugs that can help prevent seizures - Keppra (levetiracetam) springs to mind because that's the one I'm on - but I doubt that a vet would prescribe something like that without a proper diagnosis, and it can be difficult adjusting to some of these drugs. In my early days on Keppra I had really bad vertigo, to the point where I was using a quad cane to get around just so I'd have something I could hold on to that would tell me which direction "up" was.

Margret
Hi Margret

My heart goes out to you - I have vertigo since I got Covid - wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I totally get knowing confusion over what direction 'up' is. I am glad to hear it is a bit better since you acclimatised to Keppra. Another person in my family has epilepsy too - it can be tough. I have ordered a double pack of Cosequin off Amazon. This cat is super picky about what he will and won't eat - I hope he eats it.

Thank you for the tips -

Dibo Green Lipped Mussel Powder | Joints Supplements at zooplus!
 
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Pudner1

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Hi. My cat, Feeby (17+ yo) does a twitching thing when petted a certain way - although nothing like a full-on convulsion. I've always assumed she has a mild form of hyperesthesia, and because the twitching isn't all that bad, I have not considered treating her with anything for it. She also has a bigger reaction when she is experiencing an outbreak of fleas - so, another thing to consider.

What about taking a video and sharing with your vet, just to see what they think? You are welcome to share it here as well. Just upload the video to a platform like YouTube, Vimeo, etc. and then download that link in our site under "media".

As far as some sort of arthritic supplement, you have to give it consistently for at least 4 weeks or so to notice any type of benefit. And, it really needs to be given thereafter permanently to help long term. You might try Cosequin or Dasuquin which you can sprinkle the powder from the capsules onto his food if he eats any wet food. If dry food only, then try mixing the powder with tuna 'juice' (water from canned tuna) or low sodium bone broth, or even a lickable treat.

Another member on this site gave me some links (see below) regarding CBD oil - which can also help with hyperesthesia, as well as arthritis pain - that she has been using with at least one of her cats for years now - a good way to get some education and consider who to trust to buy CBD oil from.
Cannabis 101: CBD for Cats | Boulder Holistic Vet
CBD Pet Tincture with Hemp Oil - Organic, Non-GMO, Food Grade Ingredients (4cornerscannabis.com)
Hi FeebysOwner,

Thanks very much for your help - I used to be on Vimeo but haven't used it in years - I wouldn't put one on Youtube - too public. I will see about doing a video and putting it on Vimeo although in order to do that. I'll keep the phone with me when I am grooming him in case.. I have ordered some Cosequin and am hoping this will help so thanks for the info.

I had a look into hyperesthesia which I think could be a factor too as he does not seem to be in pain when this happens. He is just kind of dazed afterwards. I was giving the collagen for around 2 months and I crushed it every day in a pill splitter but didn't make any difference. I also crushed vitamin C and glucosamine tablets again for the same period. I will give this one a longer go but to be honest I don't think he has long left. Thanks again - anything that can help make his comfort better is appreciated

Pudner1 (that is his name minus the 1)
 
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