My cat had a seizure last night

LindaE

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My cat, Ally, who is 9 years old, had a seizure about 2:30 this morning. I don't know if that's the first time she's ever had one (maybe she's had them before when no one was home) but I'm telling you, I was terrified. I heard her cry, as she spends many nights in my room. Then about 15-20 seconds later, I hear all this commotion going on, like banging around. At first I thought it was the cats fighting (I have 2 kitties) like they sometimes do. I sat up and turned on my bedside table and there's Ally, near the bedroom door, on the floor, thrashing all over the place. It was pretty violent.

My first thought at that point was she was choking on something because Ally is a chewer... she chews on pretty much everything and I assumed she got something caught in her throat. So here I was doing the heimlich maneuver on the poor thing, but that didn't do anything, she just kept convulsing. And then Ally collapsed. I thought she was dead. I was crying and calling her name and I was shaking so badly because I thought I just witnessed the end of my kitties life. But then I noticed she was still breathing. It was labored breathing at first, almost like she was struggling to get air. But I sat with her, stroking her and talking to her for a couple of minutes. Then she slowly started trying to sit up and I was petting her and telling her it's okay, over and over, until she sat up and looked around confused, like "What the heck just happened???"

I sat with her until she was fine again. She was reacting to me petting her and started purring. She was disoriented for a few minutes, but slowly started coming around. Then she eventually left my room and went about her way and now she seems fine, like nothing ever happened. Both of my cats are indoor-only and are up to date on shots, etc. There's nothing toxic, that I'm aware of, that she could have gotten hold of. The only flea/tick/heartworm prevention I use for them is from my vet; not over-the-counter stuff, which I've read can sometimes cause seizures. She's perfectly healthy otherwise and, to my knowledge, this is the first time it's ever happened.

However, now I'm concerned it will happen again. I'm taking her to my vet for a checkup this week, but until then I wanted to reach out to a kitty community to see if anyone else has gone through such a thing and, if so, what was the outcome? Did you find out a reason for the seizure(s)? I can't remember the last time I was that scared and freaked out. I had a dog years ago who would have occasional seizures, but Ally's seizure was pretty violent and I've never seen anything like that in my life :(
 

FeebysOwner

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Know that you are not alone. :grouphug:I have read many threads on this site about seizures with members' cats. Until some of them log on and read your post (and, they will, just keep checking back to see) here is a link to previous threads about them. In many/most cases, this is something that can be treated and controlled with medications. :vibes:

Search Results for Query: seizures
 
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LindaE

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Know that you are not alone. :grouphug:I have read many threads on this site about seizures with members' cats. Until some of them log on and read your post (and, they will, just keep checking back to see) here is a link to previous threads about them. In many/most cases, this is something that can be treated and controlled with medications. :vibes:

Search Results for Query: seizures
Thank you so much for the link. I definitely need some comfort right now. And, of course, answers, if there are any. I've been doing a lot reading today on the subject and sometimes an exact cause is never found.
 

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I used to have a dog that had sudden seizure attacks. We first thought it might be lead poisoning (changed the tubes that run in the shed he used to sleep on rainy days). Later he was diagnosed with with epilepsy and we had him medicated. I suppose a vet should be able to tell you better, and give you hints at to what you may find in the house that has a probability of causing a toxic reaction.

The other situation I could tell you about was a reaction my late cat suffered when in contact with fruit juice. Or at least I think that's what it was. Long story short, her reaction was like her legs gave up and she trashed around, and I think it was the juice because there's arsenic in fruit humans can digest but cats... that's another issue. I mention this because it might not be a seizure per say but strong pain. Anyways. I hope this helps...

I wish you the best of luck. Hugs.
 
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LindaE

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I used to have a dog that had sudden seizure attacks. We first thought it might be lead poisoning (changed the tubes that run in the shed he used to sleep on rainy days). Later he was diagnosed with with epilepsy and we had him medicated. I suppose a vet should be able to tell you better, and give you hints at to what you may find in the house that has a probability of causing a toxic reaction.

The other situation I could tell you about was a reaction my late cat suffered when in contact with fruit juice. Or at least I think that's what it was. Long story short, her reaction was like her legs gave up and she trashed around, and I think it was the juice because there's arsenic in fruit humans can digest but cats... that's another issue. I mention this because it might not be a seizure per say but strong pain. Anyways. I hope this helps...

I wish you the best of luck. Hugs.
Interesting on the fruit juice. Another thing I wonder is if she found something hiding in a corner somewhere, like perhaps an aspirin or a prescribed drug that someone at some point dropped. My big black brat (as I like to call him, because he's a big, longhair black cat), Alex, couldn't care less about... well, pretty much anything. He's one of those cats that as long as you feed him and keep his box clean, he's happy and prefers to be left alone most of the time. Ally, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. She's always getting into things, stealing things (to this day I haven't found her stash and I've got missing items somewhere) and on the constant prowl around the house, searching for whatever she can find in any little nook or cranny. So it's very possible she dug around and found a pill that may have been dropped at one point. And I read that even basic aspirin can cause seizure-like activity in cats. And Ally will eat anything. Do you know that silly cat will wander around in front of me and pick up little pieces of whatever off the floor and eat them? That's how she tells me, "Mom, we're out of our kibble and I'll probably die of starvation within the next 30 seconds." :lol:
 

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That's *very* likely. Just in case, did you go to a vet to ask after that? Just to be sure.
 
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LindaE

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That's *very* likely. Just in case, did you go to a vet to ask after that? Just to be sure.
Yes I did, thank you for asking. They did a basic check of her neurological functions and seeing how her eyes reacted to certain things and situations, plus checking her reflexes and also her front and hind leg functions, etc. Everything seemed normal. They told me they didn't want to start her on medication or treatments without knowing the cause and basically told me to monitor her to see if it happens again. If it happens again, the first place they would start is with blood work.

I've been reading some of the threads that FebbysOwner provided to me and it looks like others who have run into the same issue are getting similar answers from their vets as well. I just hope it doesn't happen again. This was a grand mal seizure and it was pretty violent. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed it was the first, and last, time.

My vet asked me all kinds of questions, like was she drooling during the seizure. Yes. Did she lose bladder or bowel function. I said yes, her bladder. Asked me if there was anything she could have possibly gotten into, etc etc etc. She was very lethargic most of the day yesterday, but that's because she had her shots and the trip to the vet stressed her out bigtime. But she seems fine now.
 

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I have an 18 year old cat, Checkers, who started having seizures about a year ago. They are violent and horrible and were becoming more frequent and violent. My vet wanted to see video and I was able to get the tail end of an episode. The vet was still unsure about what to do. I did some research and found a condition called FARS which sounded a lot like what was happening with Checkers. It mostly, but not exclusively, happens with older cats who have hearing loss. I have seen Checkers react with a jolt to certain sounds. Specifically the crinkly sounds a bag of chips made and computer mouse clicks. I asked my vet to check it out. At first she expressed doubt, and I could sense that she was thinking great, another owner with an internet diagnosis... but to her credit she did the research and called me back with a willingness to try treatment with a drug called levetiracetam.

Before I go on I should also state that seizures have also occurred with no apparent trigger.

She prescribed the levetiracetam for three times a day. This is the hard part. First of all I can state that the treatment has been 100% effective. Here's the hard part. The cat HATES it. There has been blood (mine) on a couple of occasions. It's a syrupy liquid administered with an oral syringe. It's messy because she will run away after I give it to her and she is drooling and spreading it all over. I follow up with a sponge trying to find all the mess and clean up after her. It also gets in her fur and makes a mess that way. I always wipe her face with a clean wet sponge as well. Fortunately, I have found after some time that one dose a day is sufficient. Also, there have been no apparent side effects.

Here is a link to the information I found.
Feline Audiogenic Reflex Seizures (FARS) | International Cat Care

I wish you well with your cat. These seizures are horrible and heartbreaking to see.
 
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kittypa

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I should also add that when the vet showed me how to administer the drug the cat was fairly cooperative and it looked easy. But when I got home and tried it, Katy bar the door... :headshake:
 
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LindaE

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I have an 18 year old cat, Checkers, who started having seizures about a year ago. They are violent and horrible and were becoming more frequent and violent. My vet wanted to see video and I was able to get the tail end of an episode. The vet was still unsure about what to do. I did some research and found a condition called FARS which sounded a lot like what was happening with Checkers. It mostly, but not exclusively, happens with older cats who have hearing loss. I have seen Checkers react with a jolt to certain sounds. Specifically the crinkly sounds a bag of chips made and computer mouse clicks. I asked my vet to check it out. At first she expressed doubt, and I could sense that she was thinking great, another owner with an internet diagnosis... but to her credit she did the research and called me back with a willingness to try treatment with a drug called levetiracetam.

Before I go on I should also state that seizures have also occurred with no apparent trigger.

She prescribed the levetiracetam for three times a day. This is the hard part. First of all I can state that the treatment has been 100% effective. Here's the hard part. The cat HATES it. There has been blood (mine) on a couple of occasions. It's a syrupy liquid administered with an oral syringe. It's messy because she will run away after I give it to her and she is drooling and spreading it all over. I follow up with a sponge trying to find all the mess and clean up after her. It also gets in her fur and makes a mess that way. I always wipe her face with a clean wet sponge as well. Fortunately, I have found after some time that one dose a day is sufficient.

Here is a link to the information I found.
Feline Audiogenic Reflex Seizures (FARS) | International Cat Care

I wish you well with your cat. These seizures are horrible and heartbreaking to see.
Video, yes, my vet asked me to get video of a seizure, should it happen again. I don't know how that's going to be possible. When one of my animals is in distress, running to get my phone is the last thing on my mind. But I will try.

Thank you for the information on FARS. Over the last few days I've been reading up on seizures in cats and ran across FARS info and it doesn't seem to fit Ally. A bomb could go off and she'll still be lying in the same place like "Okay, what was that?" She's not easily spooked by anything, noises included. And her seizure happened in the middle of the night when the house was quiet. Woke me up out of a sound sleep.

Yes, they are horrible and heartbreaking. Not to mention terrifying. I thought she was dying. And then when the seizure ended and she collapsed, I assumed she was gone. But, thankfully, she was still breathing.

That medication doesn't sound fun to administer. But in all the years I've had cats, I'm telling you, there is *NO* medication fun to administer to a feline :disappointed:
 
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LindaE

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I should also add that when the vet showed me how to administer the drug the cat was fairly cooperative and it looked easy. But when I got home and tried it, Katy bar the door... :headshake:
Yep, that's the way it always happens :lol:
 
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LindaE

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Yep, that's the way it always happens :lol:
I also wanted to add that I responded to your post about the FARS, but for some reason it's awaiting moderator approval. Is there a reason that sometimes happens?
 

kittypa

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I also wanted to add that I responded to your post about the FARS, but for some reason it's awaiting moderator approval. Is there a reason that sometimes happens?
I think it has to do with you being new to the forums. It stops after a certain number of posts. Nothing personal. :biggrin:
 
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LindaE

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I think it has to do with you being new to the forums. It stops after a certain number of posts. Nothing personal. :biggrin:
K, thanks :)

It's still waiting approval, but hopefully it shows up soon.
 

kittypa

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Video, yes, my vet asked me to get video of a seizure, should it happen again. I don't know how that's going to be possible. When one of my animals is in distress, running to get my phone is the last thing on my mind. But I will try.

Thank you for the information on FARS. Over the last few days I've been reading up on seizures in cats and ran across FARS info and it doesn't seem to fit Ally. A bomb could go off and she'll still be lying in the same place like "Okay, what was that?" She's not easily spooked by anything, noises included. And her seizure happened in the middle of the night when the house was quiet. Woke me up out of a sound sleep.

Yes, they are horrible and heartbreaking. Not to mention terrifying. I thought she was dying. And then when the seizure ended and she collapsed, I assumed she was gone. But, thankfully, she was still breathing.

That medication doesn't sound fun to administer. But in all the years I've had cats, I'm telling you, there is *NO* medication fun to administer to a feline :disappointed:
Yes, when the seizure is over with it takes some time for her to get her legs back. She usually stands and falls before she recovers. She is also disoriented for a while as if she doesn't know where she is. As soon as she can walk again she wanders around checking the place out as if it were a new environment.

As I mentioned before there have been seizures with no apparent trigger. Since she has hearing loss she is the one who sleeps peacefully through 4th of July fireworks while the others hide. One of the difficult things about these deals is that there is nothing in the blood work or anything else really that the vet can use to diagnose as the cause.

It's interesting to me that when cats suffer hearing loss, they lose the low frequencies first, whereas we humans tend to lose high frequencies first.
 
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1 bruce 1

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My vet asked me all kinds of questions, like was she drooling during the seizure. Yes. Did she lose bladder or bowel function. I said yes, her bladder. Asked me if there was anything she could have possibly gotten into, etc etc etc. She was very lethargic most of the day yesterday, but that's because she had her shots and the trip to the vet stressed her out bigtime. But she seems fine now.
If she just got shots (did she have "All her shots" in one trip?) and had a seizure shortly after, I would tell (not ask) your vet that from now on, single vaccinations are to be done, spaced out, so if this should ever happen again you'll be able to tell exactly what shot did what (if anything) and eliminate it from her protocol completely.
I'm not anti vaccine by any means. But over many decades of owning many, many animals of many different species, I've seen those rare side effects that happen to 1 in 100, from seizures, swelling (facial hives), to cardiac arrest. So whenever I see a healthy animal get updated on shots and start doing strange things in such a short time period, it makes me suspicious.
I hope she's seizure free from now on :wave3:
 
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LindaE

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Yes, when the seizure is over with it takes some time for her to get her legs back. She usually stands and falls before she recovers. She is also disoriented for a while as if she doesn't know where she is. As soon as she can walk again she wanders around checking the place out as if it were a new environment.

As I mentioned before there have been seizures with no apparent trigger. Since she has hearing loss she is the one who sleeps peacefully through 4th of July fireworks while the others hide. One of the difficult things about these deals is that there is nothing in the blood work or anything else really that the vet can use to diagnose as the cause.

It's interesting to me that when cats suffer hearing loss, they lose the low frequencies first, whereas we humans tend to lose high frequencies first.
I asked the vet what the blood word would show and she said it will show liver and kidney function, as well as the possibility of disease. She said sometimes cats with liver disease have seizures. I guess she would start with the basics first to rule out those possibilities.

My cat did the same after her seizure. She sat partially up and cried a couple of times, acting completely scared and confused. I sat with her on the floor and stroked her over and over, trying to comfort her. And within a couple of minutes, she was reacting to the petting and started purring, then wandered out of my room and down the hallway.
 
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LindaE

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If she just got shots (did she have "All her shots" in one trip?) and had a seizure shortly after, I would tell (not ask) your vet that from now on, single vaccinations are to be done, spaced out, so if this should ever happen again you'll be able to tell exactly what shot did what (if anything) and eliminate it from her protocol completely.
I'm not anti vaccine by any means. But over many decades of owning many, many animals of many different species, I've seen those rare side effects that happen to 1 in 100, from seizures, swelling (facial hives), to cardiac arrest. So whenever I see a healthy animal get updated on shots and start doing strange things in such a short time period, it makes me suspicious.
I hope she's seizure free from now on :wave3:
No, the shots came after the seizure. She had the seizure late Monday night and got her shots the following Friday. She's never had a reaction to shots before.

My other cat, however, had a bad reaction to his first set of shots when he was a kitten. Made him very sick. So he has to be given a shot of Benadryl. Dexamethasone has also been given to him before his shots and it has worked well. No more reactions to shots since the first time.

I hope she's seizure-free from now on too! :)
 
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LindaE

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I just wanted to give an update on Ally, for anyone who may be wondering - Ally has been fine and seizure-free (as far as I know) since that night. I say "as far as I know" because if she's had anymore seizures when no one is home, I am not aware of it. However, I know that once a seizure happens, animals can sometimes act a bit 'off' for a while afterward and she has seemed perfectly fine lately. So it leads me to believe - and my vet agrees with me - that she may have ingested a medication, perhaps an aspirin, that was dropped and she happened to find it. Ally is a bigtime 'busybody' and will prowl the house, checking out every nook and cranny to find something that may be hidden. And she very well may have found something she shouldn't have found.

Anyway, thanks for everyone's input and advice. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that this was an isolated incident.
 
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