Seizures in Abysinnians

Mikado

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We have two Abys, 9 years old, brother and sister. Koko the male has recently started experiencing seizures. Not epileptic but where his back legs lose coordination and he moves around trying to walk. They only last about 40 sec and he recovers in about the same amount of time. We, needless to say, find these really upsetting. Both cats are indoor, eat vet recommended food (gastro high fibre) and have been looked after by a vet all their lives. Other than gum problems, again managed by vet, they have been fine. The vet has done a full blood work on him and now it would be MRI or CT scan. Neither available anywhere near us, especially for animals. He is on amitriptyline for a slight aggression problem towards his sister (which has worked well). And now for the seizures he is on phenobarbital. The vet is watching the combination as amitriptyline lowers the barrier to seizures. After all this background info, my question is has anybody had a cat that developed seizures later in life? Do you know the cause? How controlled? Thank you.
 

fionasmom

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Welcome to The Cat Site! While I can give you an answer to your last question, it will not be that helpful to you probably. I had two adult cats with seizures. One had Cryptococcus (a street rescue) and the other had an undiagnosed heart condition, probably HCM. Neither was given anti seizure meds. The first we tried to treat for about a month, but he went blind and declined from there. The second was not treated because the vet did not think that the initial symptom was serious and he passed away suddenly at home. Causes of seizures in cats can be varied; I do understand that you do not have access to an MRI, so your vet is doing the best he can.

Does your vet have an actual diagnosis for the seizures? It does bother me that your boy's back legs are affected. Is there a possibility of a heart condition?

You are correct that amitriptyline and phenobarbital are tricky to use together; some don't prescribe them at the same time. Don't ever run out of the phenobarbital, alter the dose yourself, or change the time of day of dosing as those things in themselves can trigger major seizures.
 
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Mikado

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The vet is searching for answers. His heart appears to be fine and the leg movement during the seizures seems consistent with what we have seen in videos of non epileptic seizures. He gets 1/2 tablet of the phenobarbital in the morning first thing, the 1/4 tablet of amitriptyline at noon with food and the other 1/2 tablet before bed with a snack. He goes in before the first month is up for another round of blood work. Interesting (sort of) when he was younger he had a couple of the staring, sphinx like seizures. We know it’s not environmental as both of his people are allergy prone and don’t use anything scented etc anywhere in the house. I guess if they can be controlled we will just watch him. Thank you for your reply. I’m so sorry for you and the outcome with your cats.
 
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Mikado

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thank you. will do.
 

Michelleeee

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Mikado, I just saw your post. I have a 16 year old Bengal that is having the same kind of seizure - mostly affecting back legs. She’s been averaging once a day and doctors don’t know why. One of the doctors wants him on phenobarbital but I’m afraid to try do to the sever sedation as a side effect since he’s already old and pretty out of it. Any update on yours?
 
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Mikado

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So far the phenobarbital is helping Koko. He doesn’t seem to be experiencing any side effects. He is on 15mg/day - split into 2 doses about 12 hours apart. He is 10 and weighs about 10-11 lbs. I hope this helps. We are certain he experiences no pain but is ‘puzzled’ during the seizure. Might be worth a try as the seizures, I guess, can be hard on them too. Let me know what you decide. Koko gets blood work done later this week.
 
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Mikado

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Blood work came back and he is doing fine. And he is not having seizures. So the phenobarbital seems to be working. Thank heavens for Pill Pockets. Couldn’t get him to take a pill if it was the last thing on earth.
 

LTS3

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Pill Pockets and other pill doughs work great for many cats :) The phenobarbital can be compounded if your cat decides one day that Pill Pockets are yucky. The medicine can be compounded into a transdermal gel that you apply to the inside of the ear with a cotton swab or gloved finger. There are also flavored chew treat and capsule options. Capsules can be pulled apart and the medicine mixed into moist food or treats. Wedgewood Pharmacy is a popular place to get compounded medicines from but a local compounding pharmacy can also do this.
 
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Mikado

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Thank you for the info. We will keep it in mind in case he becomes finicky. He is already.
 
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