Cats can have all kinds of problems with their health. One of the problems they can have as they get older is a seizure disorder. Once you see your cat having seizures, you need to do whatever you can to keep them from having more. There are steps you can take after your cat has its first epileptic seizure.
How Common is a Cat Seizure?
Cats and dogs can both have seizures. However, seizures are less common in cats than they are in dogs.
Common Causes of Seizures in Cats
Seizures in cats can happen in all ages and breeds. However, they are more common in older cats than younger cats. There is very little evidence that cats can have seizures because of genetics. Since seizures in cats have little to do with genetics, here are the most common causes of cat seizures.
Signs of a Cat Seizure
When cats start having seizures, they can be very violent. Here are the common signs of a cat seizure.
- Bursts of activity
- Uncontrolled muscle activity such as convulsions, twitching, and tremors
- Facial twitching
- Loss of consciousness
Steps You Should Take After Your Cat Has a Seizure
First things first, you need to remain calm. If your cat is coming out of the seizure and sees you upset, things will get worse for both of you. If your cat is still having the seizure, don't forget that he or she is snapping their jaw and moving uncontrollably. Be careful you don't get scratched or bitten.
If you are able to move your cat to a safer place. He or she needs to be away from stairs, furniture, or anything else they can fall off and hurt themselves. Keep other animals away from your cat. Since they won't understand what is going on but will think your cat is attacking you, they will try to attack him or her. Keep your cat away from other pets for everyone's safety.
If your cat's seizure keeps happening, or if they have one seizure after another without stopping, you need to get them to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Controlling seizures in cats using Primidone is a good idea too.
How to Get Your Cat Diagnosed With a Seizure Disorder
If you take your cat to the vet while he is still having a seizure, the vet will inject him with Diazepam or Phenobarbital before the diagnosis is made. Once he comes out of it because of the injection he was given, they will then do blood tests on him or her to find out what is causing it to happen in the first place.
The vet will also ask you a series of questions to know your cat's medical history. The answers to these questions will also help your vet determine a diagnosis. There will also be urine tests and maybe even X-rays done to help determine the diagnosis and the cause.
How Your Cat's Seizure Will be Treated
The most common treatment for seizures in a cat is Phenobarbital. However, if this medication doesn't treat the seizures by itself, the vet may also add Gabapentin or Diazepam.
Managing Your Cat's Seizures
Although your cat will be given medications such as anticonvulsants, if their seizures are happening more than two months apart from another, they won't be on these medications for life. This is because these medications can cause liver damage.
Can You Prevent Seizures in Your Cat?
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent seizures in your cat. If they start having seizures for no reason, there is a reason. There is always an underlying cause such as some other problem with their brain. Your vet will determine what is causing the seizures in your cat and treatment will go from there.
Remember to remain calm if you start to witness your cat having a seizure. Don't panic and get them to the vet right away if they don't come out of it within about two to five minutes. If you can't get your cat to the vet right away, make sure to take them someplace safe and away from other pets. Also, prevent them from biting and scratching you while they are going through the seizure.