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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 31145
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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my cat is scratching frequently, but recently whilst scratching

Customer Question

my cat is scratching frequently, but recently whilst scratching he when turning his neck appears to have a fit
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry to hear of this with Puddin Cat. We do see simple partial seizures (previously called petit mal) associated with hyperesthesia in cats. Please see here: http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=2873

Hyperesthesia (increased sensitivity to stimuli) is still a poorly understood disorder in cats. Some of us feel that seizures underlie most of the cats that suffer from this disorder but many vets entertain other ideas as you can read about in that article. The question, then, at this time is the "fit" you saw part of a hyperesthesia disorder, induced by intense pruritis (itching), or unrelated to his scratching? At 16 years of age we do see seizures associated with both intracranial (within the skull) disorders such as brain tumor and extracranial (outside the skull) disorders such as a poorly functioning liver or kidneys intoxicating the brain.

Pragmatically speaking, I'm not inclined to perform advancedand invasive testing in order to clarify the etiology of seizures in a 16 year old - cerebrospinal fluid analysis and MRI, mainly. Biochemical testing in the form of blood/urine tests is noninvasive and reasonable, however, although will miss brain lesions. If these events persisted and, indeed, exacerbated, I would suggest anticonvulsive medication in the form of low-dose phenobarbital if blood/urine testing supported its use.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.