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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 20904
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Having a seizure, cat, Azzizi and he's 15, the cat has been

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having a seizure
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What sort of animal are we talking about?
Customer: cat
JA: Seizures always look scary. Let's get you talking to the Veterinarian. What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: Azzizi and he's 15
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Azzizi?
Customer: the cat has been having the seizure for 1 hour and it does not look like its stopping
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
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Hello, I'm Dr. Kara and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help.

My apologies on your long wait for a response. I've just come online and saw your question posted. Please give me a few moments to type.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
ok
The cat is asleep now...finally calmed down

In short your fellow needs to see a veterinarian on an emergency basis and they will probably want to admit him to get him on intravenous fluids and medications to try to stop his seizure activity.

Seizures are rhythmic, repeated muscle movements which the cat is unable to control and can lose consciousness during. Many cats will fall, have repeated motions/tremors, may vocalize and cannot rise, and can lose urine and stool control. They can be a bit weak or uncoordinated afterwards, and may seem confused but should come back to normal in a relatively short period of time.

There can be several reasons for seizures.

The most common is idiopathic epilepsy. That means that we don't know why but a circuit of sensitive neurons in the brain gets stuck repeatedly firing. Epilepsy occurs most frequently for the first time in young animals. If this is Azzizi's first seizure then epilepsy is much less likely to the cause.

We do believe that there is a genetic basis for epilepsy as certain breeds are more commonly afflicted and siblings will often have them as well.

Other cause for seizures are viral, bacterial, parasitic or fungal infections, metabolic diseases leading to waste products building up and affecting brain chemistry, low blood sugar, or even granulomas or masses in the brain. Most of the other disease processes that cause seizures cause other symptoms, those cats are sick or abnormal other than during the seizure. Has he been sick, or not himself recently?

Ideally he should see a veterinarian on an emergency basis now for an examination and bloodwork to look for underlying organ disease, feline leukemia or feline immunodeficiency virus as well as toxoplasmosis. We do want to make sure there are no underlying problems that need to be addressed.

We tend to be more aggressive with diagnostic testing in cats to look for causes for seizures and with treatment. If a cat has more than one seizure in a month or more than one in a day, even if it has been months since the last one I recommend medical therapy to prevent seizures.

Status epilepticus (one seizure after another) can lead to possible permanent brain damage and we wish to avoid that.

If this is his only seizure, he is behaving normally now and his testing comes back within normal limits it is reasonable to take a wait and see approach. If he never has another there is no need to do anything. But if he has more seizures then it is time to start medication.

Phenobarbital is very effective in most cats at preventing seizures and if used at appropriate levels it rarely causes any organ damage. If you aren't comfortable with that drug there are others such as Keppra (levetiracetam) or Zonegran (zonisamide) that your veterinarian can prescribe. These newer drugs are reported to be less stressful on the organs but even they are not totally without problems. About 1/2 of the cats on zonisamide do have side effects, including diarrhea, lack of appetite, vomiting and incoordination. I find most cats handle phenobarbital better long term after the first few weeks of adjusting to the drug.

As with any medical condition we must weigh the positives and negatives of using a particular medication. I would try and decrease his stress levels as well as using a diet without glutens, dyes or lots of chemical preservatives.

If your fellow has more than one or two seizures I think preventing brain damage by using appropriate medications at appropriate doses is more beneficial.

If medication is prescribed make sure that his blood levels are checked periodically so that we aren't under or over dosing him.

In many cases we never completely stop the seizures, but they should be much fewer and much less severe.

It has been my pleasure to help you today, and I hope that I have earned my 5 star rating. Please remember to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen (rating me now does not close your question). You are welcome to ask follow up questions about my response here until you are satisfied, simply use the reply box and let me know. Thank you!

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