Many people do not realise that cats have seizures. Vets report that feline seizures are the most common neurological disorder in cats. Cats often have seizures for the same reasons that humans have them. It is important to understand what might cause a cat to have seizures and how to prevent them from happening in the future.
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Know about what leads to feline seizures. Seizures in cats can be derived from many causes. Epilepsy is the main cause of feline seizures. Some cats have seizures because of brain tumours. If a cat gets an infection, such as meningoencephalitis, seizures can occur. Meningoencephalitis is an infection in the brain and the meninges, or lining of the brain. Head trauma that a cat may have suffered in a fall or accident can also trigger seizures. Severe worm infestations can also give cats seizures.
To prevent seizures in a cat, it is important to find out what triggered the seizure. The vet will do a complete physical on the cat and will take a history. The vet will also want to know about pedigree, if that information is available. The vet will do a complete blood count, palpate vital organs, listen to the cat's breathing and heart and take his blood pressure and temperature. If necessary, additional tests such as X-rays and MRIs will be ordered to pinpoint the cause of the seizure.
How the seizures are stopped depends on what is causing them. The vet will first order anti-seizure medications until a cause can be found. Seizures caused by infections will be treated with antibiotics. Those caused by worm infestations will be treated with antifungal medications. If a brain tumour is suspected, treatment will depend on the size and location. If the seizure is caused by epilepsy, the vet will look at the severity and frequency before deciding to put the cat on long term anti-seizure use.
Many of the same anti-seizure medications are used in humans are used in felines. The first choice is phenobarbital. The cat will need to have its liver enzymes tested regularly, as a side effect of long-term use can be liver damage. Another drug used is Primidone. The cat's body converts the medication into phenobarbital once it is ingested. Another choice is potassium bromide. It is expelled by the kidneys, not the liver, making it safer to use. Also, it stays stable in the bloodstream and can reduce the number of other seizure medications the cat may have to take. If a cat is having repeated seizures, which can be dangerous, the vet may prescribe valium to help end the long-lasting seizures until anti-seizure medications can take effect.
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