Seizures and Your Cat
There are many reasons why human beings experience seizures, which are convulsing fits. However, this medical problem is not subject to affect only humans. Your cat may also experience seizures. As with any medical condition, you should see your vet if any health problems arise in any of your pets. When you have a cat for a pet, you must be responsible for keeping him or her as healthy and happy as possible.
Seizures are not always the same in every cat. They can occur at any time, and often have symptoms like loss of consciousness, contractions of the muscles, involuntary bodily functions, non-responsiveness, hallucinations, running in circles, and viciousness. Your cat may or may not recognize you if he or she is going to have a seizure or after the seizure occurs. There are three main phases of seizures. In the pre-ictal phase, the cat may “know” a seizure is going to happen. He or she may appear nervous, hide, or find you and cling to you. Your cat may also be very nervous and tremble. This may last for up to a few hours, but in some cases, only lasts a few seconds. The ictal phase is the actual seizure. In this phase, the cat usually falls to its side and seems paralyzed. The body shakes uncontrollably and the head sometimes draws backward. Your cat may lose control of bodily functions. Usually, this phase will not last more than five minutes, and immediately afterward, he or she enters the post-ictal phase. Your cat may experience temporary blindness, confusion, nervousness, and disorientation during this period.
If your cat has a seizure, do not panic. Unlike humans, cats cannot swallow their tongues, so keep your hands away from his or her mouth at all times. There is nothing you can do to stop the seizure, so simply prevent the cat from falling or otherwise hurting him or herself during the seizure and afterward.
Immediately call your vet. In most cases, seizures are caused by epilepsy, which is treatable and usually not damaging to your cat, but other medical conditions may also occur. Your vet can help your cat by doing a physical examination, studying his or her blood and urine, and doing an electrocardiogram to rule out the more serious liver, heart, kidney, and blood disease. Your vet can prescribe medications to help prevent future seizures and talk to you about ways to minimize the harm done to your cat during seizures. Even if he or she has seizures, your cat may be able to live and healthy life with the proper care.
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