Families with pets today treat them like family. In fact, those who do not have any more living relatives or those who decided not to have a family in general, have only their pets in their lives. That is why they cherish them as much as they can; treating them just like any other human.
Although it can be argued, cats have been one of the most popular, if not the most among all the domestic animals available. The only proof to this claim is the popularity of cats in the internet especially their videos.
Sadly, cats, like any other living thing on Earth, they catch diseases as well. They are invulnerable, and like people, although rare among cats, they also get seizures.
A seizure is a medical condition that is caused by abnormal electric activity in the brain, and it can happen in various ways. For example, a seizure may occur as a single event, or several episodes over a short period of time, or recurs at least once a month, or sometimes, it can take several months before another seizure episode happens.
Cats are the same way.
Very Similar to Humans
Seizures in cats are basically the same as humans because these conditions are triggered due to a damage in one’s brain. Normally, these are damages are something that the cat can easily recover from and shoe no other symptoms of except for that very rare instance that the seizure is triggered.
Other times however, these seizures are unexplained. Regardless of how much the doctors try to find for the cause, it seems to elude them in many ways.
In general, this is commonly known as epilepsy and seizures is just one of the symptoms that come up.
Knowing When the Cat Will Have/Has Had a Seizure
Seizures can strike at any given time. Sometimes, without any outward warning to those around them. However, the victims, in this case the cat, will know that they are about to have a seizure. This is called pre-ictal behavior, otherwise known as aura. The cats, like humans, exhibit changes in their normal behavior such as pacing, circling around a similar spot or area, yowling, or vomiting.
After all those, the episode strike.
A seizure in a cat may start off with the cat going stiff and then shows involuntary, uncontrolled muscle contractions known as convulsions. This is the time when you will notice your cat jerking its entire body with all its feet jerking and its jaw snapping. In addition, cats may even lose control over their bladder and their bowels, eliminating whatever is stored in their out of their body.
Fortunately, the cat is unconscious the entire time and only lasts for a minute or two minutes maximum. However, the maximum of two minutes can easily be very dangerous.
The time after a seizure causes some changes on its own. For example, your cat may show signs of paralysis in at least one of its legs, loss of its vision, and other behavioural changes that may have caused by the abnormal electric activity in the brain. The changes normally go away after a short span of time, however, it may take several more after the cat will show full recovery from the episode.
Helping Your Cat After A Seizure
Like always, when trying to help, at least make sure that you are safe. Ensuring your environment is safe is number one in everything when you are trying to help. You do not want ending with two living things that needs help instead of initially starting with one. This includes making sure that you are calm as possible because you could not do anything if you panic. In addition, you also need to make sure that you distance yourself from the cat especially during the seizure episode.
Do not let the poor state of the cat let you forget that your pet still has sharp claws and that their limbs are doing involuntary jerking; be close enough and your will get scratched.
Next is to make sure that your cat is also safe especially during a episode of seizure activity. Ensure that there are nothing around that may cause harm to cat like furniture or the stairs or any sharp objects that they might stumble around as they shake uncontrollably. Moreover, keep other pets away from them as well. The seizure episode might trigger a pet’s curiosity or they might become upset. This could easily lead any other pet you have to attack the seizing cat.
After the seizures, the cat may once again attack you because of its disorientation and may not recognize you. Either that or it will automatically run away since it will not immediately recognize you as its owner.
As mention above, seizures may not be a one off event. It could a cluster of seizures that happen in a short amount of time. If this does happen, it is high time that you brought your cat to the veterinarian because it is necessary for a quick treatment to be provided as soon as possible.
A Gear Up from Your Care
Most of the time, when you bring your cat to a veterinarian, the diagnosis of seizure, or worse, epilepsy, is done through the information that you provide. However, that does not mean that there are no other test which can give you more solid proof that your cat truly experienced a seizure.
Cats may undergo blood and urine tests, and sometimes, X-rays are also being done. If confirmatory proof needs to be done, the veterinarian may prompt the testing of your cat’s cerebrospinal fluid or having an MRI or EEG, on the most rare occasions, done.
Basically, the diagnosis can be done just like how doctors diagnose humans.
If you are lucky enough to have brought your cat to the vet while it is still seizing, a STAT dose of injectable diazepam or phenobarbital may be given. Further inspection of the cat may be done after it has settled down.
If your cat is lucky enough to have a one off seizure event, then treatment does not go beyond the stopping of the seizure that just occurred. However, if it was a cluster seizure episode or if it recurs several months after, then a long term treatment plan should be in place for the cat in order to at least control the seizures.
Take note however that if the recurring seizures are more than two months apart, opt not to have a long term plan for the cat because this can easily cause your cat’s liver problems. If they are under long term treatment, the cat will have regular check-ups and blood works in place.
Pets are just like people, in a slightly different way. However, their vulnerability to diseases is an old thinking that should not be entertained in these times of equality for all those alive.
Pets should be treated like family, and if you are an advocate, show it. Unfortunately, like humans, cats will always have that possibility of another attack if they experienced it once. All you can do is love and support it, especially if it is the only family you have left.