Sudden, temporary, uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain
Seizures can cause a variety of symptoms in pets. Signs may include:
- Uncontrolled shaking or twitching of the body
- Stiffening of the limbs or muscles
- Loss of consciousness or disorientation
- Drooling or foaming at the mouth
- Unresponsiveness or staring into space, pacing or restlessness
- Collapsing or falling to the side
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Paddling of the legs or repetitive movements
Cats might display vocalization (yowling), sudden bursts of activity or aggression, and excessive grooming following a seizure. Additionally, some cats may hide after a seizure, while others may seek comfort from their family.
If you think you see signs of a seizure, note the time, duration of the episode, and if possible, take a video with your phone or other device. This information can be valuable for your veterinarian in managing the condition.
Other health conditions may share similar symptoms with seizures, including low blood sugar, heart problems, or Toxicity.
If you notice any of these signs or have concerns about your pet's health, it's important to consult with your veterinarian.
When you visit your veterinarian for concerns related to seizures, the following may occur:
- Medical history: They will gather your pet's medical history, including details about the seizures and their frequency.
- Physical examination: The veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination of your pet, checking for any abnormalities and assessing their overall health.
- Diagnostic testing: Diagnostic testing such as blood tests, urinalysis, and imaging (such as X-rays) may be recommended to evaluate the presence of underlying causes or contributing factors to the seizures.
- Treatment options: Treatment options for seizures can vary depending on the underlying cause and the frequency of the episodes. It may involve medication to control and manage seizures, or management of underlying conditions. In severe cases, hospitalization with supportive care, including intravenous fluids and medical management may be necessary. Palliative care, which focuses on providing comfort and improving your pet's quality of life, may also be discussed.
- Advanced diagnostic or treatment options:In some cases, referral to a neurology specialist may be advised for more advanced diagnostics (e.g., MRI or CT scan) and treatment.
- Follow-up care: Your veterinarian will discuss a follow-up plan, which may involve regular monitoring of your pet's seizure activity, adjustments to the treatment regimen, or additional tests if needed. It's crucial to maintain open communication with your veterinary care team throughout the process.
Your veterinary healthcare team will partner with you to decide which treatment option is best for your pet's and your family’s specific condition and situation.
While it may not always be possible to prevent seizures, there are things you can do at home to help reduce the risk or minimize the frequency of seizures:
- Avoid toxin exposure: Familiarize yourself with common toxins and ensure they are not accessible to your pet.
- Avoid triggers: Identify and avoid triggers, such as certain foods or environmental factors, that may increase the likelihood of seizures.
- Adhere to medication schedules: If your pet has a known seizure disorder, administer medications as prescribed and monitor their response closely.
- Keep a seizure diary: Keep a record of your pet's seizures, including their duration, frequency, and any potential triggers. This information can be valuable for your veterinarian in managing the condition.
- Create a safe environment: Minimize potential hazards and create a safe space for your pet to avoid injuries during a seizure, such as restricting access to pools or other bodies of water.
Consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice and guidance on managing seizures in your pet. They can provide tailored recommendations based on your pet's specific needs and medical history.
Please note that the information provided here is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If you suspect your pet has seizures or any other health concerns, consult your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.