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Mulder had a Seizure!

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
(I would like to start this posting with an apology for the length of my writing. This happened about 8 hours ago but I am still so upset and shaken by it. I am hoping writing it out and discussing it with other “cat people” will help…)

I don’t know what caused it. He is an 8 month old neutered male.

I was playing with him (and Spooky) using their “Bird”. I think the brand name is Da Bird or its one of their knockoffs, same thing though. I decided for some unknown reason to spray some liquid catnip on the carpet in the living room where we play at, I guess cause it gets them both excited. I was also attempting to get some pictures of them playing.

About 20 minutes into playing they were both tired and panting and I was about to put the Bird away when Mulder’s interest picked up and he started stalking it again. After a few leaps and chases (usual stuff) he jumped up on one of my living room chairs and then jumped after it (towards me) and landed on the front edge of the couch beside me – rolling off and landing on the floor. My couch is a futon so its very low to the ground and this is not abnormal for either of them, they get very excited when playing Bird and sometimes run into things, each other, fall over themselves it has never been a big deal.

Maybe 2 seconds later when I looked down at my feet/the floor/where he was - he was convulsing. I know I watched him land on the couch and slip off but I did not watch him fall - I suspect the seizure is the reason he fell off the couch rather than the result of him landing on the floor, only because the last picture in my camera (accidentally taken and not discovered until I got home) is of him falling on his back in the same position that I saw him in during his seizure, and it is not a position he would have naturally fallen into the way he slipped off the edge of the couch.

I don’t want to be too graphic and upset anybody. At first I thought his back claw had somehow got caught in his fur or he had dug it into himself by accident and was trying to free himself but then I realized it was his whole body shaking. I don’t know if it was the right thing to do but I immediately scooped him up and held him and told him that I was there and he was going to be OK. All of his muscles were stiff and shaking and he was drooling/foaming at the mouth. I thought he was dying and I grabbed my phone to call the vet.

It only lasted about 1 minute and then he took a deep breath and started meowing like he was scared or confused and tried to get away from me. He ran into the corner and looked scared like he didn’t know who I was. My other cat Spooky who is his very best buddy went over to sniff him and he hissed at him. By that time I had the carrier up (its collapsible), the address to the emergency vet and some shoes and a jacket on (over my pajamas).

At first in the car he acted like he didn’t know who I was and he was scared and crying. It seemed like he couldn’t see but about halfway to the vet the started responding to my voice and was looking at me and started to act his normal self. By the time we got to the vet he was purring and crying to come out of the carrier but he was very clearly back to himself. It was 20 minutes between when his seizure stopped and I was at the Emergency Vets office.

A nurse checked him out since the doctor was busy at the moment and said he was stable and asked if I wanted to stay with him until the doctor was available or send him in the back. He panics if someone takes him away so I decided to keep him with me. At that point he only seemed upset about being locked in the carrier and was actively trying to get out, was purring and head butting my hands through the carrier – his normal behavior.

At the doctor’s first examination – about 1 hour after the seizure – his breathing was fast and his temperature was elevated to 103.5. But they took him away from me to do the examination and he panicked and started crying and trying to get away, he always stays calm if I am there.

I was very unhappy with the vet she seemed very unknowledgeable. I asked what could have caused the seizure and she said she didn’t know and explained she wanted to run a panel of blood work and possibly an x-ray (didn’t say of what) depending on what the blood work said and she wanted to start him immediately on an IV so they could medicate him if he had another seizure. Also prior to running any tests she stated they wanted to keep him overnight for observation (this was at noon). Though I asked several times she refused to tell me what she thought was causing the seizure – it was like she just wanted to run every test in the book blindly with no idea what the problem was. She even wanted to run an FIV test though I told her he was tested when I got him 6 months ago and has not been outside or exposed to any untested cats since then. This made me very uncomfortable as my normal vet will tell you up front what he thinks is the problem and what tests he needs to run to find out and does not run unnecessary tests.

They charged me a $100 office visit fee and then quoted me $400 to run the blood work and would not give me an estimate on cost for anything else she was recommending. They indicated he was acting normally and I asked them to re-check his temperature and breathing since he had been able to calm down. His breathing was normal and his temperature was at 102.8. They told me that a cat’s normal temperature should be around 102.5 – I have no idea if that was true or not?

I did not have $400+ to spend on tests today and they demanded payment in full up front or I could apply for Care Credit but they wouldn’t do anything for him until I was approved and they were unavailable today as a holiday. The vet told me that he appeared stable and “fine” but of course without running tests to know why he had a seizure nobody will know if he is “fine” or not. I decided to bring him home and watch him tonight and tomorrow and my normal vet opens back up on Saturday morning. Their rates are generally much lower, they will accept payment plans and I trust their judgment and treatment completely. I hope I made the right decision…

So far he seems completely normal and doesn’t understand why I keep fussing over him. He has eaten, drank, groomed and played and has been his normal self ever since we got back home. I think I am more traumatized by this than he is. I keep seeing him like that every time I close my eyes or he gets out of view. I think I feel now better since I wrote it all out, sorry it is so long. Thank you to anyone who read it all!
post #2 of 20
Wow, what a scary thing to go through! I think I would have done exactly the same thing you did under those circumstances.

Sending you major vibes that it turns out to be a one-time deal or a very easy to treat issue.

Please let us know what your regular vet says; you two will be on my mind until then.
post #3 of 20
How absolutely terrifying.

Honestly, I think you made a good move by bringing him home and taking him to your usual vet on Sat. This vet sounds questionable. Especially not being up front with you, even if she didn't know what caused the seizure, she could have said "I don't know".

Have you ever used that spray catnip before?

From what I read, 100.5 to 102.5 degrees is the normal temp for cats.

That this does NOT happen again, and you are able to find out why it did happen.

Don't feel bad for the long post. I'd be scared poopless too.

post #4 of 20
I don't have any personal experience with animals having seizures...but my b/f has them all the time....and from what I have seen and read( about animals and humans)...most times they don't find any reason for them...unless they have some kinda of head trauma..The pets I know of that do have seizures...usually they don't put them on meds unless they have a few others..Its always good to run some tests to rule out anything...My b/f will be out of it for hrs at times after one....not knowing who I am...acting odd...and for some reason likes to take off his clothes Just trying to make you smile....My point is try not to worry to much just yet...Sometimes they only ever have one...
By the sounds of it...your best waiting for the vet you trust anyways...I've ran into a few vets like that ....seems they are more concerned with the bottom line...not something we want to deal with when we are upset about our babies...
Keep us posted ....I hope it all works out and its just a one time thingy

Nancy
post #5 of 20
I completly feel for you !!! My Chestnut has had two seziures in the year that he has been with me and I know how scary they can be, I'll never forget his first one! (only 5 days after his adoption) The seziure fealt like it lasted FOREVER, even though it was only about a min.

The first time I did bring him to the e-vet too, I let them run a CBC and since he came back anemic I let them run another special test to see what type of anemia it was (but it took 3 days to get that test back).

The anemia turned out to be a bad case of worms, however, the e-vet did tell me that in 90% of cases they cannot determine what causes seziure in cats, even after very expensive blook work, CT scans and MRIs.

After his 2nd seziure, I did call the e-vet, but they told me that I could just watch him closley that evening, and if he had another one to bring him in. I had learned from the first time, so the first thing I did when he fell was look at a clock as I was walking over to him, I was told not to touch them unless they are in danger until the convulsions stop because they may bite you. I did have to pull him off a cable wire that he managed to grab onto.

If you want to talk more about this, please feel free to send me a PM.

for your baby that everything is okay.
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Auntie Crazy View Post
Wow, what a scary thing to go through! I think I would have done exactly the same thing you did under those circumstances.

Sending you major vibes that it turns out to be a one-time deal or a very easy to treat issue.

Please let us know what your regular vet says; you two will be on my mind until then.
i'd've taken him back home, too - after all, he was back to normal by then.
sending & that he stays that way until you can get to your regular vet!
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for your thoughts and replies.

Snake_Lady - I have used the spray catnip before for my other cat Spooky but not much with Mulder. Spooky has never had any ill effects from it. The only time I have used it with Mulder he was young (3 months) and not reacting to catnip yet. It has only been in the past month or so that he has started reacting to it. He is in love with his catnip mouse now, so I guess I thought that spraying it on the floor would get him more excited to play since we've all been lazy with me being sick.

My gut feeling is that this was caused by over excitement or strain from too much catnip (because it was on the floor it wasn't like he could just walk away from it...) combined with very strenuous play (which I haven't done in awhile due to holidays, being sick, etc.) and possibly contributed to by the frequent camera flashes. I asked the vet today and she said she did not believe that combination would cause a seizure like I described.

P.S. - My dad (I'm 22 and live on my own but my parents are nearby) actually rushed to the Emergency Vet today to be with his "Grandkitty" when I called and told him I was there. It helped a lot.
post #8 of 20
Oh my god that is soo scary I'm so sorry you had to go through it...I really hope your vet can resolve the issue and that it doesn't happen again Do you know if he chewed any cables? I think electricity can cause a seizure...
I absolutely despise ER vets...I had a terrible issue with one when I took my hamster there, she was bleeding profusely, and it being a tiny animal I was terrified, but the vet kept saying that she is ok, very hyper and hydrated and she should just get some baytril..so my hamster ended up dying soon after the vet visit with a lot of suffering, I'm sure she could have simply said let's put her to sleep. The vet also did an exam in the back, they just took the hamster from me and I was alone with the vet in the exam room talking only about quotes and prices..I dunno what it is, apparently not all ER vets are that way but I've heard many stories from others as well in which ER vets were definitely not competent. So just keep your fingers crossed and I'm sure the regular vet visit will be much more promising and calming for you!
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well Mulder and I just got back from the vet. He checked out as "normal" with temperature, breathing, heartrate, etc. He agreed Mulder's temperature was elevated at 103.5 on Thursday and the other vet should have considered infection but didn't.

Basically they told me that he doesn't have anything wrong with him that is immediately noticeable,and that most of the time when cats have seizures they never find out the cause. They took some blood to check his organ functions but have to send it to a lab, but don't recommend a whole battery of tests unless he starts having them regularly.

They instructed me if he has another seizure not to touch him unless he is in danger of falling or hurting himself, to time the seizure and keep a journal of when they happen, what he was doing when it happened and how long it lasts. If they become a regular occurrence they will re-examine him and put him on anti-seizure medication.

He sent home antibiotics for both him and Spooky since I have had strep this week and am extremely susceptible to re-infection and it is possible for cats to carry the bacteria and return it to you.

So we're back home, he's acting normal and Spooky wants to know why I keep making such a fuss over Mulder. Now I guess we just wait and see.
post #10 of 20
I'm wondering if it might have been a combination of factors: overheating from playing, overexcitement, and a little bit of an infection, possibly. Those together might have been enough to trigger an episode.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by CruiserMaiden View Post

So we're back home, he's acting normal and Spooky wants to know why I keep making such a fuss over Mulder. Now I guess we just wait and see.
I'm glad he's home and doing well. I really hope this was just a one time deal.
post #12 of 20
Cat nip is an herb......maybe he has an allergy to nip. I think I would skip giving Mulder the nip. He can be nip free.
I know it was scarry.....I hope all is better. And I give your Daddy a HIGH5 for comming to be with you both.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
I'm wondering if it might have been a combination of factors: overheating from playing, overexcitement, and a little bit of an infection, possibly.
This is basically what the vet and I think and unless he has another episode we probably won't do any further testing if his bloodwork comes back OK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingss2fly
...maybe he has an allergy to nip. I think I would skip giving Mulder the nip. He can be nip free.
Mulder LOVES his catnip mouse so I don't know that I'll take it away from him - he's even played with it several times since the seizure. I have tossed the liquid spray and thoroughly cleaned the carpet I sprayed it on.

I think the difference may be that he can put the mouse down when he's had enough, where with the spray on the carpet he couldn't stop without leaving the room and the Bird, which he is definitely not going to do on his own.

Once again thanks everybody for your thoughts and replies - it helps a lot!
post #14 of 20
You just gave me a deja vu moment. Early this morning (about 4:45 AM to be precise), my Eightball was sleeping at my side when he simply fell on the floor and looked like he was either seizing or he had just had a stroke and couldn't use the right side of his body. They way you described what happened to your baby was very close to what I saw this morning. Eightball also found a quiet spot to sit until he simply stood up and walked away on his own 30 minutes later. He's walking around the house perfectly normal right now.

Eightball was at the vets earlier this week for a exam, including a geriatric blood profile (he's 12), urinalysis, etc. They found a tumor on his neck which was cut out and sent for a biopsy (no results yet). They suspected that he has an infection and his blood work showed some chronic inflamatory condition. I didn't take him to the eVet this morning because I knew that my own vet had just run the tests that an eVet would run. He was nearly normal (although scared) within 30 minutes and I was glad I had stopped myself from taking him up there at that time.

But after talking to my vet this morning, they didn't think that any infection he had would have caused this. It's clearly neurological in nature. He's 12 with possible malignant cancer and if not cancer, he could have had a stroke. Or, as your vet told you, cat's can have seizures for no apparent reason. We may never find out what happened to him.

It's good that you've had blood work done, but I suspect that even if it shows something is wrong, there may be no correlation between the 2.

I'm sending vibes your way that you can determine what happened the other day and that it doesn't occur again. These things are very, very scary.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by CruiserMaiden View Post
This is basically what the vet and I think and unless he has another episode we probably won't do any further testing if his bloodwork comes back OK.



Mulder LOVES his catnip mouse so I don't know that I'll take it away from him - he's even played with it several times since the seizure. I have tossed the liquid spray and thoroughly cleaned the carpet I sprayed it on.

I think the difference may be that he can put the mouse down when he's had enough, where with the spray on the carpet he couldn't stop without leaving the room and the Bird, which he is definitely not going to do on his own.

Once again thanks everybody for your thoughts and replies - it helps a lot!
Wow my heart was heavy reading your first post. I can imagine how it must have scared you to death.

I'm so glad it's all OK now, and the second vet is making you and Mulder feel better. Confidence in a caregiver is paramount to you, I completely agree.

Here are some vibes for you.
post #16 of 20
Glad to hear Mulder is doing so well! Keep us posted on how the blood work comes back
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Just an update for anybody who was curious about how my Mulder Max is doing!

Mulder and Spooky have finished their antibiotics with no further problems. Mulder (I think) got diarrhea while he was on the antibiotics but the vet said that wasn’t anything to worry about if it stopped when he came off the antibiotics, which it did. I’m so glad because replacing the pellets in their Breeze box was getting super expensive at $6/bag! They were on Cefa-Drops but I think this was mainly to prevent me catching Strep again rather than anything for them…

The vet got Mulder’s blood work back and said everything was “Normalâ€. It has been almost two weeks since the seizure and he has been 100% back to himself ever since. My vet doesn’t want me to do anything different with him unless he has another seizure.

We have two theories on what caused the seizure, but apparently there is really no way to prove what caused it unless he has another one under the same circumstances at which point we could assume it was the same trigger.

I sent them a copy of the picture I mentioned that I got when Mulder was having his seizure and they said it was possible he fell and hit his head (based on how he was falling) and that may have triggered the seizure in combination with the excitement of play and catnip.

-or-

He has been (and I guess always did if I think about it) sneezing and immediately leaving the room/area whenever I spray something in the air – air freshener, body spray, whatever. The spray catnip being in the air (I sprayed it from waist level onto the carpet, and he was in the room) could have caused some trouble with his breathing and in combination with the increased physical activity he could have had an asthmatic seizure. His seizure did stop when I took him into another room but could have been coincidence.

I tossed the bottle of spray catnip and instead got some loose leaf catnip to rub on their toys and beds, etc. as needed but only in very small amounts. I did that last night with their new beds and he had no (bad) reaction, and has had no problems with his catnip toys. I also have made a point not to spray anything when he is in the room and to keep him out of rooms until the spray dissipates.

Anyway, thank you everyone for your thoughts and I really appreciate it!
post #18 of 20
I am so glad he is doing good, hopefully it will never happen again. Thanks for updating, I was wondering how he is doing. Good luck.
post #19 of 20
Had me scared for a min when I saw this post updated.

I'm glad his seizure was hopefully a 1 time deal Sounds like everything is fine medically, so I hope you do not have to deal with this again.
post #20 of 20
First, you did the right thing by getting him right to the vet (regardless of the exoribitant amount they may try to charge because of an ER visit). One of my kittens had one, it a horrible thing to watch! Luckily, he seems okay now and putting him on antibiotics is a good thing as a preventative. Just continue to observe him and recognize if anything is different/abnormal. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your baby and that he is fine!!
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