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My Cat is Having Constant Spasms and No One Knows Why!!! HELP ME!!!!

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

My cat is having spasms constantly. His whole body seems to be affected. He is only 1! It's been a month now, and no one knows what is going on. He is still eating/drinking/using the litter box/playing, but every time he lies down, he is bothered by spasms! He is experiencing random bolts of energy accompanied with frustrated cries, and he purrs too often, which worries me that he is in a lot of pain. He has had blood work and x-rays, but nothing has shown up as abnormal.

 

He is currently on medication for Epilepsy, but it is not helping at all. I think in fact, he has become worse. The spasms started in his back legs, and now his whole body is involved. He walks stiff legged, as if he does not want to bend his back legs - he also sleeps with all four legs stretched away from his body.

 

When he is playing, he lies down every few minutes to rest, and he often pauses to stretch his hind legs. He is having a hard time using his back legs - they tend to slip out from beneath him when he's running, jumping, or climbing. His eyes are a bit watery, and he tends to close his left one quite often. He has a weird look in his eyes like he's confused or upset.

 

He may be throwing up/or having bowel issues - I have found spots on the floor and have been unable to determine if it's vomit or feces, (it may belong to one of my other cats. I am uncertain because I have not seen any of them throw up). 

 

I am terrified that he is crying out in pain, and waiting for me to help him, and wondering why I'm not. I'm also horrified that he is slowly dying, and all I'm doing is watching him, because no one seems to be able to help him! I'm so worried and sick over this! 

 

And just so you know, he is an indoor cat. Here is a video, showing that spasms that he has (awake or asleep).

post #2 of 33

When did you last see your vets?  Have you taken a second opinion?  Have you asked for a referal to a specialist?

post #3 of 33
Thread Starter 

I brought him to the vet four times this month. I went a week ago, and I'm calling again tomorrow. They told me they would send him to a Neurologist if things didn't get better. But I'm afraid he's going to die while I wait for doctors to slowly figure it out! That is the medical system! And as for second opinion, I have called vet after vet, and no one knows what is wrong, and I've been searching and asking on the internet. Anything at all that I can do!

post #4 of 33

I wonder if he may benefit from acupuncture? If it's just spasms, it might help control them and give him some relief. Hopefully the spots you've found on the floor have nothing to do with it. Anywho, its something to bring up to your vet while waiting to see a Neurologist. Regardless, I hope you find out whats going wrong with your handsome boy soon! vibes.gif

 
post #5 of 33

OK, I have to say, I didn't see anything unusual there.  If he's purring, those motions are typical.
 

post #6 of 33

I'm not seeing it either. My cats twitch and flail more than that when they sleep (what crazy dreams they must have!).

 

Do you have any video of him walking?

post #7 of 33

Very recently one of my strays got a major eye infection, which the vet believes caused her to get meningitis [infection of the membranes around the brain and spinal chord]. It can cause seizures or ataxia, but in our stray her muscles would tense up and move very slowly [kind of like your cat in the video... but your cat looks much more mild]. It was like she lost control of her muscles and they all contracted at once into a tight spasm and then would move around for about a two minute period. It's only happened twice for her, the first time which caused us to rush to the e-vet at midnight, and the second which happened at the vet- and the vet saw. They were a little puzzled by it because obviously something was going on, her pupil in the non-infected eye would dilate the entire time she was having them, and she would purr very, VERY loudly. She was also completely aware of us and her surroundings the entire time this was going on, she reacted to our fingers in front of her eye. It was just like her muscles weren't of her own anymore. The vet said she thought it was probably meningitis that was causing her to have these epsiodes. If that's not something you've discussed with your vet- maybe you should in case there is an infection in his body that's not visible that is causing this.

 

But then again.. from the video it also kind of looks like he's just a heavy sleeper and super twitcher in his sleep.  I have kitties like that too :)

 

I hope everything turns out okay heart.gif

post #8 of 33

This reminds me a little of a foster called Diego who I looked after for about two years. He was FIV+ and had had a very rough life on the streets, managing to survive a racoon attack that left him with a massive permanent scar across his neck and a few bb pellets that couldn't be removed. He developed pain in his jaw (we think, some vets thought inside the mouth) which had him screaming and literally climbing the wall. No-one could ever figure out what was wrong with him. One vet suggested that the FIV virus had damaged the nerves on one side of his jaw, and that seemed the most likely.  All vets (he saw six, I believe) agreed it had nothing to do with damage from the racoon attack or the bb pellets, even though they were close to the area affected. The only thing we could do was treat the nerve pain which had to be done through an oesophageal tube because Gabapentin doesn't come in an injectable form (much to my very great regret) and the pain was far too great to pop a pill in his mouth no matter how fast. The shelter decided to try acupuncture but it actually made the pain more frequent. I hope you can see a veterinary neurologist.
 

post #9 of 33

Also the stiff legged thing is one of the major signs of ataxia, so i'd definitely ask the vet about that.

post #10 of 33
Thread Starter 

Okay, for everyone who says he is dreaming, he has these spasms when he is awake and sitting up too. It was just easier to video tape it while he was sleeping, because he always gets up when I bring the camera close to him. I have another video on youtube that shows this. Look up Diagnosis Still Unknown Video 2 and  you will see. 

 

For those of you who actually took this seriously, thank you for your advice. Everything that has been said, I will mention to my vet. I am going tomorrow and I want to be armed with all possibilities, so I can figure out what is wrong. Thanks a lot! 

post #11 of 33

Here is another thread posted recently by another cat owner whose cat had what she called a "tremor".  You might mention what she discovered to your Vet, since you're going tomorrow:

 

http://www.thecatsite.com/t/243970/cat-has-a-twitch-tremor-in-his-body-involuntary

 

Good luck getting to the bottom of this vibes.gif

post #12 of 33
Thread Starter 

Well after many tests, saying that there is nothing wrong with him, the Neurologist said that it's most likely FIP which is difficult to diagnose, and a death sentence. He said the only way to know for sure that it's not something else, is by giving him a brain fluid analysis, and he said that is a risky surgery, and there is a large percentage of animals who die during it. So I think I have no real choice but to stop searching and let him live what life he has left, stress free? What if it turns out it's not an infection, and he died on the table for nothing at all? And the vet said that it's unlikely that if it is an infection in the brain, that we'll be able to help him. There's always a chance, but unlikely. I'm so horrified by the situation. I don't want to ruin what life he has left by looking for a cure and stressing him out, when the likeliness is grave:( I hope I'm doing the right thing:(

post #13 of 33

I do hope it is not FIP.  For now, love him and give him lots of attention.  Enjoy each day.  I am hoping that it is something else and this will go away.  Since there is not a simple test to confirm, I'd not worry much yet.  If you do see his health start to decline, you can put more thought into the best decision for both of you.  For now, I'd just spoil him rotten.  :-)

post #14 of 33

Looks like nothing more than a cat having a dream and some light movement, which again is common, they do if you were unaware of this. I am not seeing what you refer to as spasms. The movement shown certainly is not.

 

Now if your cat has these slight glitches when fully awake, while sitting, playing, or walking, then yes i would have the animal checked out, from what you have shown us i see nothing wrong.

post #15 of 33

Oh dear...I do hope this "probable" diagnosis is not correct.  In the meantime, I don't think I would do the brain fluid analysis either, given the danger involved frown.gif, especially since, as far as I know, there is really no cure.  I would take this one day at a time and if he gets worse, then think about Plan B.  For now, though, I think I would do exactly what you are doing. hugs.gif

post #16 of 33

What are you feeding him and when was he last vaccinated?  Have you used any flea/tick products or heartworm meds recently?

post #17 of 33
Thread Starter 

I feed him Whiskas Meaty Selection, and canned wet food. A mixture of the two. I'm planning on changing over to all wet food soon. And he was last vaccinated six months ago. No, I have not used any products on him. He does not have fleas/ticks/heartworm. 

post #18 of 33
Thread Starter 

Thanks mrsgreenjeens:) Makes me feel better that someone else would make the same choice.

post #19 of 33

If there's not much you can do to help him, I'd at least offer him Bach Rescue Remedy for pets. Yes, it's kind of pricy but will last a while. It's a stress reliever for animals. My 14lb. kitty gets 2 or 3 drops to mellow her out, and 4 drops if we have to leave the house (she hates the car). Also, feeding your kitty the highest quality food possible (grain-free for sure), is going to help him have a better time. I'd recommend checking out a local pet food store for better products than you'll find at petco. And if you really wanna dive deep into kitty food info, check out this lady, she knows a ton: http://www.catinfo.org/

My kitty has been twitching just like you're talking about, and I've just been doing some research on it. It has come and gone, and usually only happens after a stressful experience. I just found info on Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feline_hyperesthesia_syndrome

My kitty has been licking her tummy bald for so many years, probably around six or seven. I've thought it was food allergies, and we've done EVERYTHING to attempt to help her itching. Or so I thought it was itching... Now I'm wondering, since she's been twitching, is it FHS??? I've watched some videos on youtube with kitties with FHS and it looks similar to what's going on with my CaliCat. Just a tidbit more for you to check out.

Good luck to you and your pretty pet! 

post #20 of 33

I was thinking the exact same thing: Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome. I know the story of a cat who has this and in bad periods can hardly walk because his muscles are so sore and stiff. An osteopath helped him tremendously.

 

About the FIP diagnosis... It strikes me as odd. You mention that bloodwork was done. FIP cannot be diagnosed conclusively, but as far as I know if your cat had FIP the bloodwork should be abnormal. Have a look at this site for more information about FIP: http://www.dr-addie.com/WhatIsFIP.htm#Diagnosis of FIP

 

Lots of love for you and your cat. I know how awful it is to know that something is wrong but not knowing what or how you can help him. 

post #21 of 33
Thread Starter 

Yeah, Lycan definitely does not have Feline Hyperesthesia. He does not have the right symptoms for it. Still, we have no diagnosis for him. The good news is: THE FULL BODY SPASMS ARE GONE! Perhaps the phenobarbital has helped, or maybe it's a coincidence. But he is still having problems. His back legs bother him a lot and he seems edgy. He also experiences small twitches in his face and difficulty walking/jumping. But he's happier than he was, because he doesn't have the spasms to keep him up a night. So now he can sleep peacefully. Thank ******* god. But yeah, we did more and more and more tests, and the only out-of-normal results we've come up with is that he has an extremely high Corona Virus Titer Level, which supports but does not prove a diagnosis of FIP (cats can have high levels and never get FIP), and his Thyroid levels were still normal, but a little low for someone of his age. He has been checked for everything, including Hyper and Hypothyroidism, but now I'm wondering, though rare, if he may have Hyperparathyroidism. There's so little left to check, unless we do a spinal tap, which seems extreme and dangerous, considering the results of disease discovered through spinal fluid is usually grave and incurable. He's been biting/licking at his right back leg (the one he seems to have the most trouble walking with) and he has some cuts on it - we don't know if this was a rough-play injury that he keeps bothering so it can't heal, or if it's a lesion that has developed randomly, which also supports an FIP diagnosis. He seems less interested in food and water than he used to be. He lost weight within a two-week period, but then he gained some back, so we're not sure if that is a factor, or if he was just eating less because of the hot weather. This is very frustrating.

 

Oh and EmilyRose, I already use an anxiety hormone to help my cats stay happy and calm, but thank you for the recommendation. I once had a little Calico cat (her name was Fluffy RIP) who had Hypersthesia too. She was precious, and beautiful, and snotty. lol.  I have noticed that anxiety disorders/etc are quite common in Calicos, and breathing/lung disorders are quite common in Grey Tabbies. I know that seems weird, but I have been researching things for a long time now, and you start to see patterns after a while. 

 

And thank you for the website burretje - but I have read that site inside and out. lol. I have spent so much time researching cat diseases and symptoms, and have used many resources, including a Veterinary Encyclopedia. Lycan is an anomaly to Medical Science thus far. He is not alone, because I've found various other cases of cats with idiopathic spasms, and they never received a diagnosis either. Unfortunately, a lot of these cats ended up dying prematurely due to lung/heart/blood issues, so maybe there is something to look into there. I have checked his heart/lungs/blood/liver/kidney/thyroid/etc. But still no conclusive results. Something is hiding somewhere. I hope I can find out what's wrong before it is too late. It is unlikely, but I have to try, while keeping in mind that he may in fact have FIP (which can have neurological signs), which means he may be dying, so I should be careful what I'm willing to put him through (less stress is best), I want him to be happy and stress free, even if that means I may not discover the truth. It is a very difficult situation.

post #22 of 33

What an awful situation. Thankfully he has less spasms now. 

 

My thoughts are with you. 

post #23 of 33

I'm so sorry for what you're going through but I'm glad your cat's spasms have subsided a little. When your vet did blood work how was his potassium level?

post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lycan709 View Post
...I have spent so much time researching cat diseases and symptoms, and have used many resources, including a Veterinary Encyclopedia. Lycan is an anomaly to Medical Science thus far. He is not alone, because I've found various other cases of cats with idiopathic spasms, and they never received a diagnosis either...
I hope I can find out what's wrong before it is too late.

 

 


A couple of weeks ago, I had left you a suggestion on another forum just after you posted there (in an unrelated thread).....I have a feeling you may not have seen it. Just last night I saw this identical post from you in that same forum....and I replied.

 

I'll repeat that post here, in the hope that you'll pick up the suggestion sooner or later...somewhere!

My suggestion came from personal experience with 2 other diseases...and reflects what I would do today were I faced with your dilemma.

Now, you've researched 'all over the place' and you've posted your story on at least two other forums.

What you haven't yet done (so far as I can tell) is to bring Lycan's story in front of a group or two of feline guardians whose sole online focus is FIP.

 

My second cat had FeLV, and it was only after his passing that I learned of all the specialized online resources which I could have availed of - in particular, that there are specialized online support groups where guardians of cats with chronic diseases/conditions gather to share experience, information, developments and practical advice. If only I had known about them...I am convinced that my kitty would not have passed when he did, before his time. The collective experience of these groups far outstrips that of anyone's individual Vet. I can assure you that, if I had the possibility of a FIP kitty today - if there were any question/suspicion of it, I would be involved with such a group/s and posting my story there.

 

Now, since 1999, about 4,000 people with FIP kitties have participated in those groups and, while not all of them are active participants today, the group owners and many core committed members will populate the groups. Certainly, there have been cats with neurological symptoms dealt with by these people and, nowhere else in cyberspace will you have access to so much collective experience....which is precisely why I would be bringing my story there.


There are two separate groups I'm aware of that have FIP as their focus. From my own bookmarks, here they are:

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/FIPCatSupport/
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/FIP/

 

Whilst there is such despair associated with FIP, it's of value to know that there appears to be hope on the road ahead.

There is much current ongoing research into FIP...one such project was recently profiled here http://winnfelinehealth.blogspot.ca/...nt=Yahoo!+Mail (at the bottom of that page, you'll find a "Search This Blog" box - type in fip and you'll see many other investigational reports at the top of the page

Last Year, The Winn Feline Foundation also held a symposium with leading FIP experts. There are audio recordings of those proceedings here
1. http://petworldradio.net/winn-sympos...lfred-legendre
2. http://petworldradio.net/winn-sympos...niels-pederson
3. http://petworldradio.net/winn-symposium-part-3-q-a

 

I certainly hope that this information will catch up with you in the near future.....I do not appear to be able to do soflail.gif

post #25 of 33

If you haven't seen this website, it's worth looking at.

 

http://www.dr-addie.com/index.htm

post #26 of 33
Thread Starter 

No I did not see this post! Thank you for tracking me down. lol. I will check out those groups right away. Thanks!

post #27 of 33
Thread Starter 

No, you were right. I did not see your post. I will check these groups out right away. Thank you very much:)

Quote:
Originally Posted by White Shadow View Post

 

 


A couple of weeks ago, I had left you a suggestion on another forum just after you posted there (in an unrelated thread).....I have a feeling you may not have seen it. Just last night I saw this identical post from you in that same forum....and I replied.

 

I'll repeat that post here, in the hope that you'll pick up the suggestion sooner or later...somewhere!

My suggestion came from personal experience with 2 other diseases...and reflects what I would do today were I faced with your dilemma.

Now, you've researched 'all over the place' and you've posted your story on at least two other forums.

What you haven't yet done (so far as I can tell) is to bring Lycan's story in front of a group or two of feline guardians whose sole online focus is FIP.

 

My second cat had FeLV, and it was only after his passing that I learned of all the specialized online resources which I could have availed of - in particular, that there are specialized online support groups where guardians of cats with chronic diseases/conditions gather to share experience, information, developments and practical advice. If only I had known about them...I am convinced that my kitty would not have passed when he did, before his time. The collective experience of these groups far outstrips that of anyone's individual Vet. I can assure you that, if I had the possibility of a FIP kitty today - if there were any question/suspicion of it, I would be involved with such a group/s and posting my story there.

 

Now, since 1999, about 4,000 people with FIP kitties have participated in those groups and, while not all of them are active participants today, the group owners and many core committed members will populate the groups. Certainly, there have been cats with neurological symptoms dealt with by these people and, nowhere else in cyberspace will you have access to so much collective experience....which is precisely why I would be bringing my story there.


There are two separate groups I'm aware of that have FIP as their focus. From my own bookmarks, here they are:

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/FIPCatSupport/
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/FIP/

 

Whilst there is such despair associated with FIP, it's of value to know that there appears to be hope on the road ahead.

There is much current ongoing research into FIP...one such project was recently profiled here http://winnfelinehealth.blogspot.ca/...nt=Yahoo!+Mail (at the bottom of that page, you'll find a "Search This Blog" box - type in fip and you'll see many other investigational reports at the top of the page

Last Year, The Winn Feline Foundation also held a symposium with leading FIP experts. There are audio recordings of those proceedings here
1. http://petworldradio.net/winn-sympos...lfred-legendre
2. http://petworldradio.net/winn-sympos...niels-pederson
3. http://petworldradio.net/winn-symposium-part-3-q-a

 

I certainly hope that this information will catch up with you in the near future.....I do not appear to be able to do soflail.gif

post #28 of 33

man, i wish cats could tell us exactly what their complications might be. i get so upset when one of my "kids" appears to have a problem.

then i think, never again do i want a pet. i think i get more depressed and stressed than my cats. my human brain thinks the worse.

i read afflictions here and i get more frightened. what we all need is an animal mind reader.

post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by daddyincr View Post

man, i wish cats could tell us exactly what their complications might be.....what we all need is an animal mind reader.

 

Here you are: http://www.gazehound.com/

 

Meantime, and - it's easier said than done, I find that I'm in the best position to help when I've observed and noted behaviour changes, changes in routines (and, cats thrive on routines!)...all down to the closest detail I can extract. From all of that, there's often valuable and telling info which can lead to figuring things out.....and, that's more productive than the fretting.

post #30 of 33

My cat was doing something very similar with tensing and then relaxing repeatedly when relaxed (not sleeping). He was eating and drinking but we noticed he seemed run down and was not purring as much as he used to. They ran blood, urine and feces tests as well as looked for anything topical. All came back fine. They also gave him subcutaneous fluids and sent us home with some very expensive  glucosamine. He seemed to have more energy immediately so I remembered my old buddy Mickey (previous cat I had for 18 years and had kidney issues so I had to give him fluids.) He would have a lot more energy after fluid injections so I though our current cat may be dehydrated even though he was drinking. One thing we know he likes is running water so we setup a fast drip in the bath tub and he will spend lot so time playing and drinking. He is back to normal after 2 weeks now.

 

Background - we moved out to WA from WI. He traveled out with my wife and was in the car for almost a week and did not have full access to water, food or litter box. We are thinking he basically trained himself to go without and was still keeping himself partially dehydrated. Now that he is hydrated normally, he has lots of energy and no more spasms. 

 

Not saying this is what you cat has, but through I would offer up what helped for our cat. We just needed to find an easy way to keep him hydrated. Next step is to find a recirculating water dish that he likes. Seems to only want water dripping from faucets.  

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