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Is Boo having seizures?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 

Like I need another thing to worry about. Boo is one of my senior (13 yo), neutered male cats. Other than his chronic constipation, tongue ulcers from feline herpes/calicivirus, FORLs, and arthritis (all manageable conditions), he is in good health. His blood work always comes back stellar. The vet always says it "looks remarkable for a cat his age." He eats well, drinks wells...even still plays and chases the other cats from time to time.

 

For last few years, there was always this little something going on in the background that I kind of brushed off. I didn't want to make a mountain out of a mole hill when, at this point, there was no proven evidence of an issue from his labs...only what I've observed. However, it's gotten worse and something I need to address.

 

He occasionally has these bouts of trembling and twitching. The trembling is very subtle and you would only notice by looking very closely...it's like shivering, kind of like how we shiver when we're cold. Along with the trembling, he'll have a very short, quick little twitch. It'll just be one twitch, but it may happen a dozen times over the course of his "episode." The twitch seems like it emits from his whole body, but it is most pronounced in his face. He doesn't squint, but oftentimes his eyes will be closed. If I call his name, he'll open his eyes and his pupils look normal (not dilated). He is sitting normal and oftentimes looks relaxed other than the natural tensing during trembling. It happened tonight, and before it happened he acted like he didn't feel well and wouldn't come down for dinner. After the episode, he was fine and came down to eat. He's now playing with his favorite toy...one of my hair ties.  rolleyes.gif

 

On other occasions, he can have twitches but no trembling. A few months ago, I was also writing in to TCS about his feline hyperesthesia syndrome. I tried to alter his diet and treated him for fleas (thinking maybe it was an allergy of some sort), but he still gets FHS episodes, which I know can also be some kind of seizure/neurological issue. I'm now trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

 

I do plan to bring him back to the vet, but chances are all will look fine from a physcial exam and labs, as it has in the past. What are your thoughts on all this? Are there other specific conditions that come to mind that I could bring up to the vet? Should I bring up the idea of putting Boo on an anti-seizure medication for a trial period and see what happens? What medications are typical for seizures? I think there's one that starts with a "B" that is used often.

post #2 of 51

Hi there! 

 

Sorry I am probably not much help but I think one of the only things that could probably give you a definitive diagnoses would be an MRI or an X-ray. 

 

Here are some interesting articles I found on mercola healthy pets on FHS and seizures (http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/04/04/feline-hyperesthesia-symptoms.aspx) and (http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/02/22/pet-seizures-and-pet-dog-cat-food-diet.aspx).

 

Here is a video on seizures:

 


Edited by Franksmom - 8/26/13 at 11:34pm
post #3 of 51
I was going to ask if it might possibly be muscle spasms, but that wouldn't cause the trembling. I had a cat, Callie, that had neurological problems. The vet thought she might have a tumor on her brain. She crossed over the rainbow bridge march 2012 with the help of my vet. She would start walking and just fall over. Sometimes she would walk a little sideways. Her eyes never did look quite right. She was a stray and I think she had been abused. I first noticed a problem when she would sneeze. She would sneeze about four times in a row and just fall over. I would help her try to stand back up but it always took her a few minutes. Then one night she put her head and front feet in the litter box ( I have large covered ones) and proceeded to pee in the floor! Later on she started losing control of her bladder and then her bowels. I had most of my house covered with training pads to protect the furniture, carpet, etc. When she could no longer walk but a few steps without falling I knew the time had come to let her go. Broke my heart. You didn't mention any of these symptoms so I'm probably not being much help! People can have mini seizures so I guess animals can too. There's one in people called Myoclonic that causes jerky movements. Does he need to sleep after these episodes? The few people I know with epilepsy are drained after they have a seizure. I hope you find out what the problem is and I hope it's something simple. It sounds like you're already dealing with quite a bit of health issues. Good luck!
post #4 of 51
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your replies. He's not convulsing, falling over, or acting confused. I certainly would have addressed the situation much sooner if that was the case. I've seen videos of epileptic cats having a seizure and it's nothing like that. He's not normally sleepy afterwards; he just goes on and does what he normally does (looks out the window, cleans his bum, etc.).

 

I'm not sure what to make of what I am observing.  headscratch.gif

post #5 of 51
Phenobarbitol is the preferred treatment of seizures/epilepsy in cats - but it's hard on the kidneys, so there's a trade-off in using it.

Our Sheldon had a very strange episode back in 2006 or 2007. His back legs were very weak and he seemed... dizzy, is the only way I can explain it. We took him to the vet, and by then he seemed fine. dontknow.gif The vet suggested perhaps it was "August Disease," which has another name I can't recall... it's self-resolving, usually after 2 - 3 days. It's a parasite that makes them walk in circles, or tilt their heads? Well - the symptoms didn't really quite fit, but it was the only explanation the vet could suggest.

But ever since then, he's had something similar to what you describe. He doesn't shiver, and it only happens when he's relaxed - and for Shel, it seems to only be at the front-end of his body, most noticeable in his head. It's like a quick muscle spasm, sometimes several in a row. His whole front end kind of ... "blinks," and his head bobs, is the only way I know how to describe it.

We were using an animal communicator for something else, but we asked her to ask Sheldon about this event. He told her that at the time, he felt a sharp sting in his lower back, and then his back legs didn't work for a little while (we didn't tell the animal communicator about that, so she didn't know his back legs were weak- we were trying to find out about the spasms since then, wondering what could have happened).

I subsequently asked the vets we work with if it could have been a sting of some kind from a wasp, bee or bug, and they all said it is possible, though anaphylactic shock from an allergy includes a lot more symptoms, and there wasn't any noticeable swelling... and most likely would not leave a lasting neurologic issue that causes spasms. None of our vets are willing to say "it definitely isn't that," but.... dontknow.gif ....but in the end, Sheldon has short spasms that present when he is relaxed, and they started right after that event when he experienced weakness in his back legs for about 2 days.
post #6 of 51

Isn't there a reaction to a tick bite that is neurological in nature?  I just remember hearing about it on one of those channels like Animal Planet.

post #7 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post

Phenobarbitol is the preferred treatment of seizures/epilepsy in cats - but it's hard on the kidneys, so there's a trade-off in using it.

 

That's it! I knew there was a "b" in there somewhere.  rolleyes.gif  Hmm...I wouldn't want to medicate him unnecessarily and then have it affect something else. I was hoping maybe there was something safer we could "try out."

 

Perhaps at this point I should just keep an eye on him and do the vet check-up as planned. My 3 cats are indoor only, so a parasite or tick is unlikely.

 

I mean, it's all so vague, and there are so many things that can cause neurological issues. Even topical flea meds can cause long-term neurological effects. Boo's FHS was the whole reason I started making my own safe cleaning products, and eliminating all those chemicals from my house. I wasn't sure where to go next after a diet trial, so I did a few other things I can change.

post #8 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denice View Post

Isn't there a reaction to a tick bite that is neurological in nature?  I just remember hearing about it on one of those channels like Animal Planet.

I suspect you're thinking of Deer Ticks and Lyme Disease. Lyme disease can cause neurological problems if left untreated - and the symptoms can be very confounding. We live in a rural area, and I've had Lyme three times in the past 1.5 years. I've found ticks crawling on my clothes when inside, so at least for us, a tick biting an inside-only cat is very possible.

But deer ticks are SO tiny, you don't feel them bite. Of course, the information that Sheldon felt a sting might not be correct. laughing02.gif But he doesn't have lyme, as the symptoms went away after that 2-3 days. dontknow.gif It's also notoriously difficult to test for - in fact, it's so difficult, with humans it's usually treated based on symptoms, and hopefully people have Lyme-literate doctors that can recognize it.
post #9 of 51

Hi,

 

I was reading about your cat and he sounds so similar to mine with the trembling/twitching. I sent you a pm. Could you please read or see my thread about Cat With Ear Infection and see if you think it's similar? Thanks.

post #10 of 51
Thread Starter 

So I posted my research findings about Boo's twitches in another thread to help someone else out whose cat is having a similar issue, but I'm going to transcribe and copy them here as well.

 

I did some research and came across many other links and stories of cats having this same twitching/shivering/tremor behavior. I've seen a dozen videos of cats doing exactly what my Boo is doing. What seems to be a common factor is that the cats always seem to be in a relaxed state and oftentimes purring (not necessarily sleeping). Boo's tremors/twitches are always when he is relaxed and seemingly purring (although his purrs have always been very quiet and subtle). I'm seeing a trend here. Perhaps the twitches are nothing serious at all. Maybe it's a natural reaction to the vibrations caused from purring. dontknow.gif

 

Below are some links to what I found.

 

Videos

My cat Natasha twitching before she goes to sleep - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pemRplsn7jY

Cat facial twitches / seizure - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3u2i9IcGnBo

Cat twitching whilst purring - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bO8IW2mPU6U

Lycan - Diagnosis Unknown Video 2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW5J1-InHXc (The leg/body tremors in this video are what Boo gets in addition to the facial twitches; I found this video through a TCS thread.)

 

Q&A / Articles

http://www.justanswer.com/cat-health/38vqu-male-cat-8-years-old-exhibits-facial-twitching-but.html

http://pamie.com/2012/07/our-friend-cal/

 

Explanations of Purring (which may help us to understand why purring could possibly cause facial twitches)

How do cats purr? - http://mentalfloss.com/article/12312/how-do-cats-purr

Why cats purr - http://pets.webmd.com/cats/features/why-cats-purr

Do cats breathe funny when they purr? - http://pets.thenest.com/cats-breathe-funny-purr-8382.html

Why and how a cat purrs - http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/05/why-and-how-a-cat-purrs/

 

In almost all instances in my research no reason or cure was found. FIP and toxoplasmosis were mentioned, but these are usually accompanied by a fever. Kidney disease, a heart condition or brain tumor were also mentioned. Boo was just at the vet for a dental not that long ago and his blood work was stellar. Given that, I'm thinking it's something that wouldn't get picked up by blood work. It could simply be caused by purring or he could have some underlying neurological issue (he also has FHS).

 

Boo is still eating, drinking, grooming, playing, going to the bathroom, etc. I had considered bringing him to a neurologist, but mainly for the FHS since those episodes clearly cause him distress. The subtle tremors and twitching are a mere curiosity for me. They don't seem to bother Boo, and now that I've had a moment to do some research, I see a lot of other cases where it is happening in cats who are relaxed/purring. I've seen videos of true seizures in cats (mild and grand mal). They are awful and nothing like what Boo has.

post #11 of 51
Thread Starter 

One other thing I thought of in the whole relaxed/purring theory...if this is, in fact, a common denominator of other cats with these symptoms, what other aspects of a relaxed state would cause twitching? Being relaxed is just the end result of a certain state of mind and body. That thinking let me to: 1) heart rate, 2) respiratory rate, 3) blood pressure (maybe?). When I decide to chat to my vet about Boo's twitches, I'll not only ask about from a neurological standpoint, but also cardiovascular. I really don't believe that anything is truly "idiopathic."

 

In summary, my research leads me to suspect that it's neurological (which may or may not be related to Boo's FHS and can range anywhere from a central nervous system or peripheral nerve disorder to a simple reaction some cats get when they are purring), or it's cardiovascular.

 

:sigh:

 

Also, I have my suspicions, and would be curious to know if and how cats with FHS and these kinds of twitches/tremors are treated for fleas.

post #12 of 51

GoHolistic, thanks again for the great post. I think it's a good reference point for anyone with a cat experiencing tremors and twitches. Can I ask how long your cat has been experiencing this? Mine has been having this problem since her ear infection started. I never noticed it before that. I thought maybe she was reacting to the meds in some way because after awhile I didn't notice much of anything. However, then the tremors began again and I saw twitches/tics. My cat has never been treated with flea products. Has yours? I did read something about flea products causing neurological issues but that they are temporary. I don't think Grace has FHS, although I suspect one of my other cats might have a mild form. She frequently twitches in her back and her skin ripples (but that's another story). Also, one last thing that kind of doesn't go with the common factors is Grace did the twitching when she was looking at birds a couple times so she was the opposite of relaxed/very excited. Her face scrunched and it moved her head. Those kind of shook me because it broke pattern. I don't believe Grace has any cardiovascular issues going on since this vet diagnosed my other cat with a heart murmur and told me without even any testing that he thought it was HCM. I then took him for the echo and they confirmed it. The vet said that her heart sounded great so I'm not too concerned with a heart problem. I'll be interested though to hear what your vet has to say about Boo. I'm thinking I'll give the other vet at the practice a call today and see what his standpoint is. The vet Grace goes to has two doctors there who work together but it's always good to see what he thinks as well.

 

ETA: One last thing does your cat have some jerking of the head with the twitches like in the video of Natasha? The twitches sometimes move Grace's head back a bit, like she startles. Sometimes her head moves jerkily with the tics/twitches in general like if she turns her head when one happens.

 

Thanks again!


Edited by WorriedSoMuch - 9/6/13 at 5:10am
post #13 of 51

I tried to edit my post to add this but I can't??? Anyway here is yet another video of a cat doing the same behavior:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3coFT_ZHGGE

 

Also, I tried to find any vids of a cat doing it while bird watching but could find none. I did find the chattering face ones but Grace has always done that since she was a kitten. It's quite cute actually when she talks to birds. She's just a big chatterbox anyway. I'll also add one small last note about her to the mix. She does have some overcrowding of her bottom teeth which the vet confirmed, not sure that means anything though. She does occasionally smack her lips oddly (which again has been happening for a couple years at least) which the vet said might be due to the teeth.

post #14 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WorriedSoMuch View Post
 

Can I ask how long your cat has been experiencing this?

 

Um...let's see.  It's been at least 4 years. They've either gotten a little worse or just appear to be worse because I am more observant now. (I took Boo with me when I moved out of my parents' place, so the "caretaker" role got transferred from Mom and Dad to me, and I am much more observant and OCD about my cats' health!)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WorriedSoMuch View Post
 

My cat has never been treated with flea products. Has yours?

ETA: One last thing does your cat have some jerking of the head with the twitches like in the video of Natasha?

 

Yes, Boo has been treated for fleas with a topical flea treatment (usually Frontline Plus) for years, although not every month because he is primarily indoor. When we would bring him outside on the patio during the spring/summer/fall months, we made sure he was treated. However, I'm reading more and more about how these pesticides work and can't help but think they are a contributing factor. So I was just trying to gauge if this was another common factor. But since Grace doesn't get these, I guess it's not.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WorriedSoMuch View Post
 

ETA: One last thing does your cat have some jerking of the head with the twitches like in the video of Natasha?

 

Yes, Boo gets these. Although it's not multiple twitches in a row like Natasha. His are more like the very first twitch shown in Natasha's video (at second 0:02).

post #15 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WorriedSoMuch View Post

Also, I tried to find any vids of a cat doing it while bird watching but could find none. I did find the chattering face ones but Grace has always done that since she was a kitten. It's quite cute actually when she talks to birds. She's just a big chatterbox anyway. I'll also add one small last note about her to the mix. She does have some overcrowding of her bottom teeth which the vet confirmed, not sure that means anything though. She does occasionally smack her lips oddly (which again has been happening for a couple years at least) which the vet said might be due to the teeth.

 

Boo chatters at the birds, too. It's called "charming" and is totally normal. Way different from the twitches we are witnessing.

post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoHolistic View Post
 

 

Um...let's see.  It's been at least 4 years. They've either gotten a little worse or just appear to be worse because I am more observant now. (I took Boo with me when I moved out of my parents' place, so the "caretaker" role got transferred from Mom and Dad to me, and I am much more observant and OCD about my cats' health!)

 

 

Yes, Boo has been treated for fleas with a topical flea treatment (usually Frontline Plus) for years, although not every month because he is primarily indoor. When we would bring him outside on the patio during the spring/summer/fall months, we made sure he was treated. However, I'm reading more and more about how these pesticides work and can't help but think they are a contributing factor. So I was just trying to gauge if this was another common factor. But since Grace doesn't get these, I guess it's not.

 

 

Yes, Boo gets these. Although it's not multiple twitches in a row like Natasha. His are more like the very first twitch shown in Natasha's video (at second 0:02).

 

 

I think if Boo has been having these issues for 4 years that he probably doesn't have anything life threatening. Grace has only been going through this for close to a month so I'm scared still. I also know what you mean about being observant. My mom frequently stays with me and she'll watch my cats while I'm at work and she always says she saw nothing abnormal. However, I'm always seeing something. While I know I definitely witnessed tremors and twitches, I have to be careful because I start to think I see other things and think everything is abnormal so it's a slippery slope. I think since Boo already has FHS and has been treated for fleas that it's very likely that his issues stem from there. Hopefully the vet is right when he tells me that Grace's issues are from allergies but I don't know. Also, her twitches do resemble Natasha's first twitch. Sometimes she does get a couple in a row though, it depends. I did speak to the vet again on Saturday, this time the other one in the practice to see what he thinks and he said he does not believe she has a brain tumor. He told me that brain tumors are quite rare in cats (good news for us) and that considering Grace's age and overall health, it seems even more unlikely. Please keep me up to date on Boo and I'll do the same with Grace.


Edited by WorriedSoMuch - 9/9/13 at 5:51am
post #17 of 51
Thread Starter 

Hmm...been doing some research.

 

The definition of focal motor seizure seem to fit Boo's facial twitching and limb trembling.

 

The definition of complex focal seizure (or psychomotor seizure) seem to fit Boo's hyperesthesia syndrome.  When I searched "psychomotor seizure," it turns out that feline hyperesthesia comes up. I don't know why I didn't catch this before. Perhaps I was in denial and hoped it wasn't seizures.

 

Here are my sources from vets and/or vet schools:

 

Management and Treatment of Seizures - http://www.uq.edu.au/vetschool/content/ce-seminars/neurologycejuly2012xpart2.pdf

Seizure Management in Dogs and Cats - http://www.delawarevalleyacademyvm.org/pdfs/oct10/SeizureManagement.pdf

Seizures: From Start to Finish - http://www.gvma.net/files/ECVC2013/Platt-Seizures.pdf

 

And here's a general link from PetMD saying that Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome (FHS) and Psychomotor Epilepsy are the same thing:

 

Twitch-Skin Syndrome in Cats - http://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/skin/c_ct_feline_hyperesthesia_syndrome
 

post #18 of 51

I am once again interested in this topic, unfortunately.

I treated Ritz' FHS with Prozac around April 2013, and weaned her off Prozac in June.  Her symptoms had largely dissipated.

Last week they started up again:  twitching around the body and stomach, some running back and forth, looking at her tail like she didn't know what to do with it.

The important distinction (I think) between what Boo is experiencing and what perhaps Grace and Ritz are experiencing is that Grace/Ritz don't like the twitching, they are upset, disturbed by it. Also, Ritz' limbs aren't involved.  Boo's (Grace?) symptoms seem to appear only when she is relaxed:  correct me please if I'm wrong.  If the FHS didn't bother Ritz, I would mind.  (The vet who made the diagnosis said the symptoms bother the owner more than the pet; I disagree.)

Last week I started packing for a short trip this past weekend; Ritz knew something was up.  I believe FHS can be stress-related (Ritz has FLUTD), so I am hoping the FHS symptoms disappear in a week or two.  I do NOT want to put her back on Prozac.  I fed raw, so I don't believe diet is a contributing factor.   I have used/am using a homeopathic vet for some of Ritz' other ailments, and will consult with him if necessary.

Vibes for Grace and Boo; I know it's really disturbing not to have a definitive diagnosis.

post #19 of 51

GoHolistic, I know what you mean. I thought Grace's symptoms fit with a focal seizure based on what I researched as well. However, my vet tells me this is not the case.  He says "if your cat was having a seizure, you'd know it." Both vets told me that there is a certain period before the seizure where they act differently and that there would be a definite spacing out after the seizure that would be obvious. However "dear google" tells me that cats can have seizures when they are totally aware. Both vets told me to stay off google but honestly I don't know what to think anymore. Also, the 2 vets told me seizures are rare in cats and that it's more often something else happening. Yesterday Grace was blinking quite a lot, more than usual and again I'm questioning if this is normal behavior. She wanted some food and then started yawning like she was tired so I don't know if there was a connection or what. Then she decided when jumping on her climber, she didn't want to jump straight up but instead climb up using her front paws, so I was thinking, uh oh are her legs bothering her? :frusty:As I said, I'm noticing everything and it's driving me a tad crazy because I want her to be a normal cat and not feel like she's under constant scrutiny. She slept next to me last night and I didn't notice a thing. She was very relaxed so I don't know what to do/think.

 

Ritz, I'm sorry your cat is experiencing issues as well. I don't think Grace has FHS although she grooms more lately. Her grooming seems to be in relation to her allergy. Perhaps allergies and FHS are more related than thought? I'm not sure if the twitching bothers Grace. I feel it does somewhat since it moves her head and she looks sort of startled. The vet did tell me the tremors could be from ear pain which made me sad because I hate to think of my cat in pain. Also, yes Grace's symptoms do occur when relaxed except for the time she was looking at birds and very focused on them so she was alert/excited. I think Grace's tics/tremors can be induced by stress. I find that she does them more when I'm stressed like she's picking up on it. Also, I agree with you. It's hard not having a diagnosis. I realize I might never have one either but I'd just like to know she can live with it and be okay.


Edited by WorriedSoMuch - 9/10/13 at 6:40am
post #20 of 51
Thread Starter 

Oh, wait. I may have not been entirely clear. Boo has two issues going, which may or may not be related to the same possible "condition":

 

  1. Facial Twitching and Whole Body Trembling (focal motor seizures?). He gets these subtle facial twitching and trembling episodes at least once a day that seem independent of his FHS episodes. They don't happen together. The twitching/trembling does not seem to bother him from what I can see, but he does stay in one spot during one. He'll finally get up to stretch or move after the episode has passed. These episodes do seem to happen when he is relaxed, but what if it's the episode that comes first and causes him to stay still?  headscratch.gif
  2. Feline Hyperesthesia Syndome (complex focal/psychomotor seizure?). The FHS episodes DO bother him. He gets very uncomfortable during a FHS episode, running around like crazy, licking at his back and flank. He runs to his favorite sleeping spot in hopes that it will stop it. These episodes also happen a few times a day, but not at the same time as the facial twitching and body trembling. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the FHS. He gets it when he's relaxed or active, different times of the day, etc. No pattern whatsoever.

 

I'll observe Boo during any of his episodes and try to comfort him, but I'm not panicked by it. He'll be 14 in February, so I'm sure his old age is a contributing factor to any neurological issue he may be developing.  dontknow.gif

post #21 of 51

Well I know my cat that passed from CRF had some head tremors beginning around age 10. He even had them when he was walking around (not every day, they were infrequent). He was healthy then and the vet just thought it was old age. My other cat started having them at age 12 and the vet also felt it was age related. He only experienced maybe 1-2 tremors I think though that I remember. I do think age can play a factor especially with the tremors as a majority of cats I hear about with tremors are "senior" cats. That's what really has me up in arms with Grace because she's just 5. One vet said she's practically a "baby" when I brought up all the possible causes of her tics/tremors/twitches.

 

Also, Grace does stay in one spot usually when she's having the tics/tremors. She'll stay seated if she is resting or standing looking at the birds. I do find the whole thing still so puzzling. headshake.gif

post #22 of 51

Allergies has been raised as a possible cause of FHS; that is why sometimes a change in diet is recommended.

When the FHS symptoms begin, I try to distract Ritz by playing with her--her favorite toy is ornamental grass, which she can 'kill' and 'eat'.  If the episode is minor, sometimes the distraction works; if major, nothing works except leaving her alone and pray and saying reassuring words.

And yeah, there are two different kinds of tremors being discussed--the kind that don't bother the cat and the kind that do.

Ritz is around four years old.  And lived the first four to six months of her life on the streets, so she is hard wired to be stressed out.

post #23 of 51
Thread Starter 

Aw...poor Ritz.  frown.gif  She doesn't go as far as full-on attacking her tail and making herself bleed, does she? I've read horror stories of this and saw a video (once) that scarred me for life. It was horrible.

 

I addressed the possible allergy issue with Boo for 2-3 months and it didn't make a difference.

 

So you've tried diet and Prozac, right? What else have you tried?

post #24 of 51

No, thank goodness the worst symptom is when she races up and down the hall, trying to escaping the 'demons'.  She has never self-mutilated.

Yes I've tried Prozac.

The symptoms were sporadic (once every few months) for the last two years until the beginning of January 2014; several stressful events happened over a period of three or four months, including having a rabies vaccination.  I don't think the rabies vaccination caused the FHS; I think it was perhaps a combination of several factors.

I've been feeding Ritz raw for almost two years.  The attacks do not seem to be related to the protein I feed her.  (She'll eat anything, from llama to deer to chicken.)

I have been/am treating Ritz with some homeopathic medicine prescribed by a vet for stress induced UTIs and a voracious appetite.  I plan to call the vet in a few weeks to give him an update and, if necessary, get some homeopathic medicine for the FHS.

post #25 of 51
Thread Starter 

Oh, okay. Well at least she isn't self-mutilating.

 

I guess let me know how it goes. Sending :vibes: for Ritz!

post #26 of 51

Poor Ritz frown.gif I thought there had to be an allergy link in there somewhere. Grace has been grooming a lot again so I think she's still itchy too. I think I am going to have to try to figure out what is causing her allergies, although the doctor thinks they are seasonal. He did say dietary changes might be the next step if anything.

 

Unfortunately I am a nervous wreck this morning. Last night I noticed Grace makes this odd face. It's almost like her jaw goes a little slack, not like her mouth is hanging open but her lower lip is more visible and her face looks elongated. She just looks at me like that sometimes and then she yawns or moves or something and goes back to normal. Then I am getting ready for work and ate some toast. There were a few crumbs on the table and Grace usually likes to lick them. Well she was up there licking the crumbs. Then I turn around to grab my stuff to go and she has her head up and is licking, snapping at the air. It really shook me! Am I being overly afraid? The whole "slack jaw" and "air licking" has me thinking neurological problems again. I read one of the seizure articles (I honestly shouldn't as doctors have recommended I stop internet researching for my anxiety) and they mentioned a seizure type behavior called "fly catching" so I'm thinking, that must be what they are talking about. I tried to rationalize that maybe a crumb was bugging her mouth or something and I'm making a mountain out of a molehill. She didn't seem to have any altered consciousness. I called her and she didn't look but then she finally did and she looked 100% fine. Honestly my psyche is so fragile right now going through these issues though.bawling.gif I don't want to call the vet again since we spoke just 4-5 days ago. Any advice?

post #27 of 51

I am so stressed out over this. I posted yesterday about Graces mouth snapping episode. Well yesterday was horrible for her. She was having several of her mouth tics. These are different from the usual. She has had these probably for quite awhile (years anyway) and I wasn't sure why. When I mentioned it to the vet, he said it might be from her slight overcrowding of teeth. He told me that if she doesn't seem to be very bothered by the extra bottom tooth she has, then I can disregard it for now. However, yesterday she was in a lip smacking/head shaking frenzy. She does this motion like something is stuck in her mouth and shakes out her head. Usually this occurs after grooming or after eating some dry food. She also was grooming every minute! I was so distressed by the whole thing that I couldn't even eat dinner. I'm starting to think she might be exhibiting some signs of FHS maybe brought on by the allergies. I know I probably sound like I'm acting nuts but when I think my cat isn't feeling well, I can't feel well either. Last night, I had a friend over for dinner. Grace was there sitting down and when I looked at her, it appeared she was rocking back and forth. I jumped up from the table, terrified and my friend gave me a look like I'd finally lost it. She said that Grace was sitting in a funny position and her breathing was causing her to move like that. I think she's probably right but still this whole thing makes me ill.

 

She only would have episodes before of the lip smacking/head shake maybe 1-2 times per week. Yesterday she did this about 5-6 times! It happened in the morning, when I arrived home from work, after she groomed a lot, after she ate, and then before bed. Then I barely slept last night, got up before the alarm clock costing me an extra hour or so of sleep just because of my anxiety over this. Then her bratty "siblings" somehow got into the treat container so they were eating when I was in the bathroom getting ready for work. When I walked out, she was doing it again, probably because she ate the food. Then before I left, yet again, she was doing a head jerk and shaking her head. I don't know if this is the tooth or what, some kind of FHS thing (as I heard this can be a sign). I hate to put her through an extraction. I've read some scary stories about cats not doing so well with them. Also, if it's not necessary, I hate to do it too. I'm not even sure her regular vet does extractions so she might have to travel to a specialist. I'm just so overwhelmed. Sorry but I needed to just kind of vent here. It's probably the only place where people can understand. I called my mom and she just blew me off completely. It was very upsetting.

post #28 of 51
I forget--are you seeing a feline vet or a vet who sees all animals.
You might want to see a feline only vet.
Have you gone to a neurologist specialist vet?
I know when I think something is wrong with Ritz, I start noticing EVERY little thing. Who knows, maybe Ritz has been grooming herself just as much now as she did last year--or maybe I'm just noticing it more. Don't know. So I look to other more concrete behaviors. As my cat mentor (who rescued Ritz) advised me four years ago when I adopted Ritz--my first cat ever--if a cat is peeing/pooping/playing/eating normally, then chances are, Ritz is okay.
post #29 of 51

I see a vet who sees just cats and dogs mainly. I like this vet a great deal, as well as the other vets who work in the practice. They are great about answering calls and questions. I don't want to switch even if it's to a feline vet. I have not seen the neurologist yet. I was advised against it. The vet didn't see it being necessary given Grace's 2 normal exams (aside from allergies) last month. Both vets agreed that the travel would be stressful and that putting a pretty young cat through that would be most likely unnecessary. After speaking to one of the vets there a few days ago, I was honestly feeling quite relieved when she told me the rarity of seizures and brain tumors in cats. Then, like you, I notice EVERYTHING. She is still doing everything normally. She wants to eat all the time so she doesn't seem to have any distress there. She's not spitting out her food and she even eats the dry, crunching it and everything so I would think if it was painful for her, she wouldn't want to eat it. She also got into the treats this morning as I said. She also has experienced this mouth spasm as I call it sometimes for quite awhile, although it seemed like a rare occasion that I saw it, so I would think if it was something dangerous, she'd be in bad shape by now. She behaves as if something is stuck on her tongue and shakes out her head. It's not a nausea thing as I am pretty familiar with that behavior. The vet examined her mouth thoroughly too last time and saw nothing wrong, aside from the overcrowding. It's just how frequently she seems to do it within the last couple of days. I didn't see her do it all Monday or Tuesday but then yesterday it happened a lot and she's already done it twice this morning. I am at work right now and my mind is fixated on how she is back home. I have a knot in my stomach. My mom said she'd check in on the cats later today (as she lives close by) but as I said, she never sees anything amiss.

post #30 of 51

Well I was hoping not to revisit this thread but here I am a  nervous wreck again. I was doing my best not to panic over every little thing, but Grace did something last night that again has me concerned. She had a pretty good week overall, didn't really notice anything strange. I didn't see any tics, tremors, or anything. I was doing my best to just let the fear and anxiety go and accept the vet's diagnosis that she is okay and not on the verge of death. Last week I had to call him because she jerked out her paw when she was relaxing and he told me that it was most likely normal and she was falling asleep. However, last night, she was cuddling with me like she loves to do and she was fine. About an hour had passed and she was purring away on my pillow. I was scratching her face and then out of nowhere, she does about three sharp head jerks against my hand. It was just bizarre! I can't even explain it. I looked down at her and it was as if it was quick I couldn't see it, just feel the movement. I tried to rationalize that maybe she was hyper relaxed and experienced some jerking but 3 times?!?! That seems a bit odd. I know no one can really give me answers but I'm just so upset and worried right now. The vet did say if I could catch anything on video that he'd be happy to look at it and even forward it along to the neuro to get his thoughts but she's not doing things every minute and it was 11 PM in a dark house so how could I have a camera at the ready?

I hate this frown.gif 

 

 

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