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DanaDVM, Cat Answer Team
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 998
Experience:  Cat Expert
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cat health issue

Customer Question

My 1 year 3 month old cat experienced 2 seizures this past weekend, about 22 hours apart, each lasting about 1 minute. I rushed him to his vet after the 1st, and while awaiting blood test results, he had the 2nd seizure, so I rushed him to the ER, where he was prescribed Phenobarbital. On Tuesday he saw a Neurologist, and had spinal fluid drawn, as well as addt'l tests. His regular vet said FIP is not likely, as he does not exhibit other symptoms, but the Neurologist just called to say there was a small amount of blood in his spinal fluid, and there were too many (abnormal?) white blood cells, indicating a possible infection or inflammation in the brain - meaning FIP, trauma, stroke, other infections, or Cancer… or something else. The Dr is now running an FIP Titer and Fungal test. The tests will take a few days - and I could really use some good news. I've been home from work with 'Frankie' since his 1st seizure, and am trying not to sleep, in case he has any further health scares. He is quite active, energetic, has a shiny long coat - though he does seem to be exhibiting an increased sensitivity to sound since either the seizures or since beginning the med. If this is an infection, shouldn't I have him on antibiotics so it doesn't worsen? With FIP, aren't there usually far more symptoms? (The privately run volunteer shelter he was in prior to my adopting him 8 months ago said they have had no occurrences of FIP.) I have a 2nd cat - the 2 are together constantly, and if one has something contagious, the other has surely been exposed by now, as they sleep in one spitty ball of fur for endless hours each day. I don't how to get through any more days without knowing what is wrong. If anyone has any thoughts as to why this might not be a horrible fatal illness, please respond. I could use some good news more than words can convey. In the past 3 holiday seasons, I've lost my home, my brother, and then my 7 yo Husky/Shepherd developed a horrible illness and died. I adopted the kitties because the 1st one showed up on my doorstep, dying, and then I thought she might like a companion, so along came Frankie. I really need something to help rebuild my spirit, while helping them. Thank you.
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  DanaDVM replied 11 years ago.

 In hopes of information being comforting...the presence of any number of the cells in the spinal tap is considered abnormal.  FIP is always a ruleout because it is such a hard infectious disease to put a finger on...even diagnosis is VERY hard.

You are doing everything right. Seizures in cats can be harder to get a finger on than in dogs. A spinal tap is indicated, and although you await results and prognosis, the only true comfort I can give is that you have done everything right.

It can be hard to treat infections in the nervous system, it is not impossible.  There is always the chance that he won't have any progressive problems.

I probably can offer more help to you once they give you results. Please let me know.


DanaDVM, Cat Answer Team
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 998
Experience: Cat Expert
DanaDVM and 3 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Vamvakias's Post: Thank you for the words of wisdom. If this is some type of low-grade inflammation or infection, I'm worried that he's not taking anything other than the Phenobarbital. Having kids is very nerve-wracking!Please cross your fingers for Frankie.
Expert:  DanaDVM replied 11 years ago.

 Better yet, I will keep him in my prayers. "Children" bring some of the most joys in life...even with the stress. 

They should have the results soon, but since you are not seeing a deterioration in his current health, maybe the news is good!


Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Vamvakias's Post: Thank you.

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