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My female cat has twitches almost like she has hiccups or

nervous twitch like JA: I'll do...
My female cat has twitches almost like she has hiccups or nervous twitch like
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the cat?
Customer: Head twitches
JA: What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: Star 1 1/2 years old
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Star 1?
Customer: No
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Answered in 19 minutes by:
1/5/2017
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17,103
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Verified

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
This started sometime today she seems fine otherwise

I understand your concern for your girl Star because you are noticing her having twitches, especially of her head.

It is certainly possible with your description of twitching that your girl is having petit mal seizures. These seizures affect a small group of muscles in a particular area of the body. They are not of the same significance as grand mal seizures (loss of consciousness, whole body, rhythmic, uncontrollable muscle contractions with possible loss of urine and stool continence) because the chance of body temperature increasing and subsequent brain damage is much less.

There are several things that can cause muscle contractions other than petite mal seizures. Infections, nerve damage or inflammation, toxin exposure, kidney disease and mineral (especially calcium) or electrolyte disturbances can all cause muscle fasciculations (spasms) as well.

I need to ask if you recently applied any topical flea medications or could she have been exposed to an insecticide? If so you want to bathe her thoroughly to remove as much of the toxin as possible with something like Dawn dishwashing soap and cool water. Do not use hot water or scrub her skin as that will increase toxin absorption. Some flea control products, especially the over the counter products with high amounts of pyrethrin type insecticides can cause muscle twitches in sensitive dogs.

If this only affected her ears then an inner ear infection or an allergic type response would be a possibility too. Some cats with fleas will seem to twitch in response to the irritation. Carefully running a flea comb over her back, neck and head (areas where fleas seem to be most common) will help you find out if she has fleas.

Another possible cause of her symptoms is intervertebral disc disease, although that would be very uncommon at her young age. This is when the spongy discs between the vertebrae in her spine either prolapse or leak and put pressure on her spinal cord. This is quite painful and can lead to painful muscle spasms or if there is enough pressure then even paralysis can result. Keeping her very quiet, no running, jumping or bending over (elevate her food and water bowls to head height) is best.

If she seems to be progressing in symptoms and has a grand mal seizure (unconscious, unaware of surroundings, repetitive, uncontrollable whole body muscle movements with or without loss of urine or stool) then she should be seen by a veterinarian on an emergency basis today.

If her color is good and she is eating, drinking and behaving normally otherwise I suspect that she is stable but I do recommend that your veterinarian examine her and run some tests to determine why she is having these muscle spasms. I wouldn't wait too long to have her seen as some of the things that can cause muscle spasms (like toxins, electrolyte or mineral imbalances) can cause long term problems for your girl and may be indicative of serious diseases. If this is intervertebral disc disease it is very important to relieve the inflammation so it does not progress to paralysis. If this is secondary to high blood calcium levels then addressing that promptly so there is no organ damage and tissue calcification is best.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
She has been wearing a flea collar for a month or so

Thanks very much.

It is entirely possible that she is reacting to the collar, especially if it is the old fashioned type with pyrethrins as the primary insecticide ingredient.

I would remove the collar, bathe her with a degreasing soap (like Dawn dishwashing soap) and then see how she comes along. I suspect that she will be much better in 10 days or so.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Thank you I will try that

You are very welcome.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Actually she started twitching alittle more

If this is related to a toxin in the flea collar it will take a while to get it out of her system, weeks in some cases.

As long as she is able to eat and drink, and she isn't having grand mal seizures, and her body temperature isn't increasing then there isn't much to do other than remove as much toxin as we can (bathe her) and give her time.

In some cases with an increasing body temperature and grand mal seizures intravenous fluids, muscle relaxers and tranquilizers are needed.

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Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your pup. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
My cat is doing better

I am very glad to hear that she is improving with her flea collar being removed.

Thank you for letting me know, I hope she continues to improve, Dr. Kara.

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Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara
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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Better can u recommend a cat food that they won't throw up

Whatever food you choose make sure to switch them over gradually, a little more new and less old each day. It should take a good 10-14 days to properly transition them.

Vomiting can be secondary to gulping dry food, overeating and then vomiting. So a canned only, or primarily canned food diet can help.

Vomiting can also be due to a food sensitivity or allergy. You might try feeding a sensitive stomach formula. Both Science Diet and Royal Canin make sensitive stomach formulas.

If they are going outside and hunting or eating things that they should not then it may be difficult to control their vomiting.

Routine worming every 6 months for indoor cats and every 3 months for those that go outside may help.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Got another question when I leave my apartment she sits at the door and meows anything I can do about that?

I appreciate your confidence in me, but because this is a new question, unrelated to the original question, the site asks that a new question be opened and this one be rated first.

I would be happy to answer this new concern if you put "For Dr. Kara" at the beginning of the question I will look for it.

Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17,103
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Verified
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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17,103
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