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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 19798
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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Need info about cluster seizures in cats.

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My16 year old cat has started having cluster seizures. He's at the vet clinic now but I'm suspicious of toxicity causing this as my other cat (19) had a seizure a month ago, but hasn't since. I was using advantage flea solution on them and was wondering if this could have caused it. If not, is there any other substances that could be causing this?

My 19 yr old cat was found to have high blood pressure which may have caused her seizure however it seems to be too much of a coincidence. The latest update is my 16 year old has had his bloods taken and all looks normal for his age. Both cats were found to have low K levels.

The most common cause of seizures in cats, especially older cats, is an intra-cranial lesion. Usually this is going to be a brain tumor. These are typically slow growing tumors and by the time they start causing seizures they've probably been there months. The only way to know for sure if this is the cause is by doing an MRI of the head. Plain radiographs will not image the brain.

As for toxins, the flea product may be responsible. Usually this happens hours after applying the flea product. It's also usually when owners put a dog flea product on a cat that causes the muscle tremors. These cats will respond to washing and treating with Methocarbamol and recover in 12-24 hours.

The fact that your other cat had seizures as well is not uncommon, although it is a bit of a coincidence. I would venture to guess that your other cat also had a brain tumor causing the signs- it's not uncommon for these to present late in life and lead to euthanasia.

The low potassium is likely secondary to the seizures. If the Phosphorous was also low, then I would ask about inhaler (Albuterol) toxicity. More common in dogs that chew on the inhaler, but it can be seen in cats.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

He is now home and hasn't had a seizure for a day and half now, however he is fully blind. The vet doesn't know if this is permanent or temporary as a result of the seizures. He's really distressed not having his sight and I'm really worried it mightn't come back.

Do you know how long temporary blindness from seizures lasts for as a rule?

It's not uncommon for temporary blindness to result after cluster seizures. Sometimes this will come back, but I have seen cases where they never fully regain sight. Usually they will be responsive to light so the theory is that they still see shadows but are not visual like they were.

Animals do adapt quite well to being blind, so even if the sight never comes back I would still expect him to get along well using his other senses. Just give it some time and you'll be amazed how well he adapts.

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