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Candy R.
Candy R., Veterinary Technician
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 11619
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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My cat is 17 years old now. Last year she started having seizures

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My cat is 17 years old now. Last year she started having seizures (facial twitching, drooling and incontinence). She only had one grand mal. This was in march. I took her to the vet and he gave her phenobarbital to take. This helped for awhile so when I ran out I didn't get a refill. She had more episodes in May. And I started the pill again. She was then off the pill for months and was completely fine! This year the same exact thing happened. She only gets her seizure episodes in march and may. She meows loudly, drools, and stumbles around. Why is she only affected during these months? What can I do for her?

Hello,I am sorry to hear that Buttons is having seizures. I would love to help I just have a few additional questions.

Does Buttons go outside at all?

Do you use flea prevention during the months that she has seizures?

Is she spayed?

Does she have seizures when on the medication?


Was full blood work done including checking the thyroid

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

She is spayed. She never goes outside- if she does it is only in our backyard for a few minutes. She isnt on any flea preventative and while on the medication she's usually ok. We just don't like drugging her everyday when she only seems to be affected two months out of the year. It's confusing :(

Thank you for the additional information .

Seizures can be brought on by many things and it is not always easy to pin down. It can be anything from certain noises, to lights and even allergies.If it is only happening during certain months then it is possible that it is due to some type of allergic reaction. If you opt not to use medication all year long then perhaps putting her meds from say January - June and see if this helps reduce the seizures during these months.
Here is some good information on the causes of seizures. link

I would suggest asking your vet about the possibility of using the medication on half the year and see what their opinion is on the matter. This is not something we normally do as just the act of stopping the medication can bring on seizures, however in this case it may be an option.

I wish I could say for sure why this only happens 2 months out of the year as this is not something we typically see which is why I suspect is has something to do with an allergy she is coming in contact with during these months.I would suggest keeping her inside during these months and make sure she is not exposed to any plants as well and see if this helps.

I may also be worth discussing this with a neurologist as this is their area of specialty and they may have a more clear reason for why this cycle is occurring.

I hope this helps. Please reply back if you have additional questions and I will be happy to continue.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We assumed it has to do with an allergy to something or a poisoning of some kind but she doesn't come in contact with any insecticides or fertilizer. Due to her age we are hesitant to spend a fortune on a specialist who may not be able to provide us with any answers. We will keep her on the medication during these months and hopefully this can be avoided next year. Since its seasonal it can't be a brain tumor Right? Do you think these episodes are causing her any pain?

I completely understand not wanting to spend money on a specialist at her age. I would feel the same if she were my pet.

We really do not know if the seizures cause pain. If you ask a human that has seizures they say no it is not painful and in fact they really do not even know what is going on at the time.
I think trying the medication starting at least one month before the seizures normally occur would be a good start and hopefully this will reduce or even stop them


With the pattern you are seeing I would not suspect a brain tumor but I can not be 100% sure

Candy R. and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Tina,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Buttons. How is everything going?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
She hasn't had any more episodes. She's just unsteady on her feet and wobbly from the medicine.