Seizures are symptoms of a disease. It is only when seizures are found to be idiopathic (without a known cause) that they are conveniently termed as epilepsy. Actually, most feline seizures occur due to factors other than feline epilepsy. Signs of feline seizures range from unusual mood swings to uncontrollable convulsions to loss of bodily control.
If you think that your cat is behaving abnormally and you suspect a seizure, it is important to observe every possible detail. This can help the veterinarian to arrive at a proper diagnosis. Seizures usually last for up to five minutes, and there is no other way that the veterinarian can decide whether the episode was actually a seizure or not unless the cat has a seizure in his/her presence. This means that you need to note every small detail of the seizure when your cat is having one. The parts of the body that undergo change during a seizure are also important to note. Other aspects to observe include change in breathing, limb movements, rigidity or dilation in the eyes, body twisting, duration, severity and time taken for recovery.
Cats are usually more prone to have more serious manifestation of seizures known as Complex Partial Seizures. The symptoms of feline seizures vary largely and often mimic behaviors that cats normally indulge in. Feline seizures are capable of producing symptoms that range from a lack of body control to grossly unusual behaviors like attacking invisible objects, frantic running, and collusions with objects. Actually, consciousness of the cat is altered during all the three phases of a seizure - immediately prior, during, and post-seizure.
Your presence and care can comfort the cat as it regains consciousness. However, if a seizure lasts longer, it can cause the body temperature to shoot up abnormally and even cause death.
Specifically, partial loss of motor function indicates symptomatic epilepsy, which points towards prevalence of an underlying disease.
Epilepsy is one of the major causes of animal seizures but it is not the only one. Regardless of the overlapping terms of epilepsy and seizures, treatment modalities depend upon pinpointing the underlying disease that causes seizures. Seizures are normally understood as a neurological disorder. Any injury to the brain, brain tumor, infections, toxins or overdose of medication can cause feline seizures. They are also associated with metabolic disorders like diabetes, liver, and kidney failure.
The exact cause of feline seizures is not known to veterinary medicine, and in absence of a delectable cause like brain trauma, most cases of feline seizures are termed as idiopathic feline epilepsy. Seizures by themselves do not cause any pain to the cat, but due to the involvement of neurological factors, it is necessary that you provide proper care to your cat to avoid serious repercussions.
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