Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dealing with Feline Epilepsy

Taffy is one of our older cats. We took him in when someone told us a kitten was being mauled by street dogs. He is mild tempered and very affectionate. He doesn't like to be carried but would rub on his humans and snuggle whenever he can.

A few years ago he started to have convulsions. It was a very scary experience to watch him. We didn't know what to do. He underwent some tests and several possibilities were ruled out, such as ear mites causing it. We had to accept the scary truth that Taffy had epilepsy. I started reading all I could to find out how we can help and comfort him. The doctor prescribed phenobarbital which is his maintenance medication. He also has blood tests periodically to check on the levels of the drug in his body to be sure that his liver and kidney are not damaged. The cause of epilepsy is quite difficult to explain, it could be congenital, effect of toxins, brain tumors or organ disorders.

It was a long process to ascertain the level of medication and the frequency. We also learned to detect the symptoms when he would have convulsions. He would get restless and make eerie loud meowing sounds before an attack. It doesn't happen often now. And when it does, we just try to comfort him as much as we can and make sure that he is not in a high place where he could fall off.

It is important to know, too, the frequency of seizures and the time that elapses when an attack occurs so that the dosage of medication can be adjusted accordingly. And one thing we try to do when a seizure happens is stay calm, which is really quite difficult to do.

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