Neurological Disease in Cats


Authored by Jayant Row in Cats
Published on 05-16-2009

As a cat owner you must be aware of the feeling of helplessness when your beloved pet goes into a seizure, falls unconscious or exhibits signs that you have never seen before. This is even more so when your pet has never exhibited any signs of illness or disease before this. Neurological disorders in cats can cause such seizures or fainting spells, and can be caused by injury, hypertension or illness caused by parasites. Diagnosis of such illnesses is never exact, but a skilled veterinarian can spot these disorders and treat your cat so that the symptoms are controlled.

Seizure attacks in cats are caused by epilepsy or other underlying conditions that are not medical. Secondary epilepsy is caused by hypertension, brain tumors or some inflammatory diseases. Parasites can also cause such seizures. Cats can also suffer from primary or idiopathic epilepsy, but this is rare and can be due to the genes that it has inherited.

A veterinarian would make a complete physical examination of a cat that has had such a seizure. He could also ask for blood tests, an EKG or CT scan, an MRI or a cerebral spinal fluid tap and analysis. Treatment of such neurological disorders like seizures could include phenobarbitol, which is an anti-convulsant drug. If other conditions like hypertension or diabetes are suggested, the veterinarian may give constantly changing doses of medication, till the right response is obtained.

Feline distemper or Panleukopenia in cats is a fatal viral infection which can cause a lifelong lack of balance. Survival cases are few unless the cat has been vaccinated as a kitten. Cats can also suffer from poisoning by household cleaning products or sprays and pest killers which can affect their central nervous system. Always ensure that your cat is not around when you are using those pest killers or using strong disinfectants or cleaners. Better to be safe than sorry.

Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic attack that can cause damage to the cat’s central nervous system and can lead to blindness and lack of balance.

Feline Hyperesthesia is very commonly found in cats. This causes a cat to run around in circles, and make it meow loudly even at night. This can also cause the cat to have rippling skin on the back. A cat thus afflicted may go in for excessive grooming and be subject to very frequent changes in its moods.

Cats have central nervous systems that can repair it self and restore normal functions if they undergo myelin therapy. Myelin is an insulator of nerve fibers that does degrade and can cause neurological disorders. This therapy is especially effective where there has been no damage to the nerves.

In humans this same problem can lead to multiple sclerosis. During the treatment the myelin is somewhat restored, though not to its original condition. The sheaths around the nerve fibers are thinner but do help to restore the original movements and control. The problem has actually been linked to diet. For this reason, restoring the cat to its original diet can produce excellent results.


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