FELINE FOCAL SEIZURE:
A focal seizure refers to an abnormal surge of electrical activity that is confined to a specific area of the brain. Unlike a generalized seizure, in which the animal’s entire brain is affected and therefore the entire body shows signs of a seizure, a focal seizure only affects a localized region of the brain and therefore only has limited effects on the body. These affects may vary significantly, depending on which portion of the brain is affected.
POST-ICTAL PHASE: During the post-ictal phase, there is confusion, disorientation, salivation, pacing, restlessness and/or temporary blindness.
This video shows our cat who spent an entire day dazed & confused, refusing to sleep. She is obviously exhausted here, but won't allow herself to fall asleep.
OUR CAT, LUCREZIA, THE DETAILS:
Lucrezia is our 3 year old female cat who had what we now believe to be a FOCAL SEIZURE in the early hours of the morning on 12/30/18. Total post-ictal phase lasted until evening of 12/31/18.
At first we didn't know what was wrong with her, she was just acting strange. She was VERY vocal & wouldn't stop meowing and yowling. She took off running like a nut, so I thought she just needed to play a bit and let off some steam. I played with her & during this time I noticed something was up with one or both of her hind legs. She was running around the corner & sliding a bit. We noticed she was having a hard time climbing her cat tree, like her legs were weak. She even fell off her cat tree from the top to 2nd tier where she caught herself. She seemed disoriented. Confused. She was walking a little weird. And, finally, my husband and I decided to take her into the ER around 6am.
The vet examined her & said she appeared fine, & she couldn't see the strange behavior or hind leg weakness. So, we decided on blood pressure, Bloodwork & urinalysis to see if there were any issues with her kidneys, white blood cells, etc. And, they sent us home. That's when things got worse.
We decided to take video of her strange behavior, so we'd have evidence this time when we met with the Neurologist. I'll upload the video of her trying to sit and SWAYING wildly back & forth. She lost her balance every time she tried to groom herself. She walked to places, walked away, walked right back - totally confused & disoriented. She DEVOURED her food, like she was eating out of anxiety. Food flying everywhere. Same with her water, she was drinking like crazy.
Around 5pm, we called the vet back & made an appt with the Neurologist on 12/31/18.
We saw the Neurologist at 10am, & she'd been able to get the results of her urinalysis & bloodwork (all of which came back totally fine). She took her in the back to watch her walk, how she reacted, etc. Of course, Lucrezia was terrified & appeared normal. However, that's when we busted out the video footage - we had evidence this time
After watching this video & several others that I'll also post, the neurologist explained that she thought she was in the post-ictal phase of a seizure. Most likely a Focal seizure, since we hadn't noticed any body seizures. She just didn't know WHY she was having them.
Next step, to find out if what's causing her seizures is external like a virus, fungus, or deficiency. So, we did additional testing for FIP, FeLv, Cryptococcus, Toxoplasmosis, & a protein test to treat her liver function. By the way, all of these came back negative & she appears otherwise healthy. Although, she did test positive in "the low end" for the Coronavirus, but negative for it on "the high end." Apparently, 90% of indoor cats are positive for antibodies for Coronavirus that can lead to FIP (Feline infectious peritonitis), a fatal mutation that typically kills kittens & elderly cats. Most cats are exposed to this virus & they really don't know what causes it to mutate in some cats & kill them. I have to say this totally freaked me out, even though I was assured that it wasn't an issue since she was otherwise very healthy.
So, what now? She has something wrong internally, INSIDE her brain. It could be many things, so just steps it's an MRI (which she'd need anesthesia for) and a spinal tap. During her physical, the vet also noted she had a "3 out 6" Heart Murmur. I guess that means it's not bad, but I want to make sure there's nothing else going on there before they put her under anesthesia. If she has an underlying heart condition, anesthesia could kill her. They do it differently with cats that have a heart condition, so we'll need to do an EKG first.
Since Lucrezia was 100% back to her nornal self by three afternoon on 12/31/18, we've decided to hold off on the MRI for right now. I'm going to see how she does the next couple of weeks & then most likely schedule it, one she gets cleared after the EKG.
Anyways, I'll post these videos & any updates, as needed. I want to share this with my fellow pet parents, since YouTube was one of the first places I went to for help.