Deciding to euthanize your pet is a hard pill to swallow. Every cat owner doesn’t even wanna think about this, but sometimes, they wonder when to euthanize a cat with seizures.
Seizures that happen in cats can be short and mild, and last around 2 to 5 minutes and really long and intense and cause serious health complications and in some cases death. That is why you need to observe your cat’s life before deciding on euthanasia.
Keep reading to understand how seizures work and how they can affect your cat’s life and health, and when is the right time to say goodbye due to those non stop seizures.
When Is The Time To Say Goodbye?
You need to observe cat quality of life in order to determine when and if at all you need to put down a cat with seizures.
You also need to determine what is the underlying cause of those seizures. If the reason your cat has seizures is minor physical trauma or epilepsy, you don’t need to euthanize your cat at all.
However, if your cat has been diagnosed with cancer on the brain, the vet may propose the treatment depending on the grade of the cancer, quality of life or euthanizing your cat.
What You Need To Know About Seizures
A seizure is defined as abnormal electrical activity that happens in the brain causing felines to have symptoms like convulsing, puking, drooling and in some cases losing consciousness.
The most common cause of seizures is epilepsy which is a chronic condition. Other causes of seizures are pathological issues, medications, trauma to the head and consuming human medications.
How Does Seizures Affect A Cat?
Seizures can have different durations, intensities and difficulties. While some seizures may last a couple of minutes and cause cats to have severe convulsions, drooling and other awful symptoms, other cats may have mild seizures that are short; you don’t even notice them sometimes.
The cat’s brain is able to return to normal function after the seizure is done, your cat might be disoriented after it and require to be alone for some time to feel like itself again.
What Are The Possible Causes Of Seizures In Cats?
Let’s see those possible causes of seizures in cats in detail.
1. Ingestion Of Human Medications
If you wonder why your cat has sudden seizures, this might be the most common cause of it.
If your cat has, by any chance,accidentally, ingested human medicine like Tylenol or Advil, it could have led to seizure, if there is a high dosage of it ingested by your feline, it can even lead to death.
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2. Trauma To The Head
The seizures due to this happens if your cat or kitten had fallen of a height or iv some heavy object fell onto their little heads. That trauma often leads to hemorrhages, concussions and seizures.
When it comes to epilepsy, you may notice that your cat has too many seizures too often. But that needs to be diagnosed by the vet so a vet visit is a must if you spot those frequent seizures.
Because it is a chronic condition, seizures are more intense than those that happen one time due to some concussion or ingestion of some human medicine.
Besides physical trauma, your cat may suffer from seizures due to pathological reasons. Cats that have brain tumors will probably suffer from seizures that will happen more often than not.
Along with that, parasitic infestations and infections like toxoplasmosis may be the reason why your cat has seizures suddenly.
How Long Do Cats With Seizures Live?
The lifespan of a cat that suffers from seizures will depend on some factors. Let’s see which one.
1. Seizures Due To Accidental Ingestion Of Toxic Items
If a cat accidentally ingest something that it shouldn’t, like human medication and experience seizures, that won’t have such an impact on their life expectancy if the dose is small, however if the dose is large, that might be life threatening.
2. Seizures Due To Injuries
If your cat suffers from severe physical trauma to the head, it may affect the lifespan but it will depend on the intensity of that same injury.
If the injury is severe, it may cause intense and long seizures, physical disabilities like total or partial paralysis, and in some serious cases death. But if the injury is not so hard and not life threatening, they will be mild and not long.
3. Seizures Due To Epilepsy
Seizures in cats that have epilepsy usually don’t lead to death because they can be treated with some symptomatic treatment and appropriate precautions.
4. Seizures Due To Pathological Reasons
If your cat has a brain tumor and due to that has seizures, the life expectancy will depend on what stage of tumor your cat is.
Brain tumors with palliative care will let a cat live for 2 to 6 months. Those primary brain tumors that surgeons can remove by surgery, will prolong cat’s life to 28 to 54 months.
But, sadly, if your cat suffers from secondary brain tumors, that cat probably won’t survive more than a month.
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What Are The Types Of Seizures?
• Cluster – seizures that happen few times a day and usually are an emergency
• Petit Mal – a really mild type of seizure that may manifest like abnormal eye motion
• Grand Mal– a strong seizure that will lead to your cat unconsciousness, twitching, jerking, falling down and even defecating and urinating
• Focal Motor– the seizure affects only one part of the body and it looks like there was a tremor or a twitch
• Idiopathic epilepsy– the origin of the seizure is not known
• Status epilepticus– a grand mal seizure where it is possible that cat stops breathing and die
How To Treat Seizures?
If you have taken your cat to the vet, and they don’t know what could be the cause of your cat’s seizures, they might give you medications that will manage the frequency and severity of that condition.
Your cat will probably have a long-term course of an anticonvulsant to treat those seizures that happen over and over again. The vet will also monitor the medication he prescribes and adjust the dosage accordingly.
When it comes to ingestion of toxins, the vet will give medication to counteract those effects of toxins which will probably be vomiting. If your feline friend is a bit older, the change of diet might be advised in order to help your cat.
Can A Seizure Itself Kill A Cat?
Even though we just talked about the life expectancy due to the causes of cat’s seizures, it is good to know that seizures alone don’t represent a great risk of death for cats.
Seizure alone involves vomiting, convulsing or drooling. However, if you’re sure that your cat is not seriously ill, doesn’t have a brain tumor, or doesn’t have trauma on the head, then you can be sure that the seizure won’t kill your cat.
Because of this, it is important to know why your cat has seizures in the first place, and we must not forget that seizures can be harmful and the underlying issue of it may be life-threatening.
When To Euthanize A Cat With Brain Tumor?
Let’s see what you need to know before deciding:
• If the quality of life of cat has deteriorated and there is no going back
• When the tumor is secondary brain tumor and there is no chance of survival
• When the cat has stopped eating completely
• When hospice care and treatment are no longer working and making your cat’s life painless
These are the times when you as a cat owner might actually help your furry friend if you chose euthanasia. Putting your cat down in this case is the best option and a huge responsibility. It isn’t easy, but you need to do it.
Deciding when to euthanize a cat with seizure might be difficult, but you need to see things as they are. Seizures are not something you want to face with and experience with your cat, but most seizures are not that serious.
However, you need to check out all the facts and causes so you can help your cat and decide what to do since many seizures can be managed if they’re discovered in time.