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Cat Having Fits

Discussion in 'Hound' started by Suerose, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. Suerose

    Suerose New Member Registered

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    I've got a difficult dilemma that I'm hoping more experienced whippet owners might be able to advise on. One of my cats, who is 15.5 years old, has recently started having fits occasionally. Like about once every six weeks or so. I'm worried about what might happen if I'm not around to take Gracie away from him at the moment it happens. Moses had one this evening and Gracie got quite excited and barky, as she did the previous time. Obviously the cat's behaviour when he is fitting is unusual and I'm concerned that Gracie's prey instinct might be triggered. Generally she is fine with the cats, I've got four and she has shared the house with them since she was eight weeks old. It would be so dreadful if she attacked Moses when he was fitting, and I'm wondering, if there is a real danger, if it might not be kinder to have him PTS (given his advanced years and the fact that investigations at the vets haven't shown up any treatable problems). What does anyone think? I don't think never leaving them together is going to be workable given that I'd only have to be in the garden or upstairs to not be on hand. It isn't a big enough house to keep them apart all the time.
     
  2. More Rolly

    More Rolly New Member Registered

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    your whippet may kill it if you are not there .It may be kinder to put him to pts. My cat is 16year old and that what i would do .
     
  3. TillynPip

    TillynPip Active Member Registered

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    Being in the position of having cats and whippets I don't think I could have my cat put down without going through all the options, including seeking a second opinion from another vet if yours cannot give you a diagnosis re the fits. Age 16 sounds old but these days with better diets, vaccinations and veterinary, it isn't for cats. My old girl was nearly 22 years when she died and my remaining two are both 14 and positively kittenish. If you do get a diagnosis it may be that, ultimately, there is no other option but until then surely you have a bedroom where puss can have her quiet space where whippets aren't allowed.
     
  4. laurarc

    laurarc New Member Registered

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    We had an old bitch that started taking fits and our younger bitch who is 7 would start barking and all the rest of it all the time and we started getting worried but then we started noticing that she was doing it before she was fitting and the vet recond she was acting as a seizure dog as in the same as us humans have so it might b something to look into as why your dog is acting like that.
     
  5. Suerose

    Suerose New Member Registered

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    That's a very fair comment, and I have consulted a second vet, one is also a trained acupuncturist and who treats holistically. She thought possibly either ketones building up in the system, so I've changed his diet and added various supplements (from about six weeks ago). She also thought it might possibly be the result of a neurological injury that Moses had about six/seven years ago. With the first vet I ruled out the possibility of kidney or liver problems with blood tests. The only other thing they could suggest is a brain scan to look for tumours, but that would be horrifically expensive and there wouldn't be any point since nothing could be done.

    Moses wouldn't be happy stuck away in a bedroom on his own, he is a very sociable (and vocal!) cat. I do honestly think calling it a day would be kinder in his case. I have considered it.
     
  6. pippywhippet

    pippywhippet New Member Registered

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    Poor you :( I think that the dog attacking Moses whilst he is fitting is a real possibility... Ultimately you know better than any strangers on the internet what will make your pets happy or not. Best of luck in whatever your descision might be- hope Moses shows an improvement :luck: Good luck :huggles:
     
  7. Suerose

    Suerose New Member Registered

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    I wouldn't be so worried if that was the case. Grace only gets excited once the fit is happening. I have heard of a border terrier who has seizures when her owner does - makes you wonder, doesn't it?
     
  8. Esty

    Esty New Member Registered

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    I understand the dilemma as I have a cat who is 17 as well as my three dogs. Unless there was a medical reason to have the cat PTS, I don't think I could do it. Does Grace actually go towards the cat aggressively when he is fitting, or just stand by getting excited? I would just make sure if I have to go out of the room, that the cat is moved, which is something I do anyway eg when going to the bathroom I move the cat into the hall where the dogs can't reach him. None of my dogs have ever been aggressive with my cat but Emmy does try to play with him if he moves quickly (play bowing and barking etc) so I don't leave them alone together. It just becomes second nature to check where the cat is before leaving a room, doesn't mean he has to be shut away all the time. I know things would seem easier if he wasn't around but I also agree with TillynPip that 16 isn't really mega old for a cat, even though my vets do treat mine as an OAP! I've also heard of cats living to 21/22 - the only reason it seems old is because so many cats unfortunately lose their lives on the roads at a younger age. I think if he was fitting several times a day it might be different but as it is quite infrequent I think just moving the cat would be easier . We make sure Gus always has access to a bed (even if it is just sleeping on one of the kid's beds), make sure there are extra water bowls around and he has a litter tray in the hall and the kitchen so we can avoid nasty surprises if he does need to be moved!

    Hope you get to the bottom of the reason why he fitting.
     
  9. chelynnah

    chelynnah Whippet Servant Registered

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    I do think it's a very real risk that prey drive will kick in while your cat is fitting. Having the pups here, if one screamed in pain you could see the switch in the adult whippets' heads go on and their prey drive would kick in and they'd start barking and charge.

    I don't think it's just whippets either. I do think there is a 'wounded animal' instinct and when one is wounded and screaming (or in your case fitting), it triggers an instinct in the other.

    Can you section off an area of the house and keep the cats separate from the dog? If not then much as it would pain me, I would probably be thinking along the same lines as you and letting her go.

    Wendy
     
  10. Suerose

    Suerose New Member Registered

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    Thank you, that has put what I'm afraid of very clearly. Unfortunately it just wouldn't be possible to completely separate the house off into two parts. It is very small to start with, and because I work from home and have a workroom upstairs and an office downstairs I have to move through it very frequently. There just isn't any part of the house that isn't thoroughly used, and as I said in response to TillynPip Moses would just hate being shut away from all the others and from me even if there was somewhere that could be used for that.

    What also bothers me is that if, in the worst case scenario, Grace did injure or kill Moses while he was fitting I would never feel I could trust her with the other cats again and that would give rise to a whole new set of dilemmas. As well as being horribly traumatic of course. So it may be a case of having to go with the lesser of two evils. I'm really grateful to everyone who has responded because it has helped me to think it through.
     
  11. Suerose

    Suerose New Member Registered

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    To be honest I'm not sure what the balance between excitement and aggression would have been because I quickly make sure that there is a shut door between Grace & Moses when he starts to have a fit. It doesn't seem to be appropriate to just wait and see what happens next!

    I agree that a lot of cats reach ages a lot older than 16, although Moses sister from a litter the year previous (both parents the same) died of old age (apparently) this summer, so perhaps he isn't from a long-lived gene pool. He hasn't been very well generally for the past year or so, getting very thin and with digestive problems. As you say, it would be an easier decision if the fits were more frequent.

    My rooms are small and I do move very frequently from one part of the house to the other, so I can't really see that moving the cat with me would work. He is an independent-minded soul who has strong ideas about where he wants to be! Nice idea though. I hate the idea of having him PTS but at the moment the alternative looks worse. I won't do anything in a hurry and I'm really grateful for everyone's thoughts and ideas.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2011
  12. Dotty&Duke

    Dotty&Duke New Member Registered

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    We also have an elderly cat. I have recently had to give up our spare room for her, Whilst our whips were always Ok with her in the house I would never trust them either outside or with anything out of the ordinary to do with her. I agree with Tillynpip if you have another space for her I think that is the best option. I say this from personal experience, I always thought my Dotty was Ok with my cat she has sat with her and eaten with her but I have also seen them outside and yea the Whippet in Dotty really did kick in, it was like Dotty wasn't the same dog! I always remember something Caesar Milan said, which I think whilst others would not agree with, is very true; Animal, Dog, Whippet, Dotty. For me and all my dogs this has proved true. Hope all works out for you :luck:
     
  13. Esty

    Esty New Member Registered

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    Has Moses been tested for hyperthryoid? Gus takes tablets twice a day to treat hyperthyroid which first showed itself with weight loss and explosive diarrhoea :x It also causes a very rapid heartbeat which I guess could cause fits? May be related, but am sure your vet will have checked for this (enlarged thyroid gland in the neck and a blood test) as it is very common in older cats.

    Of course you can't risk him being attacked, and I also totally appreciate that if Grace ever did attack him then you would have problems with your other cats - I had Gus before the dogs and have accepted that if I am to be a whippet owner forever then he will probably be my first and only cat, which makes me appreciate him even more :) If it was me, unless it was really affecting the cat's quality of life I would just move him - I'm sure he would be quite happy to be in whichever room you are in :)
     
  14. Suerose

    Suerose New Member Registered

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    I'm taking him to see the vet again on Monday just to see if there are any avenues we haven't explored yet. I think the thyroid would have been tested when they did bloods for his liver and kidneys back in the summer but I'll check. One of the other cats had problems with that a couple of years ago and ended up having the thyroid removed, which helped enormously. Thanks for the thought.
     
  15. chelynnah

    chelynnah Whippet Servant Registered

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    I'm just so sorry you're having to deal with this :(
     
  16. JAX

    JAX New Member Registered

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    I just have one cat now , Floyd, who is 12 years old and I know he will be my last cat ( ive had them since I was 11 years old ) simply because I know I could never trust my gang with a kitten ,On the odd occasion they had cornered Floyd and Ive been glad I was there , as who knows what could happen,

    but this dosnt help your awful sitiation does it >

    I would just make sure you know were your whippy is when you move from room to room and keep on eye on your cat for fits ,

    But you know what is best , not a decision I would like to make
     
  17. TillynPip

    TillynPip Active Member Registered

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    Just wondering how you got on at the vets with puss. Any news?
     
  18. clairej810

    clairej810 New Member Registered

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    I know this is probably a bit late in the day - but has your cat been tested for diabetes - I've had two with diabetes and if the blood sugar swings too high or too low it can cause seizures - one of my cats was pretty wild and so we always had to estimate the insulin dose which meant she had quite a few seizures. TBH if your dog has been fine with the cat up until now then I wouldn't worry too much. Tiny became Sasha's seizure alert dog and came to get me if she had a seizure and I hadn't noticed - there was one day she was at the bottom of the garden snoozing, and then had a seizure and Tiny came belting into the house to fetch me.
     
  19. TillynPip

    TillynPip Active Member Registered

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    Thats a lovely story. What a great dog! :))
     

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