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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
We have a cat who has seizures. They are semi controlled with phenobarbital. At first Tiger took 1/2 of a 15 mg tablet once a day. Then he had to be upped by the vet to 1/2 twice a day. He would go a while on the same dose sometimes a year. Then he would start having seizures again and the vet would increase his does. He does get his blood levels checked. He now takes 1 & 1/2 tablets 2 times a day. He hasn't had any seizures lately but it is taking him a while to adjust to the higher dose. He has poor balance. When he goes to jump up on the sofa or a chair he sometimes misses and lands hard on his side. He and his two sisters were rescued cats from outside. We got him at approximately 6 -9 months old. He will be 5 this spring. He has never been a graceful cat but he gets more and more clumsy with the higher medication. Our vet says that phenobarbital is the best choice for cats with seizures. None of Tigers siblings have seizures. We even adopted his half brother a year later. We worry about Tiger. He is just one of our special needs kitties. We have 21 cats in the house. All spayed or neutered. We have one cat with diabetes who has to have an insulin shot every morning. We have one cat who is completely deaf.
Has anyone had any success with any other medication for seizures or does anyone know if a special diet may help? He has been tested for everything and other than seizures is in good health. He has always been on the skinny side and I think the medicine keeps him from gaining too much weight.
Would love to hear from other people who have cats with seizures.
 

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Sorry I don't have any experience in that field but I just wanted to say that I hope your cat gets better. Also, cats like humans, would act more drowsy and clumsy with more meds so its not surprising that your kitty is getting more drugged out. Maybe a second vets opinion is in order to see if your cat needs all this medication? <<))
 

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Taurine (125 mg/day) and Vitamin B complex (esp. B6) can help with seizures; at least they may allow better control with a little less drugs.

Some children with seizures respond to an extreme ketotic diet, like Atkins only more strict. There's a lot on the internet about it. I've heard rumors that it helps some animals but haven't seen anything "official." Might be worth looking into, though.

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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more on diet and seizures

Serendipitously, today I received the report below on low-carb diets and seizures in children. Pretty stunning results. Since cats are even more carb-sensitive than kids, it makes sense that an ultra-low-carb diet might be beneficial for cats with seizures (it probably depends on why they're having seizures, but it's an easy thing to try and not harmful!)

Cheers,
Dr. Jean

At the recent American Epilepsy Society meeting in Boston, a
team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center in
Baltimore revealed some stunning new research which strongly
suggests that the Atkins diet (or other popular variations on
the low-carb/high protein theme) eliminates epileptic seizures
in some children.

In fact, their research showed that after just four months of
the diet, 50% of the test's subjects were SEIZURE-FREE - and
remained that way for nearly 2 years!

The study's authors conducted the research after noticing that
the modern low-carb diet used by millions of Americans to lose
weight and boost their heart health was similar to the
ultra-specific "ketogenic" diet many medication-averse epileptic
children have for years used for minimizing the incidence of
seizures. However, since the Atkins-type nutritional approach is
much simpler to implement (since it doesn't involve fasting like
the ketogenic plan) and maintain, it's much easier for kids and
adolescents to adhere to over the long term.

The Hopkins-based researchers consider these findings
encouraging because they may offer children who for one reason
or another can't take modern epilepsy drugs a viable alternative
for controlling seizures.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the article. Will definitely try.
I appreciate all the help I can get. Having a cat with seizures is a scary thing. He definitely gets an aura before he has one. He growls like he is mad at someone but no one is around him. At that point we just try to cushion his head and let it run its course. Then we pen him up at the vets orders to keep him quiet.
Thanks again!
 
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