Sadly, both cats and dogs are prone to have seizures. Seizures in cats are usually caused by some type of brain damage. Rarely, idiopathic seizures (recurring seizures without an apparent cause) can occur.
In order to properly diagnose your cat’s seizures, your vet may perform blood work, urine tests, or X-rays. Your vet will use those results to recommend medications to treat your cat so that the seizures aren’t as frequent or severe.
There are many medications available to treat seizures in cats, but phenobarbital and levetiracetam are two of the most effective. These medications can be used separately or together.
About 70% of cats experience good control or complete remission of seizures while taking phenobarbital. Those are really good odds! Because it’s so effective and affordable, phenobarbital is the most commonly prescribed medication to treat seizures in cats.
Side effects can include increased appetite, thirst, tiredness, and lack of muscle coordination.
Phenobarbital can be given by mouth. Here’s a tip: giving the medication to your cat is so much easier when the medication is compounded with a more pleasant flavor. Fortunately for you, the pharmacists at The Compounding Center are experts in flavoring medicines!
Phenobarbital also comes as a transdermal (via the skin) cream applied to the inner ear. If using phenobarbital cream, it’s important to watch for rashes or other skin reactions.
Your vet may want to perform blood tests to check how much phenobarbital is in your cat’s body.
Cats whose seizures don’t improve from phenobarbital alone may benefit from levetiracetam. Levetiracetam improves seizure control in cats with a specific type of seizure called feline audiogenic reflex seizures (FARS).
Since levetiracetam is shorter acting than phenobarbital, it may need to be given more frequently. Side effects include lack of appetite, tiredness, and excessive drooling, but usually those are mild and short-lived. Elderly cats who have never experienced seizures before seem to do better on levetiracetam than on phenobarbital.
With proper monitoring and medication, cats with seizures can lead long, happy lives. Isn’t that what you want for your furry friend?
Our knowledgeable pharmacists at The Compounding Center will happily compound either of these medications or any other seizure control medications your vet prescribes to help ensure your pet takes them without causing you additional stress.
Give us a call today to find out how we can help you with seizure medications for your cat.
The Compounding Center
– Levetiracetam shows promise for the treatment of feline audiogenic reflex seizures (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/press/levetiracetam-shows-promise-for-the-treatment-of-feline-audiogenic-reflex-seizures)
– Cat Seizures and Epilepsy 101 (http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/cat-health/cat-diseases-conditions-a-z/cat-seizures-and-epilepsy-101)