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Etiologic classification of seizures, signalment, clinical signs, and outcome in cats with seizure disorders: 91 cases (2000–2004)

Simone SchrieflClinic of Small Animal Medicine, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, 80539 München, Germany

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Tanja A. SteinbergClinic of Small Animal Medicine, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, 80539 München, Germany

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Kaspar MatiasekInstitute of Veterinary Pathology, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, 80539 München, Germany

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Andrea OssigStatistical Consulting Unit, Department of Statistics, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, 80539 München, Germany

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Nora FenskeStatistical Consulting Unit, Department of Statistics, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, 80539 München, Germany

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Andrea FischerClinic of Small Animal Medicine, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, 80539 München, Germany

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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate associations among etiologic classifications of seizures and signalment, clinical signs, and outcome in cats with various seizure disorders.

Study Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—91 cats evaluated for seizure disorders at a veterinary teaching hospital from 2000 through 2004.

Procedures—Data regarding characteristics of the cats and their seizures were obtained from medical records. Seizures were classified as reactive, symptomatic, or idiopathic. Survival times were displayed as Kaplan-Meier curves, and differences between etiologic classifications were assessed by log-rank test.

Results—Over the 5-year period, the incidence of seizures among all cats evaluated at the hospital was 2.1%. Etiology was classified as reactive in 20 (22%) cats, symptomatic in 45 (50%), idiopathic or presumptive idiopathic in 23 (25%), and cardiac syncope in 3 (3%). Focal seizures with or without secondary generalization were recorded for 47 (52%) cats, and primary generalized seizures with or without status epilepticus were recorded for 44 (48%). Etiology was not associated with seizure type. However, mean age of cats with idiopathic seizures (3.5 years) was significantly lower than that of cats with reactive seizures (8.2 years) or symptomatic seizures (8.1 years). The 1-year survival rate for cats with idiopathic seizures (0.82) was longer than that for cats with reactive (0.50) or symptomatic (0.16) seizures.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Seizure etiology was symptomatic or reactive in most cats. Underlying disease was not associated with seizure type. Cats with idiopathic seizures lived longer than did cats with reactive or symptomatic seizures but were also younger.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate associations among etiologic classifications of seizures and signalment, clinical signs, and outcome in cats with various seizure disorders.

Study Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—91 cats evaluated for seizure disorders at a veterinary teaching hospital from 2000 through 2004.

Procedures—Data regarding characteristics of the cats and their seizures were obtained from medical records. Seizures were classified as reactive, symptomatic, or idiopathic. Survival times were displayed as Kaplan-Meier curves, and differences between etiologic classifications were assessed by log-rank test.

Results—Over the 5-year period, the incidence of seizures among all cats evaluated at the hospital was 2.1%. Etiology was classified as reactive in 20 (22%) cats, symptomatic in 45 (50%), idiopathic or presumptive idiopathic in 23 (25%), and cardiac syncope in 3 (3%). Focal seizures with or without secondary generalization were recorded for 47 (52%) cats, and primary generalized seizures with or without status epilepticus were recorded for 44 (48%). Etiology was not associated with seizure type. However, mean age of cats with idiopathic seizures (3.5 years) was significantly lower than that of cats with reactive seizures (8.2 years) or symptomatic seizures (8.1 years). The 1-year survival rate for cats with idiopathic seizures (0.82) was longer than that for cats with reactive (0.50) or symptomatic (0.16) seizures.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Seizure etiology was symptomatic or reactive in most cats. Underlying disease was not associated with seizure type. Cats with idiopathic seizures lived longer than did cats with reactive or symptomatic seizures but were also younger.

Contributor Notes

Presented in part as a poster at the 19th Annual European College of Veterinary Neurology and European Society of Veterinary Neurology Symposium, Barcelona, Spain, September 2006.

Address correspondence to Dr. Fischer.