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Clinical signs, underlying cause, and outcome in cats with seizures: 17 cases (1997–2002)

Heidi L. Barnes DVM1,2, Cheryl L. Chrisman DVM, MS, DACVIM3, Christopher L. Mariani DVM, DACVIM4, Marclyn Sims BS, DVM5, and Arthur R. Alleman DVM, PhD, DACVP, DABVP6
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  • 1 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32607.
  • | 2 Present address is VCA Aurora Animal Hospital, 2600 West Galena Blvd, Aurora, IL 60506.
  • | 3 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32607.
  • | 4 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32607.
  • | 5 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32607.
  • | 6 Department of Physiological Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32607.

Abstract

Objective—To determine clinical signs, results of diagnostic testing, underlying cause, and outcome in cats with seizures.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—17 cats with seizures.

Procedure—Only those cats in which an underlying metabolic abnormality causing the seizures had been identified, diagnostic imaging of the brain and CSF analysis had been done, or a necropsy had been performed were included. Seizures were classified as being a result of metabolic disease, symptomatic epilepsy (ie, epilepsy resulting from a structural lesion of the brain), or probably symptomatic epilepsy (ie, epilepsy without any extracranial or identifiable intracranial disease that is not suspected to be genetic in origin).

Results—3 cats had seizures associated with an underlying metabolic disease (hepatic encephalopathy), 7 had symptomatic epilepsy (3 with neoplasia and 4 with meningoencephalitis), and 7 had probably symptomatic epilepsy. Six of the 7 cats with symptomatic epilepsy died or were euthanatized within 3 months after the diagnosis was made, whereas 6 of the 7 cats with probably symptomatic epilepsy survived for at least 12 months after the diagnosis was made.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that cats with probably symptomatic epilepsy may have a good long-term prognosis. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1723–1726)

Abstract

Objective—To determine clinical signs, results of diagnostic testing, underlying cause, and outcome in cats with seizures.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—17 cats with seizures.

Procedure—Only those cats in which an underlying metabolic abnormality causing the seizures had been identified, diagnostic imaging of the brain and CSF analysis had been done, or a necropsy had been performed were included. Seizures were classified as being a result of metabolic disease, symptomatic epilepsy (ie, epilepsy resulting from a structural lesion of the brain), or probably symptomatic epilepsy (ie, epilepsy without any extracranial or identifiable intracranial disease that is not suspected to be genetic in origin).

Results—3 cats had seizures associated with an underlying metabolic disease (hepatic encephalopathy), 7 had symptomatic epilepsy (3 with neoplasia and 4 with meningoencephalitis), and 7 had probably symptomatic epilepsy. Six of the 7 cats with symptomatic epilepsy died or were euthanatized within 3 months after the diagnosis was made, whereas 6 of the 7 cats with probably symptomatic epilepsy survived for at least 12 months after the diagnosis was made.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that cats with probably symptomatic epilepsy may have a good long-term prognosis. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1723–1726)