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URGENT! My cat needs a CT scan.

(32 Posts)
Sheldo Mon 03-Aug-09 21:04:16

Hi. I am looking for some advice regarding my cat. She is 8 years old and has always been healthy and active. Yesterday however she started taking seizures. These are happening every 20 minutes so I took her to the vet this morning. They have kept her in and ran all sorts of blood tests and x-rays, only to find nothing wrong. They have come to the conclusion that the problem must be neurological. Whilst the vet has said we can have a brain scan done, she has also said it wont change the outcome and that she will probably need to be put to sleep. Has anyone ever put their cat through a CT scan? And if so, is there a chance that it may diagnose something which is treatable? The seizures only last about a minute and its as if she has no control over her movements. She is rolling about on the floor then getting up and falling over. She seems fine afterwards but the frequency of these are making her very tired. Has anyone ever experienced this before? Any help would be greatly appreciated as I have to give the vet my decision in the morning. Thank you.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Mon 03-Aug-09 21:07:53

I'd say no to the CT scan, to be honest, it's going to cost you a fortune and if it were a person I'd say an MRI will show up more and be better. IIRC, pets can get epliepsy so I imagine they are trying to rule out a mass. It is down to you though. She'd need to be sedated for a CT.

Joolsiam Mon 03-Aug-09 21:10:51

Hi. I googled feline epilepsy and found this which may be helpful.

It sounds like you need to know whether drugs such as pheno barbitol will control / reduce her seizures - if so, then the prognosis is good, but with seizures every 20 minutes, the problem may be too severe

Fingers crossed for you and, as the article says, don't be afraid of seeking a second opinion.

ClaireDeLoon Mon 03-Aug-09 21:15:48

Oh no

Have you insurance? If so I would do the CAT scan without doubt.

I have to say we had a cat who started having fits, after she was pts was found to have been a brain tumour. She didn't roll around when fitting she just froze in position, sort of chattering, pupils dilated and lost control of her bladder.

Sheldo Mon 03-Aug-09 21:26:59

I dont have any insurance unfortunately as she has always been a happy healthy cat. The vet has said the scan will be upwards of £800 depending on what they find. I know this is a lot of money, I just cant have her put to sleep without knowing whats up. The vet say she is perfectly healthy in every other way and that she isnt in pain. I just cant get my head around it. I just want to make sure I've done everything possible before I make my decision. If the chances are its untreatable then fine, but Im worried I get her put to sleep when it may have been something treatable. Thank you for your replies.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Mon 03-Aug-09 21:31:10

It would be alot cheaper to take her to the PDSA and ask them for a second opinion. They treat animals for donations if you are on certain benefits, £800 is such alot of money. It's a positive sign that she's not fitting now. She wouldn't be in pain, there are no pain nerves in the brain.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Mon 03-Aug-09 21:34:23

Is she chasing her tail and making funny noises?

Mine got ill 4 years ago and had to have a CT scan. It cost either £1500 or £2500. I can never remember as one was the cost of the cats scan and the other was the cost of DD's treatment.

A tumour was considered and that would have meant she would have to be put down.

Turns out she has hyperestesia and is on life long tablets.

Sheldo Mon 03-Aug-09 21:35:51

She stopped fitting for a while earlier after the vet had given her morphine. Unfortunately as it has worn off, the fits have started again. Can anyone take their animal down to the PDSA?

ClaireDeLoon Mon 03-Aug-09 21:38:47

Gosh so much money. PDSA eligibility criteria

Sheldo Mon 03-Aug-09 21:40:40

Thats my worry. That i get her put to sleep when a scan may show that it is something tablets can treat. I just want to have a clear conscience. I finished up work at the end of June and as of next im technically unemployed as i have yet to find another job. Would this qualify me for help?

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Mon 03-Aug-09 21:42:32

yes if you are claiming benefits. Phone them and check though.

Sheldo Mon 03-Aug-09 21:44:11

Iv just had a look at the eligibility criteria. I think i would qualify for it as of next week but my cat is registered in my mums name as we got her when i was younger. Dont think i'll be able to go down that route. Il sort something with the money if need be. I was more just wondering if anyone had put their cat through a CT scan and ended up with a happy outcome.

ClaireDeLoon Mon 03-Aug-09 21:47:25

If the cat lives with you and you pay for her etc then I would take her. She is, IMO, your cat. When you say registered in your mum's name is that with the place you got her from?

Sheldo Mon 03-Aug-09 22:08:32

I lived with my mum until i recently moved out. When we go to the vet etc, its always in my names name and its registered at my mums address?

nicm Mon 03-Aug-09 22:59:16

for you. it's so hard to know. i think you want to have the scan even for your peace of mind. had to have my boy pts just before christmas and it was awful but the vet said no other option as he was paralysed with a blood clot. hope yours is ok. xx

beautifulgirls Mon 03-Aug-09 23:06:59

MRI/CAT scans are really looking to see if there are obvious lesions in the brain that could be causing the seizures - ie tumours, or areas of bleeding/scar tissues etc. Many such scans will be negative and those that do show something up may or not lead to the chance to have something done. An isolated growth may for example be targeted with surgery or possibly radiotherapy to remove/shrink etc. IF you go down the route to have a scan done, you need to consider what action you would choose/afford if they found a "treatable" lesion. If you are keen and able to go ahead with such further treatment if offered then it is the right & sensible thing to have a scan done. If however you are not able to do so then I think you need to consider long and hard what you will actually acheive in paying out the money and getting it done.
- If the scan shows something up but it is not treatable you will probably be in a sad position of having her put to sleep
- If the scan shows nothing then your vet will presumably wish to try ongoing medication to see if seizures can be controlled.
Given the last two things I had said above, if you are not able to afford to treat say with radiotherapy, then it may be better to continue trying medical management and seeing what sort of response can be made over time. If the cat stablises then all well and good, but if not that suggests an untreatable lesion - or maybe a lesion you can not afford to treat and in either case then the cat would sadly be put to sleep.

I do apologise if my wording of the above sounds a bit matter of fact as it is very clear that you love your cat dearly, but I can't seem to phrase it and keep the "logic" part making sense if I bring the emotion with it. I just hope it makes the decision making process a little clearer for you in what to do next.
I do hope that things improve and you both have a sucessful outcome here however that is reached.

Seizures are basically an overproduction of electrical signals in the brain. Usually they would be kept under control, but in a seizure they are not controlled. When a cluster of seizures happens, each additional seizure adds to the sensitisation of the brain to activity and reduces the trigger point at which the brain can be sparked off into a further seizure episode. The aim of the medication being given is to dampen down the brain response to these signals and hopefully break the cycle of action/sensitisation. When medication has been tried for a period of time and seizures continue to occur when it is slowly reduced it is not usually a good sign sadly. If however they can reduce medication and she is staying stable you have a much better outlook for a way forwards.

Has your vet considered the possibility of some sort of toxicity causing this? Cats are usually quite picky so less likely to ingest "silly" things compared with dogs, but anything is possible. Slug bait for example is a known poison to cause severe seizures - unusual for a cat to take it but not to be ruled out. I only ask as if she has never had seizures at all and then to have such a suddent severe cluster I would be questioning in a bit more detail why this would be happening. It is still possible that this is neurological in origin of course, but anything that might help her is worth a mention here for you.

good luck

Sheldo Mon 03-Aug-09 23:43:31

The vet tested her today for toxins etc which came back clear.

Iv just spoke with my parents and i dont think we are going to go ahead with the scan unless the vet advises us to do so. I cant seem to make a decision so think its been taken out of my hands-probably best.

Im going to go up to the vets in the morning to spk with them. If nothing can be done then hopefully I'll be able to see her before she's put to sleep. Still cant believe it.

Thank you for all of your help.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Tue 04-Aug-09 08:47:10

FWIW The vet with us seemed pretty sure it was a tumour and I was of the mind that she should be pts before the scan - as they couldn't do anything for a tumour - but my Nana was dying and I was 8 months pregnant so couldn't prioritise the cat above them. Luckily the insurance agreed to pay and the vet was wrong and my cat is still with us 4 years later.

Sheldo Tue 04-Aug-09 14:13:01

The vet told me that in her opinion there was nothing that could be done. Her symptoms were changing and they didnt think it was fair to prolong it anymore.

She died peacefully in my arms a couple of hours ago. Absolutely devastated. My other cat died unexpectedly 13 days ago-2 in 2 weeks just seems so unfair

FabBakerGirlIsBack Tue 04-Aug-09 16:08:24

Oh no Sheldo sad

I am so sorry for you.

What does the vet think was wrong with her?


differentID Tue 04-Aug-09 16:14:29

Oh sheldo, I am so sorry for your losses. to lose one is hideous, 2 is so much worse.

Sheldo Tue 04-Aug-09 16:19:31

They were pretty sure it was a brain tumour. She wasnt responding to any steriod treatment etc n said over the past 24 hours she had become more confused and disorientated.

Just doesnt seem real. She was jumping around the room like normal when i went up to see her-couldnt get my head around the fact that she was unwell. Was only last week i was sayin how we'd been really lucky with her cause she's never been ill a day in her life-think i must've jinxd it. My other cat was 15 so i can accept that, this one was my baby

FabBakerGirlIsBack Tue 04-Aug-09 16:32:39


My cat is 14 and I dread the day she goes. we have been through a lot and have had her since she was 5 weeks old.

Sheldo Tue 04-Aug-09 16:40:37

Its a horrible feeling. Im sure within a few days tho I'll just be grateful i got 8 good years out of her. Just now all i can do is moan at how unfair it is.

Its crazy how attached you get tho. We were never planning on getting a cat. I was up at my grans one day and overheard a family saying they couldn't get rid of a kitten and that they were going to throw her in the canal if no one took her :O I came home and begged my mum for her! Took me hours to get her to agree! She lived a life of luxury after that

differentID Tue 04-Aug-09 16:45:22

Everyone feels the same when they lose a pet.

Do you know what you want to do with her?

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