Causes Of Feline Stroke

Feline Stroke – Treatment Is Needed As Soon As Possible.

The realization that your cat is suffering from, or has suffered a stroke can be extremely distressing.

Strokes in cats do occur but are less common than with humans and the effects are often different.

If the condition is diagnosed and treated in time the outcome need not be completely debilitating for the animal, and the effect may be limited to just one area.

Some cats are able to make close to a full recovery in a relatively short period of time.

Causes Of Strokes In Cats

It seems that there are two basic causes of feline stoke.

Hemorrhagic strokes happen when a vessel inside the brain ruptures and blood leaks into the brain itself, or blood escapes into the area between the brain and the skull.

Possible causes of hemorrhagic strokes:

Ischemic strokes happen when the flow of blood to the brain has been reduced (thrombosis,) or becomes completely blocked (embolism.)

Possible causes of Ischemic strokes:

In a percentage of cases of feline stroke the exact cause is never discovered.

Diagnosing A Feline Stroke

It may be difficult to diagnose that a cat has definitely had a stroke. Many of the symptoms can be caused by other conditions, so tests need to be carried out using specialized equipment.

cat receiving tratment from vet.A stroke is the result of a blockage to, or a reduction of the blood supply to the cat's brain.

It can be seen that the sooner a cat is taken to a veterinarian, if suspected of suffering a stroke, the sooner these tests can be made.

If need be the veterinarian will make arrangements for the cat to taken somewhere that has the necessary equipment.

Blood and urine tests will likely be carried out and may bring to light some possible causes.

The vet may also deem it necessary to extract a spinal fluid sample to examine for indications of brain inflammation.

An X-ray computed tomography scan (CT) and/or Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to gather information that helps to diagnose which kind of stroke the feline has suffered.

Cat Stroke Symptoms

  • Seizures, convulsions, shaking or other uncontrollable movement.
  • Unable to stand or walk and maintain balance. Cat moves as if in an intoxicated state. Avoidance of running or jumping. Stumbling or falling over. Apparent confusion. Walking, or prowling in circles. Head tilted to one side.
  • Loss of bowel and/or bladder control. Constipation.
  • Loss of vision or temporary blindness. Mismatched pupils.
  • Frozen face. Difficulty with eating, drinking, chewing or swallowing. Unable to keep food in mouth.
  • Vomiting, gagging, retching.
  • Listlessness, lethargy, or inactivity. Sleeping more than usual.
  • Personality change. Cat more aggressive than usual. Unusually timid or frightened. Likes to hide away.

None of these symptoms are themselves a definite indication of feline stroke. Seizures and convulsions are of course very serious, no matter what the cause. Any cat suffering one should be seen by a veterinarian straight away.

Cat's vomit for a wide number of reasons, some serious and some not. If your cat is throwing up as well as displaying other stroke symptoms it may be cause for concern.

Many cats, especially those kept indoors, habitually have a mad session where they may tear around the house, running from room to room, perhaps knocking things over as they do so.

This activity may last anything from a few moments to half an hour. It is just a way for a cat to let off steam and get a bit of exercise.

calico cat

If it is your cat's habit to do this, it is no indication of the cat having a stroke.

If it is unusual for your cat to behave in this way, especially if its movements seem uncoordinated when charging around, then action may need to be taken.

A feline stroke is the result of a blockage to, or a reduction of the blood supply to the cat's brain.

It is the blood supply that feeds the brain oxygen and certain nutrients. With a restricted supply, normal brain activity is impaired and sections of the brain can become damaged.

With the above in mind it is better not to ignore any cat stroke symptoms. If you think there is a chance that your cat could be a stroke victim then get your pet to the vet as soon as you can.

Safe is so very much better than sorry, early diagnosis can make all the difference to your cat's chances of recovery.

Treatment For Feline Stroke

If the underlying cause of the stroke can be determined that will have to be treated alongside any additional treatment for the stroke.

Any damage to any part of the brain cannot be rectified, but depending where in the brain the damage is, if it is not too severe the cat may be able to lead a fairly normal life.

If the cat is eating and drinking normally and any remaining seizures are controlled, it may be possible for care to be given at home with outpatient visits.

In some cases drug treatment may be given. Anti-inflammatory drugs may be used to control swelling and sedatives used to control confusion and disorientation.

All cases are individual, as are all courses of feline stroke treatment, but most cats have a good chance of recovery after about a month. A recurrence is possible but uncommon.

This page was not written by a veterinarian and is informational only.

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