Dear Christopher Cat
Sophie, our 11-year-old cat, started having seizures recently. Her lab work is normal, so our veterinarian referred us to a veterinary neurologist.
I don’t want to go, because I’m afraid the neurologist will recommend that Sophie have brain surgery, and I don’t want to put her through that. What’s your advice?
My feline brother Tigger had seizures when he was about Sophie’s age. Sadly, he is no longer with us.
Seizures in cats over nine years of age are often caused by brain tumors called meningiomas.
Other causes are liver disease, hypoglycemia, stroke or toxins, such as lead, mouse poison or ethylene glycol antifreeze.
Inflammation and infections, including feline infectious peritonitis, also can cause seizures.
It sounds like your veterinarian has ruled out these other causes and suspects Sophie has a brain tumor.
If that’s what is triggering Sophie’s seizures, the neurologist will see it on an MRI or CT scan. Sometimes tumors even show up on regular x-rays as mineralized masses or changes in the overlying skull.
Meningiomas can usually be removed surgically. They also respond to radiation.
If you choose not to try surgery or radiation, the neurologist can prescribe a corticosteroid to shrink the tumor and anticonvulsant medication to decrease the frequency and severity of seizures.
Best wishes. The five of us cats will hold you and Sophie in our thoughts.