A Day We Will Never Forget
It had been what was now a semi normal day of Moose not eating much. He was drinking a lot of water and otherwise acting like himself. I had given him his insulin a few hours earlier and was chatting with the hubby about ideas to entice him to eat more. Out of no where we hear what to me sounded like Moose jumping up onto the counter, but not quite making it. Standing in the kitchen and seeing no Moose we immediately went to investigate. That’s when the howling and thrashing began. Moosie was on the floor on his back, frantically waving his paws in the air and rolling from side to side. I ran got a towel to control him and keep him safe. Hubby and I were in shock. How could our little man have what appeared to be a seizure?? The whole episode only lasted maybe 15-20 seconds, but in tears we rushed to the vet fearing the worst.
The Culprit: Hypoglycemia
After a thorough vet examination and a glucose check, which was over 400, the most likely cause was a hypoglycemia induced seizure followed by the somogyi effect. Based on our observations and the vet’s experience, the thought was, with his limited eating, then throwing up the food he had consumed, with the insulin already in his bloodstream, his glucose went dangerously low and caused the seizure. His body immediately compensated for the life threatening drop by dumping glucose into his bloodstream. While a little loopy and not fully himself, he didn’t show any indications of neurological damage.
I was given a couple of options, leave him at the vet for hourly glucose tests or bring him home and perform hourly glucose tests, to monitor his levels. I was told it was very possible they could drop again and he could have another seizure. I opted to bring my boy home because if the end was coming I couldn’t have him sitting in a cage without me comforting him. I was given strict instructions that if his glucose dropped to 100 I was to bring him to the ER so they could admit him and administer short acting meds to regulate his insulin levels.
With a quick stop by Petsmart on the way home to grab some of the stinkiest Fancy Feast varieties I could think of I knew it was going to be a long day. Once home, I was determined to get him to eat, even if it meant feeding him “junk food.” He did eat some and many glucose checks later I started to relax as he very slowly dropped into the low 300s. He would not receive anymore insulin until he gets some bloodwork done. Note: We held off getting it at the vet because if we ended up in the emergency room we would have needed to do labs again since the first results wouldn’t have been available for a couple of days. Long story short, Moosie did great through the weekend remaining in the low 300s without any insulin.
Frequent Glucose Testing is Critical
It was a balancing act though. We were afraid his glucose would go through the roof since he was usually on super low carb Weruva, but was now eating Fancy Feast blends. Because he was doing more drinking than eating, I blended a 3oz can of Fancy Feast with a 5.5oz can of Weruva to try to balance the ratio of carbs. We are going to hold off on insulin and continue with this feeding method while we await bloodwork results.
So, lesson learned… frequent glucose testing is sooooo very important! While I had done a glucose curve in the past, weekly testing just wasn’t going to cut it if we start up the insulin again. Human’s with diabetes check their insulin multiple times a day, why should it be any different for our furry family members? Also, I need to keep some honey or corn syrup on hand in the event he has another seizure. Rubbing some on his gums will introduce the sugar into his bloodstream to end the seizure. Keeping in mind his body may do the compensation for him. Ugh what a nightmare!
While we took it one hour at a time, I was just incredibly thankful that day was not the day I would lose my little boy. He is certainly a fighter and as long as he wanted to fight, we would be there to love on him and give him the tools he needed to feel better.
Has your cat ever had a seizure? What did you do to get it to stop? Were they any long term issues that resulted?