Common Health Problems affecting Dogs and Cats

Veterinary advice from John Burns BVMS MRCVS

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Seizures in cats

‘A seizure is an involuntary, paroxysmal disturbance of brain function usually manifested as uncontrolled muscular activity and a loss of consciousness.’ (Source: Textbook of Small Animal Medicine. Edited by John Dunn, Published by W.B. Saunders 1999).

Epilepsy is usually used to describe idiopathic seizures (where there is no known cause); however, in cats most cases, seizures are a secondary complication from conditions such as tumours, infection or poisoning.

In order to treat the seizures, the cause must be determined. Seizures in cats are quite rare so your vet may not have even come across them before.

If it appears there is no known cause of the seizures, you may be able to help your cat using diet.

The holistic approach to epilepsy is that fits are a way of discharging excess energy, therefore feeding your cat a low protein, low fat diet may be of benefit. Foods without chemical colours and preservatives may also help, although there is little current research to show the effect of these on the brain.

Skullcap and Valerian are natural remedies advised for epileptic animals.

Epileptic cats should not be fed raw fish. Raw fish contains thiaminase which breaks down Vitamin B1. (Source:

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) deficiency may affect both brain and nerve function. Good sources of Vitamin B1 are Brown Rice, peas, pork and beef.


Common pet health problems
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