What chance does our cat have of recovery after seizures and coma?
July 23, 2009 12:37 PM Subscribe
Cat in recovery from suspected poisoning. Came out of post-seizure coma, now has suspected blindness, partial paralysis. What do we do next?
posted by geekgirl397 to pets & animals (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We found our otherwise healthy 7-year-old cat unconscious on our (5th floor) back deck yesterday at 6.30am. Got her to the emergency room within a half hour. She was limp, unresponsive, pupils constricted almost to vanishing. Tests & X-rays showed no trauma, but hypothermia (low body temp) & hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) as well as shock. She had seizures, both before and after we found her.
After ~24 hours on a glucose drip, in an incubator, with supplemental oxygen, antibiotics (in case of undiagnosed infection), atropine (I think - some kind of antidote for an unknown poison), stomach pumping & ingestion of activated charcoal, she woke up and started eating, responding, moving.
HOWEVER, as of 3 hours post-coma, she still could not support herself on her back legs, and the vet suspected some neurological problems. We've taken her to a neurologist where she is awaiting a consult (while still on an IV). The intern who did see her thinks she may be blind, but i guess we'll know more when she's had a full workup.
This cat's recovery so far is just miraculous. We thought that she was a goner for sure, and I'm pretty certain so did the emergency vet practice, as there was a real sense of surprise & jubilation when we came to get her this morning.
I wonder if anybody else out there has had a cat go through seizures/unconsciousness and then had residual problems. Were they temporary, or permanent?
From the internet research I've done, it looks to me like neurological symptoms such as temporary blindness and paralysis are not uncommon post seizure. What I'd like to know is how soon we should be expecting a change.
We've been warned that the neurologist may want to do an MRI (at a cost of ~3K). We don't want to put our cat through anything unnecessary but we do want to give her the best chance. On the one hand, if, via the MRI, they found swelling putting pressure on nerves, spine or brain, that they could fairly simply surgically relieve, and therefore 'repair' - it might just be worth it. And I imagine we'd want to get this diagnosed & treated ASAP.
On the other hand, she was very, very, very ill and she's been making progress since waking up that you can literally measure by the hour, we strongly suspect is still in with a good chance of recovering on her own (or maybe with some anti inflammatories, steroids etc.). In the ~2 hours between leaving the first emergency vet office and being seen by the neurologist's intern, she had gone from being unable to use her back legs at all to being able to crawl a bit using them.
Anyone seen anything like this - an unidentified poison causing seizures and coma? What about recovery after seizures anyway - could we still be seeing "spontaneous" recovery days rather than minutes after the incident?
We don't want to put our cat through unnecessary pain & distress if it turns out she's unlikely to be able to be treated, or if treatment may not give her any quality of life. But we don't want to give up on her too early.