Monthly Archives: April 2015

Sounds triggering seizures in cats

I heard about this yesterday on my Yahoo feline seizure group and meant to respond. I forgot about it with the dosing changes until a friend shared it with me today.

I had never thought of sound as a trigger. My two don’t like tin foil being torn from the box either and Tyler (the one w.o seizures) will gag at sounds- well he gags at smells and bugs too.

They have both been scared of all sounds their whole life. Including everyday sounds like the ice maker dropping ice or refilling, cell phones, music, humming, door knocks, door bells, and vacuums. Pretty much every normal sound.

When Trinity had her 3 seizures though it was actually quiet. Two were by me at the computer while she was napping. I keep my sound off or low on the computer and my cell is often on vibrate instead of ringing especially now because I don’t want her startled. The third seizure was in the LR on her scratcher while my hubby and I were talking and she had just stretched.

I have migraines and I know I’m more sensitive to sound than most people are. In fact I’ve had tinnitus (and it’s really annoying) for a several months but unless it’s from church where the sound actually hurts my ears, ¬†I’m never around loud sounds at home because my cats don’t like it.

I wonder if some day they’ll find out that grains in their food can do it to some cats who have problems with that too.

My dad was always researching and way ahead of his time on discovering things. So many of the things he thought are now accepted as common knowledge. We’ll blame my need to research stuff to the extreme on him ūüôā

I’ve noticed today that Trinity is back holding her left foot up quite a bit. She’s done it all her life, but she did that more than normal a few days before her first seizure also.

#cat #seizures #sound

Wacom – or not?

I started looking into a graphic’s tablet and started w. the only name I’d heard – Wacom. It seems like from what I’m reading that unless you now buy the Intuos pen and touch line you don’t get what the older Bamboo line came with. They talk about lack of erasers and touch on the new Bamboos. On the website the Bamboo pad looks more like an old imouse pad I had. I thought I liked the idea of wireless especially so I could sit back and not draw like I sit at the desk but people talked about cord fails from the movement or lag from the wireless that cost extra until you get to the higher priced models.

I started looking on ebay. Then read about Monoprice tablets and some guy named Frenden and how much more you get for your money. I could just put all this looking away until Black Friday too. I haven’t looked at all these yet Huion, Monoprice, Turcom, and Ugee

Have any of you tried other graphic tablets in comparison to the big Wacom. I’d appreciate any thoughts.

In an older 2013 post I read you had to install wacom drivers to use other tablets in PS, but I’m guessing all that changes too. I’ve pretty much out ruled a new Bamboo. I’ll either get an older Bamboo, Intuos or a different company. I do need it to work with PS CS5 though.

Honored and a tad nervous

Like a lot of people I know, I’m most comfortable behind the lens or screen or one on one, over public speaking.

Today I try something new.

I’m honored to have been asked to speak at this year Bookfest about cover design with two other woman I’ve recently met, Pamela and Amy.

I’m comfortable with what I want to say and the slideshow I’ve put together, but I’m nervous about speaking and pray I don’t forget it all. I enjoy photography and I enjoy designing book covers – how hard can it be to tell fellow authors about it?

Bookfest bio

Today, Remembering Skeamer and thoughts on Trinity

Today is the anniversary of when we said our goodbyes to Skeamer. It’s hard for me to believe it’s been 8 years. She was our first cat and will always hold a special place in my heart.

Today also marks Trinity being on phenobarbital a month. Praise the Lord, we have not seen a seizure since March 23rd. I was told after one month that we’d wean her off the phenobarb and see if she’s still having them. That they are not bad enough to risk seeing if she’s still having them or if she could’ve fallen unbeknownst to¬† me and had brain swelling. Because of prior commitments I’m not starting the weaning down until Saturday. I was told the extra few days is not an issue. She’s really good at being pilled, but I’m not looking forward to the liquid as we dose down. I am not able to cut the phenobarb any more than quartered so I have no choice. It’s likely she’ll need to go back on an anti-seizure med but they think it’s worth taking the risk of another seizure to see. I was told by another person that I should have Valium ready as we taper off. I am going to ask to have the Valium on hand although I’m not sure when I’d give it because shortly after a seizure she looked normal, but I’ll ask.

I was told that if she has a seizure again I should put her on Keppra or Zonisamide because they are less sedating than phenobarb. She is MUCH better than she was when they first put her on it but still pretty sedated- even on 1/4 off a 1/4 g tablet a month in. If she follows it with another closely timed seizure then she’d have to go back on phenobarb because it gets to a level state sooner than the other two. Then I have to go thru comatose kitty all over again, well I guess if she has a seizure right away that it won’t take as long to get back used to the drug. I’m assuming this will be a life long treatment and how long that is depends on why she’s having them. Or like my last girl- she had kidney problems for 7 years but we lost her to cancer.

I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on, and learned that some cats have the same sedating effect, on the two newer drugs as they do on Phenobarb. That was my only reason for changing something that was working. Wait, that’s not true. I was also doing it because I was told you don’t have to monitor the drug in the system or the tax on the liver with the Keppra or Zozi. Later I was told it’s more because a test isn’t really available to test the drug in the cats system than that the test wouldn’t be needed. I have also learned something I find interesting. Some of the other cats in the Yahoo group that their cats have seizures- some are prone to OCD behaviors like Trinity (is in my opinion). I wonder if they have bad, jerking, moaning dreams too like both of my cats?

She stresses pretty bad at the vet and if the 2 new drugs are not most of the time less sedating, and if her liver is doing okay on the phenobarb,¬† I’m not so sure I shouldn’t stick with what’s working if she needs to go back on it and just test every 3 or 6 months (forgot what I was told about timing of the 2 test). I guess I probably need to have her potassium rechecked too at some point since she’s now being given once a day.

I love it when I see my girl act herself. It’s a little bit every day now that she runs or plays. Here’s a video of her playing catch on Sunday.¬† I was really doubting what I was putting her thru when she was zombied out and didn’t hardly move.¬† I’m wondering if the phenobarb tablets loses any effectiveness if cut and left in the cutter? They are so small I try not to handle them any more than necessary but I see NO pattern to how dopey she is like when she started on it. She used to be the dopiest a few hours after each dose. Now there is no rhyme or reason to the timing of that. When I went to get 5 more tablets of phenobarb (that for some reason cost the same as 10) my vet gave some DL-methonine tablets that I can give with her grain free food instead of the c/d food with it in it when I see things that look like urinary pain/ crystals. I just don’t want to feed that anymore for several reasons.

Thursday and Friday she was playful and alert for a good part of the day. Saturday I thought she might have had a mild mild seizure and possible again Sunday but she could’ve just been very dopey. She was moaning (they both have bad dreams a lot) and when I went to wake her up she was really delayed in doing so. I even picked her up and set her on the floor to watch her but when she blinked to, her eyes were not dilated and she looked and acted okay. Sunday morning shortly after her pill she was wide and glassy eyed but then played.

Let me add that she was diagnosed w. struvite crystals in August 2014 and was for the 1st time but on food (s/d for a bit then c/d) with grain that I didn’t want to feed. I see her eye run more on c/d and she bites at her feet.¬† Every time I put her back on Wellness within a few weeks I see she needs back on c/d or at least given methionine. I only bring in food the puzzle because I read of a lady who’s cat stopped seizing when put on grain free food. My cats have been on grain free until I had to do Hills r/x for her for the crystals. I’m looking into adding Methionine to a better grain free, and possible other than Wellness because of things I’ve been reading.

Here are the two spreadsheets I’ve started for both on those.¬†Methionine¬†and¬†wet food.¬† I still want to look into methionine that doesn’t have to be pilled.¬† The spreadsheets on the are a work in progress and are taking a back seat to the seizures. I tried a few water fountains without success until the 3rd one. I didn’t want to buy it because it was plastic but it’s the only one she drank from. Tyler still doesn’t use it but she does. I plan to post a review on my social pages but not until the seizure issue feels under control.
P1160930 (Small)
When she 1st got on Pheno she was typically out for the 1st few hours after pilling. Now there is no reasoning to when she’s fine and when she’s dopey. I will say she’s often less dopey than before but now it’s like it hits with no timing consistency with being given the pill.¬† She has started standing up to her brother and actually being a little aggressive at times. She used to would back down or not follow thru like he does to her but she’s started.

P1160940 (Small)I’m wondering if we should still do the taper down and I’m having second thoughts about changing from the low dose phenobarb when it is keeping the seizure from happening.

Quote – two choices

“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist,
or accept the¬†responsibility¬†for changing them.‚ÄĚ

~ Denis Waitley
Found in the book: Habits Die Hard

Cat grandmas are awesome ~

Today was Skeamer’s birthday- she would’ve been 25 today.

With Trinity’s recent health problems the thought that we often outlive our pets has really been weighing on my mind. It’s so hard watching them go through health issues and at some point, having to say goodbye. They sure bring a lot of good times and happy memories too. I am comforted knowing we gave good loving homes to our babies.

Speaking of Trinity. It took her a little over the two weeks before we really started seeing some of our old gal back, but the phenobarb is no longer knocking her out for the entire day. Well most days. We still don’t really see a pattern as to how she’ll be each day. I still think I’d like to move her over to one of the other anti-seizure meds that the amount in her system, nor her kidney levels need to be tested. It’d be great if it was a once a day pilling instead of 2x too I’d also like it if she was still never dopey and we could un-pad areas all over our house. I’m still not sure about taking her off to observe her but I’ll let the medical professionals weigh in on that.

I had to go back to her c/d (with grain) that I really didn’t want to do. In reading more I read that there has been some issues with Wellness and struvite crystals and that’s the grain free I happened to narrow down to. I just learned it’s also better not to feed fish- and the Wellness we feed is Turkey and salmon.

I am going to look into other grain free, no fish, low in phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and starch that are high in protein. I’m also going to ask about adding an acidifier to the grain free food since I can’t find a Rx diet that I like the ingredients. I’ll have to make sure it’s okay with her potassium, but the c/d has citric acid so I’m assuming there is no issue. As soon as I put her back on c/d she started over licking and biting at her feet again and her eye looked worse in just one day.

I still don’t know if eating grain for the first time in her life could cause the seizures like I read about, but I don’t like the ingredients so in addition to the new water fountain and possible adding DL- Methionine, glucosamine and chondroitin.

If nothing else I’ve sure learned a lot with all this. On another happy note my mom, knowing that the medical bills were starting to roll in offered to help us out financially. I wouldn’t take a check- so she got Trinity that new larger Petfusion cat scratcher lounge I wanted to get them for their birthday this month in hopes to reduce her stress of Tyler running her off the one we had. He can’t be in two places at one time. It’s a hit. Cat grandmas are awesome!

new scratcher. 72dpi

#cat #seizure #petfusion   #struvite   #crystals   #petfood

not crypto, not toxo

Today is one month since Trinity’s first seizure (that we saw) and we received not good news today. The vet just called and she doesn’t have crypto or toxoplasmosis. So, we’re left with treating idiopathic (we don’t know) seizures and treating with drugs that I hope eventually will not make her dopey but still keep the seizures at bay.

It was recommended after she was on the phenobarb for a month (4/21/15) to reduce her down and see if she was still having seizures, that it could’ve been from brain swelling but the fact that she had the 1st one and didn’t have the 2nd until almost 2 weeks later then 2 days after that till the 3rd. I’m guessing it’s not from brain swelling- plus it’s not likely she injured her brain. I’m going to ask what they think about switching to one of the other 2 anti-seizure meds and tapering off phenobarb since they are supposed to be less sedating and her liver and amount of those drugs don’t have to be tested like phenobarb. I’m not even sure about taking her off it to observe because then we’d have to go back thru the extremely dopey as she started back on it. There seems to be no reason for a just tired day over a completely conked out day. She’s just not been herself since she’s been on it but maybe for a few hours in 2 weeks and we’re down to 1/4 of a pill.

I’m sad, upset, and discouraged that it is not something that we can treat the cause. I’ve read about cats who have lived for years on anti-seizure meds but I guess it all depends on what is causing them. We don’t want to just extend the quantity of her life if the quality is too diminished.