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Cat is having tremors/muscle twitching
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An_253088 posted:
I have a 9 year old male cat. He is having these muscle twitches in his face and in his front legs. They usually occur when he is purring or relaxing although they have occurred when he is just sitting or walking although not often. Sometimes I've noticed that he appears to, "zone out," at least as much as a cat can right before, but again it's fairly subtle. When these twitches and spasms occur his eye sometimes twitches and gets smaller than the other and I've noticed that sometimes it gets smaller than the other even when he's not twitching, although I've heard that can be normal. They've been happening for the last 6 months or so, but I have been noticing an increase lately. As I stated previously, his front leg seems to be twitching and having spasms as well. His gait is fine and he doesn't seem to have any balance or coordination issues. I can pet him and he doesn't shy away from that either. The only thing I've noticed is that there is an increase in licking of his fur and that the twitching is now in his hind legs and in his back. It almost looks like a Parkinson's patient. [br>[br>I've noticed some subtle signs of pain as well. Yesterday, he was very jittery and couldn't sit still. I noticed some periods were his respiration's were shallow and rapid (in the upper 50's) at rest over the past few days. Today he was lethargic and protecting his front legs. He was also lying in positions that I haven't seen him lie in before. He's been very clingy over the last couple of days as well. which is also unlike him. Overall, he was just behaving differently than normal over the last few days. I'm not sure if it's pain or me just being overly critical. These symptoms never seemed to bother him before.[br>[br>In addition to these symptoms, he's been vomiting the last week or so every other day. This is not typical for him, although he is a fast eater at times. Up until yesterday, he appeared to be eating well, although now he is not eating as much or drinking although he is still urinating and having regular bowel movements. [br>[br>I took him to the vet in May and they ruled out renal disease, diabetes, thyroid, and electrolyte imbalance. I just took him to the vet today and they are doing another round of lab studies to rule everything out again, possibly something metabolic. His exam was otherwise normal. His heart was okay and he let the vet touch him and nothing was tender. After the exam the vet basically said he's just not sure what it could be. He said it may be neurological. I'm just not really satisfied with that answer of, "not sure." I don't have a whole lot of money to take him to a neurologist although I would if I did. He also said it could be related to periodontal disease? He said Rusty's teeth are really bad and he has pretty bad plaque and gingivitis. Could that be causing some of the symptoms? He also mentioned allergies. We recently moved to an apartment and the people downstairs smoke. I leave the windows open and unfortunately I've noticed the smoke comes into the apartment sometimes. I am at a loss. He is really important to me, though and I am very worried about him!
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AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP responded:
It doesn't sound like dental disease is the problem. What you describe does sound neurological, however. It may be that he's having mild seizures. If his lab tests are still normal, check his blood pressure (yes, hypertension can cause seizures.) If that's normal, ask your veterinarian to refer you to a feline or internal medicine specialist or, even better, a veterinary neurologist if one is available. He's worth a second opinion!

Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP
The Cat Doctor
Board Certified in Feline Practice
 
avatar
AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP responded:
It doesn't sound like dental disease is the problem. What you describe does sound neurological, however. It may be that he's having mild seizures. If his lab tests are still normal, check his blood pressure (yes, hypertension can cause seizures.) If that's normal, ask your veterinarian to refer you to a feline or internal medicine specialist or, even better, a veterinary neurologist if one is available. He's worth a second opinion!

Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP
The Cat Doctor
Board Certified in Feline Practice


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