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What are the signs and symptoms of a feline stroke?

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Quick Answer

Symptoms of a feline stroke can include weakness, stumbling and a noticeable head tilt, according to Ask The Cat Doctor. The cat also might display neurological symptoms, such as walking in circles or experiencing seizures.

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Full Answer

Cats that have recently suffered a stroke might look like they are drunk, notes Pet Health Network. They might lose their appetite and seem lethargic. Cats also might experience nausea and vomiting after a stroke. Their eyes might move in unusual ways, and they may experience vision changes, explains Ask The Cat Doctor. The cat might feel cold. Some of these symptoms are also caused by other illnesses, so a veterinary exam is necessary to determine the exact cause.

Strokes require a computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging scan for a definitive diagnosis, claims Ask The Cat Doctor. However, veterinarians may begin with other tests, such as blood work and urinalysis. This process rules out diseases that have similar symptoms, and it can help find possible underlying causes. Feline strokes can be caused by illnesses such as high blood pressure, kidney problems and diabetes. Trauma also can cause a stroke.

Treating the underlying cause is important to the cat's recovery, according to Ask The Cat Doctor. Otherwise, treatment generally focuses on supportive care, such as making sure the cat stays hydrated and warm. Supportive medications, such as anti-seizure and anti-inflammatory drugs, might also help.

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