A stroke is a serious medical condition that can affect your cat's health and well-being for the rest of his life. Your cat stands a good chance of surviving a stroke, but it is essential that you get your cat proper veterinary care as quickly as possible after a stroke has occurred.
Understanding Your Cat's Stroke
A stroke occurs when your cat's brain suffers from a reduction in blood supply. There are two primary types of stroke that can affect your cat. Ischemic strokes occur when your cat's brain suffers from a sudden and unexpected loss of blood supply. Hemorrhagic stroke is caused by bleeding on the brain; typically this type of stroke is caused by a blood vessel that has burst.
Symptoms of Feline Stroke
Your cat may experience a variety of symptoms as the result of a stroke, which can damage different parts of the brain. The symptoms your cat may experience are not guaranteed to be the same as another cat suffering from the same condition. Among the symptoms you may notice are lethargy, immobility, vomiting, seizures, weakness, behavior change or a lowered body temperature. Your cat also may have difficulties walking, including but not limited to falling over, walking in circles or tilting his head. You also could notice eyesight problems, a loss of vision and changes in eye movements.
Causes of Stroke
A number of conditions can contribute to your cat having a stroke. These conditions include physical trauma, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism and any type of blood clotting problem. Other contributors include Cushing's disease, brain tumors, parasites and ingestion of some types of poison.
If you think your cat has had a stroke, take him to the veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian will examine your cat and may perform blood tests, urine tests and X-rays to rule out other possible health problems. Your veterinarian will need to perform a CT scan or MRI to confirm that he has had a stroke. Your cat's treatment options will vary depending on the severity of his condition and his symptoms.