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Diabetic cat with seizures.

Species: Cat
Breed: mixed maine coon
Age: 11-15 years
I've inherited a diabetic cat with a history of seizures. Since bringing him home, he's been in the hospital twice for hypoglycemia (blood sugar 24 and 45 respectively). The second onset caused a series of seizures minutes apart. have dropped his insulin injections to 1 unit 2x/day. Today I have witnessed two seizures, hours apart. Are diabetic related seizures always just minutes apart, or can they be hours apart, like today? Vet told me yesterday that if he seizes again, it's not due to the insulin injections due to the small amount he's receiving. Maybe and insulinoma or something. Just trying to determine if today's seizures are diabetic related or random seizures. Vet suggested putting him down if he becomes hypoglycemic again (very $$$ to keep taking him to the animal hospital). Thanks.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh dear, I am sorry to hear that you and Jasper are going through this.

There are many possible reasons for seizures. When an animal has a diabetic seizure it is because the glucose level has dropped too low. When we give insulin what happens is it lowers the blood sugar. If we lower it too much then an animal can seizure.

The seizures really can be at any time. We can't determine too much by the fact that they were hours apart.

It is very unusual for one unit of insulin to drop the blood sugar to the level to cause seizures. Has your vet mentioned a possibility that Jasper is not diabetic any more? Occasionally we can see a cat that recovers from diabetes and doesn't need insulin any more. You may want to ask your vet about this.

The next possibility for the seizures is an insulinoma. This is a tumor on the pancreas that secretes insulin. It can secrete it at random times which can cause the blood sugar to drop dramatically at any time resulting in seizures.

It's also possible that something else is going on to cause the seizures such as a brain tumor but this can be difficult to diagnose.

While I can't advise you on what to do with your cat's insulin you may want to ask your vet about trying Jasper without any insulin for a while to see how things go. You could also consider an ultrasound to look for a tumor on the pancreas. Sometimes they are obvious, but not always.

I hope everything is ok.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.