Signs of a Stroke in a Cat

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There are two types of strokes found in cats, including ischemic strokes and hemorrhagic strokes. Look for mismatched pupils and head tilts as signs of a stroke in a cat with help from a staff veterinarian in this free video on cat health and pet care.

Part of the Video Series: Dog & Cat Diseases
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Video Transcript

Let's talk about signs of stroke in a cat. Stroke is something that we do see in veterinary medicine. It's not as common as you would think, especially when we think about humans and how often stoke seems to occur in humans. We call them CVA's or cerebrovascular accidents, and there are two types, ischemic types of strokes, and hemorrhagic types of strokes. Ischemic means that the blood supply to an area of the brain has been cut off. Hemorrhagic means that there's been a bleed or or like an aneurysm that has burst and bled into that tissue, and so what a stroke is essentially is a neurologic deficit. And in cats it very commonly shows up by how you see them move. Commonly, they'll have a head tilt to one side. Their, sometimes their pupils can be mismatched. They will can be falling or ataxic, meaning that they are stumbling from side to side or to one side. Their appetite may decrease. There can be vomiting associated with that, too, and so stroke, even though it's not that common, can show up and it can be neurologic in in the way it shows up. In a lot of cats, there's really not much that can be done to help where they are in a stroke initially. However, a lot of cats get better over time. After a few weeks they start to actually get back their normal functions again. In people, we think a lot of times of them having facial paralysis and things like that. In cats we don't see a lot of that. We see more in the way of head tilts and stumbling, and sometimes vocalization, and again, lack of appetite may occur, things of that nature. If you think that that's happened, obviously, seek your veterinary clinic, their help and having, you know, so they can help you deal with it.

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