Every animal with a brain has the ability of throwing a fit (that leaves me out as there are a lot of people who often comment that even though I have a brain that it is a pity that the rest of my body is not connected to it).
We mainly see fitting in the canines species – why I do not know. Having said that I have seen cows fitting, horses fitting, cats fitting and other animals such as sheep, goats and even kangaroos.
There are many causes of brain abnormalities and this is not the place to try to diagnose an individual problem that your animal may have.
It suffices to say that there are many different causes of fitting and your veterinarian must investigate all before they can make a diagnosis.
It is not possible for any veterinarian to diagnose a cause of brain abnormality by looking or physically inspecting the animal. It is not responsible for any owner to expect that their vet can make a diagnosis in the consultation room using a stethoscope and a thermometer.
There are a number of tests that need to be done on the animal presented with fitting and the owner has no idea why this has occurred. I am not talking about the animal that has been fed poison or obviously been bitten by a snake etc…
These tests include the following:
- A blood test that checks out the liver and kidney function along with lead levels. Included in this test will be the amount of red blood cells to see if the animal is anemic, and the white blood cells to see if there is any chance of infection etc.
- An ECG (Electro Cardiograph) to test for heart problems – a few cases of fitting occur because the heart is not beating properly and oxygen is not getting to the brain.
- Xrays of the head and neck area – a few cases of fitting occurs from pressure on the brain caused by abnormal vertebrae or abnormal bones of the head.
- CSF (Cerebral Spinal Fluid) needs to be collected and sent to the laboratory for full analysis to see if there are any changes that may help in diagnosis – such as cancer cells etc
- Cat scan if there is one available – the nearest CAT scan there is to Bundaberg, QLD is in Brisbane. This is the only way a tumor can be eliminated with certainty
It is my opinion that all animals with fitting should be investigated properly so that an appropriate diagnosis can be made and then the right treatment and prevention can be instigated