Stroke Average Cost

From 238 quotes ranging from $500 - 5,000

Average Cost

$2,500

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What is Stroke?

Strokes in cats can be either ischemic (the blood supply is cut off) or hemorrhagic (blood is leaked out into the brain). Blood vessel blockages often occur because materials have broken off elsewhere in the body and become stuck in the veins or arteries leading to the brain. Blood clotting problems can also create obstructions of blood to the brain. Trauma from injury may lead to the rupturing of blood vessels, allowing them to bleed out into the cranial area. Both genders seem to be affected by strokes equally. A stroke is a medical emergency and immediate veterinary care should be sought.

The brain of most mammals needs constant and consistent blood flow to operate properly. When a rupture or obstruction decreases the amount of blood supply to the brain, this depletes the brain's oxygen levels and leads to brain damage. In cats, this occurrence is often referred to as a Feline Ischemic Encephalopathy (FIE), or a stroke. It was long thought that cats did not experience strokes, however, advances in medicine have made it very clear that feline strokes do happen and are not uncommon.

Symptoms of Stroke in Cats

The signs of a stroke happening in a cat differ greatly from symptoms commonly noticed during a stroke in a human. Symptoms will rapidly manifest, with conditions holding steady after 24 hours. Signs to watch for are listed as follows:

  • Loss of balance 
  • Ataxia (unbalanced gait)
  • Circling
  • Confusion 
  • Depression 
  • Head tilting 
  • Aggression 
  • Fearfulness 
  • Behavioral changes 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Vomiting

Causes of Stroke in Cats

For a number of reasons, strokes happen more often in outdoor cats during the summer. There are many underlying diseases that increase a cat's risk of stroke greatly. All known causes are listed below.

  • Trauma to the head
  • Trauma to the body that dislodges fat or cartilage parts 
  • Genetic defects
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease 
  • Kidney failure 
  • Diabetes 
  • Parasitic infection 
  • Ingestion of toxins
  • Hyperthyroidism 
  • Hypertension 
  • Hyperadrenocorticism 

Diagnosis of Stroke in Cats

If you suspect your cat is exhibiting signs of a stroke, take it to a veterinary clinic or animal hospital at once. Be sure to provide the veterinarian with your cat's full medical history to assist in identifying possible underlying causes of the stroke. If your cat has suffered significant trauma from an injury, multiple life-threatening problems may need to be addressed at once to stabilize the animal. The veterinarian will perform a physical examination, checking for other injuries, enlargement of organs and other symptoms that may be present. 

Full blood work including a complete blood count and a biochemical profile will be needed to assess the cat's condition and identify potential underlying problems. Urinalysis can help reveal issues with the kidneys or the liver. Thyroid levels in the blood should be measured to see if hormonal disorders exist. For a complete diagnosis, a CT scan or MRI will be needed to get a close and clear view of the compromised blood vessels. This may not be available in some areas. If a parasitic infection is suspected, a fecal sample may be collected for microscopic examination.

Treatment of Stroke in Cats

The cat may need to be kept for observation to watch for possible signs of a second stroke occurring. If an underlying cause has been diagnosed, further treatment is generally required to address the issue. 

Supportive Care 

During the stroke and in the hours that follow, keeping the cat's condition stable can greatly affect the outcome of a stroke in a cat. This may involve administering intravenous fluids and giving anti-inflammatory medications to the cat. Hospitalization is required for this process. The goal is to keep the cat as comfortable as possible to promote healing.

Recovery of Stroke in Cats

The prognosis of a cat who has experienced a stroke will vary depending on the primary issue that has caused the event to happen. Many health issues such as heart or liver disease, hyperthyroidism and diabetes will require life-long treatments. Kidney failure can carry a very guarded prognosis. Long-term medication prescriptions may be needed and the costs can add up. Any damage to the brain that has taken place in the first 24 hours is often permanent. If a vital area of the brain has been destroyed, the cat may need to be euthanized.

If the stroke has been identified and treated quickly, there is a good chance of a full recovery taking place. It may be best to keep your cat indoors to lower the chance of injury or parasite and poison exposure. Ensure all toxic materials are kept out of your cat's reach within the home. The recovery process may take a prolonged period of time and include a lot of vigorous physiotherapy and ongoing at-home care. 

Stroke Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Charlotte
moggie
11.5
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Drooling
Confusion

Medication Used

Diazepam

Hi
11.5yr old house cat Charlotte.
Sudden stroke Friday night.
Taken to vet who confirmed right sided stroke affecting her left and personality part of her brain. Been sent home for calm and tlc plus with rectal diazepam if needed.
Has been having petite mal seizures all night with eggwhite consistency drool and mouth smacking. Aggressive after the seizure. Has eaten a small amount of tuna with added spring water to it last night but has not slept or used litter-box. Can't jump up on anything but is walking with only slight weakness on one back leg.
Has short flashes of her true personality coming back and gave me one proper response meow last night.
I'm hoping that this is true indication of small recovery?
I have been reluctant to use the small tube of diazepam for these regular small seizures incase it's needed for a large one.
But administered a small amount this morning to try and give her enough respite from head tic to get some sleep.
Please advise if you think chance of recovery is good or I'm clinging to false hope.
I do not wish her to suffer but I also don't want to give up on her.
Thank you

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1712 Recommendations
With strokes, it is really a variable prognosis; some cats bounce back whilst others show little or no sign of improvement. I do not want to give you any false hope or to dash your hopes either but prognosis is guarded generally. I would advise you to take each day as it comes and ensure that Charlotte receives excellent nursing care from you. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Wasabie
Tabbie (We think)
4 or 5 years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

My cat may have had a stroke, and I want to know if so, and her chances of surviving. She only pants when is being held, and can still wag her tail. If you could help me I would be so grateful.

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1712 Recommendations
There are various degrees of severity for strokes and it depends on the area of the brain affected and the time until treatment was given; stroke in a cat this age is uncommon, other causes may include head trauma, infections, cerebellar disorders, vestibular problems among other conditions. You should have Wasabie examined by your Veterinarian to determine the specific cause of the symptoms and whether an effective treatment can be given. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Tigger
Tabby siamese
17 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Falling Over

My cat has had a stroke about an hour ago she can't move her back legs and keeps falling over. She's 17. She is very alert though and has not gone blind what should I do

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1712 Recommendations
Visit your Veterinarian, there is nothing you can do at home apart from make Tigger comfortable; your Veterinarian will examine Tigger and will determine any treatment that may be required. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Tigger
Half Persian
17 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Eyes side to side, no balance

Last night my cat woke up from a sleep, his eyes were going side to side and he was falling to one side and lost his balance when he walked, he also couldn't stay awake and kept falling asleep, his balance slowly came back the next day (today), took him vets and the think thinks he's had a stroke. Today he's tired but otherwise fine, walking normally, eyes are focused and normal, and eating, he was licking the moisture off his food and the added water I added to his food, but not actually drinking, the vet just told me it was a stroke and said he could have another who knows, didn't give me any advice or help or treatment, can someone tell me, if he's ok today is it likely he won't have another one? What can I do to prevent it happening again?

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1712 Recommendations
True strokes that occur in humans are rare in cats but may still occur; the problem with prevention and treatment is that the primary condition (the stroke is secondary to something else) needs to be identified and treated. Vestibular disorders may also affect the eyes, balance and gait and is another possibility. It is difficult to determine whether a stroke will occur again and the type of stroke will help to narrow down possible primary conditions. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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