Stroke / Cerebrovascular Accident / CVA
While common in people, strokes are rare in pets. A stroke may be caused by the rupture of a blood vessel, with hemorrhage causing brain damage, or a blood clot from elsewhere in the body lodging in a brain artery. The region of the brain served by that artery is denied life-sustaining nourishment. This is called an infarction and is the most common cause of strokes in cats. While strokes occur suddenly, their signs, including all brain signs (disorientation, seizures, stupor, coma, paralysis) vary according to where the infarction occurs.
The cause of a seizure is best determined by CT or MRI scan. Because a clot is the most likely cause of a stroke, aspirin may be used to reduce clotting disorders, even in cats.