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Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome

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  • Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome

    I was curious, and maybe I should post on some cat forum, but has anyone dealt with this before.

    I'm a vet tech, and I actually didn't even know this was a syndrome until this past week. My cat has had this strange behaviour since he was about 2 years old (now 7) and originally I chalked it up to being an allergy cat. It first occurred in the late summer, I was at a horse show, when my husband called and said that the cat was acting weird - he thought it was some kind of seizure. I was worried about a toxin, so I told him to take him to (my) work since I was gone for several days. Bloodwork came back normal except extremely high eosinophils, which can be contributed to parasites and/or hypersensitivity problems (ie allergies). And I already had him on hypoallergenic food for diarrhea as a young cat and he had feline acne. So it my mind, some weird allergy issue made sense. I kept him on biannual depomedrol (I know, I know, bad for potential diabetes). More recently I've been using prednisolone as needed (usually go through 2-3 10 day courses a year on a decreasing schedule).

    Anyways the behaviour includes ear twitching, skin along the back crawling, running away, excessive licking and biting especially around tail head but not limited to it. He also excessive licks is dewclaws and bites at his front feet, but I'm more inclined to think that has to do with allergies, which I do believe he has. He has these 'episodes' daily and more often than not several times a day. I have a video of a mild episode, maybe I'll post to youtube.

    Do I think he's painful? No. Do I think he's uncomfortable when it happens? Yes. Now that I have a name to these episodes I've done some research. My guy is a siamese cross of some sort (I call him a DSH but he is a flame point tabby?) and siamese are a breed that have this more commonly. There is not a lot of reliable info, some think it is an OCD, a prey drive issue, a seizure like episode, a flea/FAD issue. I'm going to do a trial of clomicalm (clomipramine) for the next month and see what happens.

    A long story to see if any one else has any experience with this issue.
    Last edited by CdnRider; Oct. 6, 2012, 11:15 PM.
  • Original Poster

    Video, again this is a mild episode


    • #3
      When I worked in my clinic's neurology department we saw several cats with this, and he did prescribe them something. I am wanting to say gabapentin, even though it is a pain drug, but I am not 100% sure, it has been a year and it isn't something we saw everyday. We have another neurologist in the practice that would do home visits and help with environment, triggers, etc and it seemed to really help the cats. One of the techs in that department has a Siamese being treated for it too. If you are really interested, shoot me a PM and I can talk to her next week,


      • #4
        Gabapentin can be helpful for this.


        • #5
          Lenny is just like Roark, help!

          Hi there,

          My guy Roark is about to be a five year old flame point Siamese, and has bouts of skin ripples, eats hypoallergenic cat food, does take pred a couple times a year when skin acts up and is an all around love able guy BUT, he attacks me viciously at random points in time. Sometimes, we explain it a way if no one has been home for several hours, but at other times, there's just no obvious explanation. Additionally he will run through the house pupils dilated mewling/howling as if he's attacking or being attacked by a phantom in the mornings or evenings. Ultimately, it's the viscous attacks that are worsening. Any suggestions?


          • #6
            Originally posted by Beckham03 View Post
            When I worked in my clinic's neurology department we saw several cats with this, and he did prescribe them something. I am wanting to say gabapentin, even though it is a pain drug, but I am not 100% sure, it has been a year and it isn't something we saw everyday. We have another neurologist in the practice that would do home visits and help with environment, triggers, etc and it seemed to really help the cats. One of the techs in that department has a Siamese being treated for it too. If you are really interested, shoot me a PM and I can talk to her next week,
            Gabapentin is actually a drug used for epilepsy. It is also used off label for pain.