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Feline hyperesthesia?

Jenn.Dios

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My little Swindle (6 year old male sphynx) recently had bitten his tail to the point it had to be amputated. About 2 inches from the tip. He use to just lick it. We are going through various steps to try to fix it. As he is in a cone now. It is healed but he continues to try to bite it. I have him on a pheromone collar & ordered a ThunderShirt. He just started taking prozac, but it may take up to 4 weeks to see a differance. Plus putting Deter-X on his tail every 48 hours. I just got a Sleepypod & a Smartcat wall unit with shelves that attach to a door. Plus calming treats.
Does anyone know or figured out anything or had any results from any methods? I am trying every avenue. Thanks.
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Hairless Blessing

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Hi Jenn, long time since we've heard from you.
I'm sorry about Swindle, I can't help, but, I pray for a answer, so, it
will help him. Please keep us updated about him.
 
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admin

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My little Swindle (6 year old male sphynx) recently had bitten his tail to the point it had to be amputated. About 2 inches from the tip. He use to just lick it. We are going through various steps to try to fix it. As he is in a cone now. It is healed but he continues to try to bite it. I have him on a pheromone collar & ordered a ThunderShirt. He just started taking prozac, but it may take up to 4 weeks to see a differance. Plus putting Deter-X on his tail every 48 hours. I just got a Sleepypod & a Smartcat wall unit with shelves that attach to a door. Plus calming treats.
Does anyone know or figured out anything or had any results from any methods? I am trying every avenue. Thanks. View attachment 47541
Hi @Jenn.Dios - is that what the vet diagnosed him with? And his thoughts on treatment?

Have you tried Feliway as well? Perhaps Grannick's Bitter Apple will too.
 
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Jenn.Dios

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The vet is not 100% sure that's what it is but they think it is highly likely. He still has the cone on & is able to reach it but so far has only been licking it. It takes some effort for him to get it but he can get it.
Thanks for all the help. I do have bitter apple and going to get rescue remedy or feliway. Thanks so much!!
Yes, sorry its been so long since on the site.
 

joeturbo26

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@Jenn.Dios my apologies for the delay in response... like Catzzzmeow said, I have been out of town on a business trip, but I am back now!

First, let me begin, by saying that my heart goes out to you. Feline Hyperesthesia, has been one of the toughest things I have ever dealt with in my entire life. For those who don't know much about it--it can be a living nightmare, watching your cat who seems possessed, consistently attack him/herself and there is nothing you can do to stop them. A little back history, if you don't already know:

It is a rare disorder, that is believed to be found mostly in Asian breeds like the Siamese. Some cats show signs of it, but never need medical intervention, while others seriously hurt themselves and require intervention. Because of its rarity, some vets believe it to be an OCD type disorder, and others believe it to be some sort of seizure disorder.

In Luigi's case, it was a living nightmare...Back in November a few days before thanksgiving, I noticed Luigi do something "cute" for the first time... He saw his tail and started chasing it like a dog.. I laughed at him, picked him up and didn't think about it again until the next day--when he began to chase it obsessively until the point where he learned how to catch it and chewed it until he was screaming and howling, but wouldn't let it go. I immediately took him to the vet, who examined him and gave him a clean bill of health. Within days of that, literally every moment of every day was a constant struggle to the point where he was wearing an E Collar 24/7... And I had my eye on him at every moment, it was a nightmare he went from normal cat to cat-a strophe within days.

Long long long story short, I knew after obsessive research that Luigi was suffering from feline hyperesthesia... One vet turned into four more, followed by a feline neurologist, acupuncturist, three different medications, felinaway, diet changes (even though he's been on excellent food since day 1)....nothing even slightly changed his OCD.

First it was the Phenobarbital, which literally had him jumping out of his skin... so there was no way I was keeping him on that.

Next was the Valium which in my opinion just had him dazed, walking into walls, and completely changed his life.. I was not keeping him on that either.

The one medication that seemed to impact the frequency of his episodes was the Prozac, which he is still on. It certainly wasn't an immediate change, and truthfully, did not and still has not eliminated the episodes but again, definitely changed the frequency in which they occurred.

His life and mine were miserable for three solid months and he needed constant supervision. Honestly, even reading what I am writing now, I could never believe the magnitude of just how life altering the experience was for both him and I....

Ultimately, I had no choice but to have his tail amputated as a last resort in hope that the feline hyperesthesia wouldn't manifest into another mutilating behavior. So here we are almost six months later and he's doing GREAT! He still has the episodes, which have been greatly reduced with the help of Prozac, although now when he begins to chase his stump he will fall on his butt and switch focus to licking vs. chewing or biting. I pray it stays this way.

I am concerned for you that Swindle still has a great deal of tail left. I opted to have as much of Luigi's tail removed as possible--since he is VERY flexible (more than an average cat) and being able to reach his tail even with an E Collar--and had read about people having to have multiple "shortenings" of the tail, I wanted to ensure one operation and no more. I don't regret it.

Just to touch upon some of the other comments regarding Feliway and Bitter Apple. Feliway, some say is life changing while others claim no benefit. After all Luigi has been through, what's an extra 50.00 plug in to be safe, so I continue to use them (but honestly see no benefit to him). As for Bitter Apple, what it is important to realize is that this hyperesthesia is non voluntary, and regardless of taste etc... the cat literally CAN NOT stop the behavior, so nothing will deter the biting, and as such, it is extremely important not to reprimand etc for the behavior.

In closing, after having gone to many many vets, specialists etc.. I noticed that you aren't far from NYC (where I live)--I have an INCREDIBLE feline only vet, whom I trust implicitly and has really been a god send (he is also Martha Stewarts Vet), private message me if you need the contact info.

And above all, just hang in there... I am here for you if you need to vent/talk... I promise even though this may be an expensive road... things WILL get better!

Here is a video of Luigi during the beginning stages of his Feline Hyperesthesia just so those not familiar with it, can see just how crazy it can be. In this video, he didn't have the opportunity to truly attach his tail because I stopped him.



And here are some photos of "stumpy" now... happy as can be! LOL

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Gesundheit

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I caught a kitten during my sophomore university year, and the tip of his tail, though not frost-bitten, was worn down to the flesh. He kept licking at it, so we wrapped it up in gauze and a couple different types of tapes. I didn't like that too much, but there were 6 of us and 1 one of him. We kept him distracted from it until it healed. He didn't have hyperesthesia, but we were a little distressed by the prospect of infection. I hope Swindle gets better.
 

admin

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I have made this post a sticky.
 

1sphynxlover

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@joeturbo26 what a great post. You are a superhero! Luigi is so lucky to have you. I was in tears hearing of his plight, and how you were there for him, never giving up. So many people give up when the going gets rough, but not you. Luigi is truly blessed, so are you for Luigi.
 

joeturbo26

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@joeturbo26 what a great post. You are a superhero! Luigi is so lucky to have you. I was in tears hearing of his plight, and how you were there for him, never giving up. So many people give up when the going gets rough, but not you. Luigi is truly blessed, so are you for Luigi.
@1sphynxlover, honestly I am not a superhero, I am truthfully just doing whatever I can to ensure that my hairless son is as healthy and happy as can be--he deserves it. There is no love like the unconditional love that we receive from our pets. I never look at it as a task instead my commitment I made by choosing to welcome him into my life. He has held up his end of the stick, why shouldn't i?

Truth be told, over the past month or so, Luigi has been going through a few really scary moments with a urinary blockage and perineal urethrostomy--I almost lost him on three occasions. I'd rather go through that 100 more times than deal with the feline hyperesthesia again. It is that bad of a syndrome to cope with. I really hope that the original poster hangs in there--it's an incredibly difficult situation and truly traumatic to see your beloved pet attack him/herself... But the best part is, there is hope!

But I will say this... I should rename him "Ferrari", because after all he's cost me.... He better purr like one. Hahahaha.
 

SphynxKid

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@joeturbo26 You did a great job providing some awesome info to the Lair. I have never heard of this nor had to deal with it, so it was very informative. I really hope there are not a lot of sphynx owners that have to deal with it but if they do, I hope they find this thread and can help their hairless wonders as you did for Luigi!

Jen
 

Jenn.Dios

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Thank you so very much!! Yes, Swindle normally will be licking and the tail will curl up beside him and then he will lick and start to bite. That was the first stages. Then he would chew it and make noise like he was in pain but kept licking & biting regardless. The Deter-x is very strong and can only be put on every 48 hours & he still licks & bites. Like you said it is compulsive & the taste does not Deter him. He will drink water after words though. So we've had him on prozac now about 2 weeks and are having great results! They said it may not work for at least a month but already he is doing much better. Only the last 4 days have I been able to take off the cone. When he goes for his tail I redirect him with a toy. I bought this Smartcat climber that is like cat shelves but attached to a door & got him a sleepy pod. I have a thunder shirt on order from my job, a pet resort is where I work so we get wholesale. Its amazing how well he is doing! I still keep the e collar on when I can't supervise him. Even if I go outside for 5 minutes. This disorder has consumed me completely. But he is improving. If he damages his tail again I want to go short like your Luigi. He can still reach it with the smaller cone, the medium cone goes further out on the sides so its harder for him to get it but if he is determended he could get it. But no biting at it for days.
Thank you so much for your help & support! Joe turbo, and all of you!!
 

Catzzzmeow

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That is great news you are seeing results quicker than expected! I hope it continues. Your babies are beautiful.

Patti
 

Yoda mom

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@Jenn.Dios big hugs n head butts to Swindle and Fiona.. Beautiful babies! Continued successful healing thoughts for Swindle sent your way! Hope they are enjoying their cat climber! I put a few treats on it and they use it like a scratching post! We got the matching ultimate scratching post made of the same material and ordered the little red perch for it that amazingly they sit on..

I was sooo happy to read the medication is working.. Keep us posted! We look forward to good news!

Joeturbo26 had an amazing encouraging post and pics and some very true to heart words about what our relationships are with our babies.. That unconditional love.. Priceless..
 
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