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Feline Hyperesthesia

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Hey guys,

So Oli (1 year old sphynx) has been doing these weird twitching freak outs recently and the skin on his back starts rolling and he runs around like crazy. I looked this up and it is apparently Feline Hyperesthesia. Ever since he was a kitten, he always licks and chews his tail a lot, but it doesn't seem to bother him or end up in self mutilation. It only leaves him with a soaking wet tail that sometimes grazes my face :)

Anyways, I've read that this condition is something that is very mysterious, maybe even seizure related, and there are many many causes that can trigger an episode. Some of those causes being unhappiness, boredom, and stress. I really do not think that Oli is under stress, or is unhappy with his environment, or bored and needs more play. I make sure that him and my other cat are comfortable, get lots and lots of play, and have regular feeding times.

Does anyone have experience with this? Should I take him into the Vet? Could it be the type of food I am feeding him? Right now both of my cats eat Royal Canin wet and dry food. I know the controversy with Royal Canin not being completely grain-free, but it's worked for me for a long time now with no issues and so I haven't switched their food. But could diet be a factor in Feline Hyperesthesia? I am willing to do whatever it takes to try to minimize the amount of episodes Oli could have or eliminate them totally. Thank you!!
 

Catzzzmeow

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@Sphanks We have seen a couple of members who have been dealing with this @joeturbo26 had a lot of great info, so hopefully he will jump in. You can also type in Hyperesthesia in the search bar and start reading some of the older posts. I would bring your baby for a full exam and see if your vet confirms your suspicions. Meds are are administered to help. Please let us know how you make out.

Here is one thread to get you started on your research. http://sphynxlair.com/community/threads/feline-hyperesthesia.27439/

Patti
 

Toa and Ross

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Sorry to hear about the problem Oli has! I never heard of feline hyperesthesia so can't help you with it. @Catzzzmeow did gave you a good link to more information. Just wanted to hop in to say I hope you'll be able to find the source and Oli is well again soon.
 

Xandria

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@joeturbo26 really helped me out when I thought Max had Feline Hyperesthesia. Thankfully Max didn't fit the criteria but I still keep a watchful eye just in case.

I hope Oli finds a treatment that works. Sending healing vibes your way!
 

Hairless Blessing

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Prayers you find out what helps. Unless it is the food, Royal Canin is a good food and many breeders use it and recommend it.
If their healthy and it's not broke don't try to fix it. I say....
 
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Thank you guys for your responses! Oli seems to be fine right now, and has not had another episode since what happened a few days ago. I've read all the threads that you referred me to and they helped a lot. I really appreciate you guys! I'll keep you posted as to what happens in the future regarded Oli and FHS.
 
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Hey guys,

So Oli (1 year old sphynx) has been doing these weird twitching freak outs recently and the skin on his back starts rolling and he runs around like crazy. I looked this up and it is apparently Feline Hyperesthesia. Ever since he was a kitten, he always licks and chews his tail a lot, but it doesn't seem to bother him or end up in self mutilation. It only leaves him with a soaking wet tail that sometimes grazes my face :)

Anyways, I've read that this condition is something that is very mysterious, maybe even seizure related, and there are many many causes that can trigger an episode. Some of those causes being unhappiness, boredom, and stress. I really do not think that Oli is under stress, or is unhappy with his environment, or bored and needs more play. I make sure that him and my other cat are comfortable, get lots and lots of play, and have regular feeding times.

Does anyone have experience with this? Should I take him into the Vet? Could it be the type of food I am feeding him? Right now both of my cats eat Royal Canin wet and dry food. I know the controversy with Royal Canin not being completely grain-free, but it's worked for me for a long time now with no issues and so I haven't switched their food. But could diet be a factor in Feline Hyperesthesia? I am willing to do whatever it takes to try to minimize the amount of episodes Oli could have or eliminate them totally. Thank you!!
@Sphanks it breaks my heart to hear the trouble Oli is having!

Patti has suggested you do a search on here and I am glad to see you have! I have written extensively here about the topic and as always I am here to answer any questions you have and of course to be the support you need!

As I look back and read some of my past posts on FHS a couple of key points I feel it's important to mention and reiterate to anyone who is experiencing these symptoms for the first time, and quite frankly the most important things are:

•A great majority of vets are not very familiar with FHS and/or are not willing to offer it as a diagnosis...and so, you need to be a great detective and have a voice to challenge the vet no matter how much you trust him/her. I highly recommend seeking out a specialist.

•Medication is really a good idea, and with all the fiber of my being recommend starting it prior to the behavior manifesting, as with any other terminal disease/disorder, the symptoms are easier to treat before they appear rather than wait for it and begin seeking new measures.

•Realize that medication is not wrong. I struggled greatly with the thought of having to "pill Luigi" and wanted to try everything I could to avoid it. I still hate that I have to medicate him but it has absolutely changed his life for the better and that's what's more important than my own feelings.

•Realize that medication doesn't work over night and that you will need to invest time and trial and error to find the right balance but just know that the outcome WILL be positive.

•Know that when a cat experiences an episode and in general begins to display subtle behaviors such as excessive licking it is completely involuntary, and they don't want to do it as much as you want them to stop but they can't. Therefore any type of "training" or "discipline" shouldn't be used. During an episode or FHS behavior display, quiet affection is the best solution.

And lastly......

Try not to get to your wits end, and become engrossed in all you read online about FHS. Luigi and I are a testament to the fact that a cat can live a happy healthy full life with FHS if treated correctly and you become acutely in tune with their behavior.

As always, I am here for you 100% if you need ANYTHING! I usually use the app for the forum and don't always get alerts on posts, so if you'd like you can private message me and I'll give you my email.

Hang in there!

Joey
 

Catzzzmeow

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@joeturbo it is nice to have such a supportive member who can really relate to this issue. Thanks for always popping in to The Lair especially when you are tagged. You never leave us high and dry. Sending my best to you and Luigi!

Patti
 
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I am always humbled by the Lair. Thank you everyone who responded to my posts, it really means a lot.

Wow @joeturbo26 thank you for such a detailed and caring response! In times like this is it nice to know that people can relate. I am so happy for you and Luigi and I went back and read all the threads that you've posted in before and you really have a wonderful story.

Oli hasn't had a weird twitching/big eyed/possessed/ episode since the other day and has been completely normal. He is sometimes infatuated with his tail and can lick it obsessively but not to the point where he is hurting himself. I never try to redirect or change his behavior into doing something else. I know cats will be cats, and what Oli wants, Oli gets :).

I will however take him to the vet just for a check up and to have some piece of mind and see what they say about FHS or if they know of the syndrome at all. I will keep all your helpful information in mind and will definitely keep in touch with Oli's situation. I can't thank you enough for taking your time to help Oli and I out! :) We will be in touch.

Izzy
 
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I am always humbled by the Lair. Thank you everyone who responded to my posts, it really means a lot.

Wow @joeturbo26 thank you for such a detailed and caring response! In times like this is it nice to know that people can relate. I am so happy for you and Luigi and I went back and read all the threads that you've posted in before and you really have a wonderful story.

Oli hasn't had a weird twitching/big eyed/possessed/ episode since the other day and has been completely normal. He is sometimes infatuated with his tail and can lick it obsessively but not to the point where he is hurting himself. I never try to redirect or change his behavior into doing something else. I know cats will be cats, and what Oli wants, Oli gets :).

I will however take him to the vet just for a check up and to have some piece of mind and see what they say about FHS or if they know of the syndrome at all. I will keep all your helpful information in mind and will definitely keep in touch with Oli's situation. I can't thank you enough for taking your time to help Oli and I out! :) We will be in touch.

Izzy
It is my pleasure! Let me know if you need anything.
 
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