Treating feline hyperesthesia?

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Lisa and little, Feb 3, 2020.

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  1. Lisa and little

    Lisa and little Well-Known Member

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    Sep 24, 2018
    Hi all,
    My diabetic little has always shown some signs of hyperesthesia by chasing her tail and growling at it sporadically. For the years since her adoption it has been infrequent. For the last three months I have been taking care of my older “sick” cat. She was over anesthetized at the vet for a dental and has some brain damage and is blind. That said the stress in the household has caused Little to have daily bouts of tail chasing, growling and general anxiety. Her BG numbers are also more unpredictable due to the added stress. She has always been “anxiety ridden” sudden noises or just anything unfamiliar will make her cower. That said I am considering medicating her until the stress situation with my other cat resolves. My vet has recommended Gabapentin and some other drug. I am leaning towards the Gabapentin as that can be administered on an as needed basis as opposed to some of the others that require daily dosing regardless of symptoms. Does anyone here have any experience or advice they can shed on this? I truly value all of you and you have always given me great advice and comfort so I am hoping someone can comment and steer me in the right direction. Thank you all as always :bighug:
     
  2. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    My Nala was a tail chaser/growler since I adopter her.
    It got worse last July when she kept "catching" her tail. By "catching" I meane deep biting that resulted in the bone showing. Tried gabapentin and cone to allow healing. I took off the cone to allow her to eat and went to feed my other cats. DUring that show time she bloodied her tail again. Solutions was to amputate her tail. Now here tail is like a rabbit's tail.
     
  3. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Gabapentin is for seizure type disorders and for nerve pain/pain management. Can make a cat very lethargic.
    Gabapentin is best used on a daily basis. Withdrawal symptoms may cause worse behavior in your cat. It needs to be tapered off slowly.

    Prozac and other similar drugs can be given to cats, but it can take 2-3 weeks to see any change in behavior. Also needs to be tapered off slowly.

    Prozac can be risky if a cat has certain medical conditions, like heart disease.
    Does her skin "ripple" when you touch it? Hyperesthesia often has this symptom. My cat did.

    Have you thought of using a "thunder shirt" on your cat? Non-drug possible solution for anxiety. May not be appropriate if your cat really does have "hyperesthesia" but would work on a cat that has "boredom" or anxiety issues.
    Cat - Thundershirt
    DIY version.Cat Thunder Shirt : 5 Steps - Instructables

    https://www.petmd.com/blogs/fullyvetted/2011/dec/treating_feline_hyperesthesia-12122#
     
  4. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

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    Sep 21, 2018
    I'm sorry but I can't help you out but just wanted to say I'm so sorry about your other cat, that poor baby. I feel so bad for her
     
  5. sandscout

    sandscout Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2018
    Hi Lisa, I have been giving my 13 year-old kittie Prozac (for aggression and hyperesthesia) and it has helped the hyperesthesia tremendously.
    He was diagnosed with it several years ago, he had what the veterinarian described as an intercranial event when he was 4 years old, which is what she believes is connected with the development of the hyperesthesia in his case.
    No matter the causal connection (most times none is to be found), the SSRI Prozac helped reduce his symptoms greatly. Best of luck to you. Let us know what you decide.
    Susan & Scout
     
  6. Si am cat mom

    Si am cat mom Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2019
    My guy has what our vet thinks is mild hyperesthesia - I didn't notice it until he was 5 or 6 years old and thought it was just allergies. It seems to be stress induced but isn't constant at all. With his spondylosis and cervical pain, it is sort of hard to tell now what is what. Gabapentin helped for a bit, but then seemed to have a plateau point. We are trying CBD/ Hemp oil now- for everything. I think his anxiety has gotten so much better. He seems less twitchy and does not try to over-groom as much. When he does, now I feel like I can redirect him to play whereas before, he would throw a fit a become aggressive/vocal. He is overdue for a bath, and I find that if I stay a head of his allergies and dry skin, it seems to not set off the opportunity obsessive licking and back twitching which cuts off the episodes. He's also on Omega-3 fatty acids which I think everyone should be.

    Hope you guys find something that works !!! :)
     
    Dee Dee C likes this.
  7. Lisa and little

    Lisa and little Well-Known Member

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    Sep 24, 2018
    Thank you. It has been absolutely awful and truly the hardest thing I’ve ever handled in my life. Appreciate the kind words.
     
  8. Lisa and little

    Lisa and little Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2018
    Thank you. Appreciate all the info very much
     
  9. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Feb 21, 2015
    I am so sorry to hear about your other kitty... how absolutely terrible to have that happen. Poor darling.

    Sheba got super sensitive around her tail out of the blue following some sort of irritation around her head which had her twitching off and on for a couple of months. It eventually went away and the lower back/ tail sensitivity started. She was super sensitive to any touching. It eventually went away after a couple of months without any treatment
     
  10. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Not sure this will translate to cats and it's obviously a "talk to your vet first" kind of thing.
    Border Collies really are that smart but along with that may come any number of serious neurotic behavioral issues. Ours walked the neighborhood without a leash for 12 years and every mom knew her kids were safe but thunder and fireworks meant digging a hole behind the furnace to crawl in and die. She would hyperventilate and her eyes would roll back in her head. Thunder-Shirts and pheromone collars never made a dent.
    A low dose of Valium saved her sanity.
     
  11. Dee Dee C

    Dee Dee C Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2019
    My cat has always hated to have his back touched anywhere beyond mid-back, and especially near his tail. Before he was diagnosed as diabetic, he was licking and biting himself so bad he was bald and scabby and was coughing up fur balls frequently.

    I tried him on CBD oil for awhile and it did lesson his bouts of licking and chewing.
    After reading that hyperesthesia in humans can be associated with diabetes and is thought to be related to neuropathy, I started my cat on
    the B12 therapy. Not only did his jumping height increase about 2 weeks into that treatment, but his biting and licking improved so much he is no longer bald back by his tail and no scabs! It was like a miracle!
    I ran out of the CBD oil about three weeks ago but have kept him on the B12 therapy. I do plan to get him back on the CBD oil too because the combination of that and the B12 keeps his skin a lot less twitchy when I pet him or give him his insulin shot. I buy the Vitacost Vitamin B12 Methylcobalamin 5,000 mcg at Amazon a lot cheaper than Zobaline thanks to a tip I read on here from
    @Diane Tyler's Mom
    and I mix it with folic acid (folate) to mimic the ingredients in Zobaline.​
    Good luck to you and Little. :)

     
  12. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Lewis has that, it might be something called stud butt. He gets a circle of waxy matted fur 4 inches from his tail along his spine and touching it makes him nuts.
    @Larry and Kitties ???
     
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