Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome
Hyperesthesia syndrome in cats is a very unique condition. Cats afflicted with it will display unusual behavior at various intervals. It often causes them to lick or chew themselves excessively. Not only can this cause them to lose their hair, but irritation or sores on the skin can also develop. When experiencing an episode, your cat won’t appreciate being physically touched.
After hyperesthetic cats have finished licking themselves, they may start running around your home frantically. You’ll notice your kitty appears to be depressed or very afraid of something. The pupils will also be dilated due to feline hyperesthesia syndrome.
Another usual sign of hyperesthesia syndrome in cats is a rolling or rippling of the skin on a certain part of your cat’s back. The muscle in this area of the back is responsible for causing this rippling effect. An episode can be brought about simply by touching the area.
Cats affected by feline hyperesthesia syndrome may also salivate a lot and be unable to control urination. There is no set time limit for an episode. Some cats only display problems for just a few seconds, while others can have an episode that lasts for a few minutes.
Any breed can be affected by cat hyperesthesia syndrome. However, a few unfortunate ones have a higher degree of risk. They include exotic breeds such as Himalayans, Siamese, and Burmese.
Since there are various other conditions that can cause some of the same signs, they will need to be eliminated in order to make a proper diagnosis of hyperesthesia. Your cat may be suffering from a slipped disk or a pinched nerve which can cause similar signs. Issues with the skin may be brought about by allergies to food or an infestation of fleas or mites.
To rule out these potential other causes, a variety of tests will need to be conducted. The vet will likely start with a physical examination, then move on to neurological tests to see if they’re the problem. Blood and urine tests will also be helpful. There isn’t always a physical cause of feline hyperesthesia syndrome though.
Fortunately, this condition is relatively minor, and won’t lead to serious problems for cats affected by it. However, serious problems can develop if the skin lesions or sores become infected. Simple changes to your cat’s lifestyle may be enough. Reducing stress can severely limit the number of episodes your cat suffers.
He should be fed at regular times on a daily basis. The same goes for periods of play. If there are conditions in the environment that causes problems in your cat, then they’ll ideally need to be removed. Some cats with the condition can’t tolerate being around other cats.
Feline hyperesthesia syndrome can also be treated with different types of medications. The vet may prescribe your cat anti-anxiety medications to limit problems. Other possible treatments include corticosteroids or anti-seizure medications. If these medications are ever discontinued, problems may recur. That means that your cat will likely need to take them for the rest of his life.