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Hello and thank you for your question. I am a Veterinary Nurse with over 15 years experience and I have assisted in the care of many pets with this particular medical concern. It would be my pleasure to assist you today. Is it possible for me to obtain some additional information from you about your companion?
1) Was your vet knowledgeable about FHS (feline hyperesthesia syndrome aka "Rolling Skin Disease")? This is a relatively new diagnosis and something that has really received more focus over the last 3-5 years. Many vets have not been exposed to information on this affliction and are truly not aware of how to treat it when it is suspected.2) Do you have video of what you're seeing at home?3) What medication is she on at this time?4) What medications have been tried?5) Is this constant or does it come and go?
Do you recall what medication was given 6 weeks ago?
This may hinder your ability to make progress with your vet. If this was something like a steroid, the ability to add in other medications may not be an option until the steroid is no longer effective. That said, there's no reason you can't take the time to get information together. I would make contact with the clinic, let the staff know that you have tried the vet's recommendation, saw no improvement and ask them to convey your concerns to the vet. I will put together some details below which may help your vet in treating your girl. If the vet is unaware of the FHS, that's likely your biggest hangup. Some material for education may help greatly and, thus, reflect positively on your ability to treat your girl.It will take me about 10-15 minutes to type out a detailed response for you. You are welcome to wait, if you would like. The website will also generate an email for you once I have responded and you can revisit the chat with a link included in the email. After reading my response, if you have questions, you’re welcome to respond and I will help you further. Otherwise, once you’re satisfied with our dialogue, please take the time to rate the assistance you’ve receive from me. This is how the website will compensate me for helping you.
Medications that have been used successfully in cats with FHS include phenobarbital, elavil, prozac, clomipramine and gabapentin. If a behavioral aspect is suspected, using elavil, prozac or clomipramine first would be ideal. Other medications can be added in as needed. I have seen the most benefit in cats with FHS from the prozac and gabapentin, personally.Along with this, it's imperative to keep the cat on year round topical flea prevention as this will absolutely make things worse for a cat that is already hypersensitive. Some cats also benefit from pheromone collars and acupuncture, if this is available in your area. It also won't hurt to try feliway diffusers.Treatment often takes 6-12 weeks to see the maximum benefit from medication, so improvements may not only be seen slowly but realizing the necessity to change medications may take months. This is par for the course with treatment FHS cats, unfortunately. There is nothing on the market that just 'fixes' it immediately, although I do sympathize with your frustration because that's precisely what we want when our feline companion seems so miserable.I would also recommend going to your vet armed with video showing not only what your cat is doing but what other cats do. Youtube is a great resource. If you're able to share information via email with your vet, you can copy and paste info from this post and also share links to youtube videos like these:FHS1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpMWVRenlrwFHS2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfWBzn-8rkgFHS3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTbH9H2j5DsLet me know if I can help further.
Absolutely. There are quite a few on the market and they're easy to obtain without a prescription. They're often made some a synthetic pheromone that is given off when kittens nurse, so it naturally has a calming effect on them even as adults. I like these best: http://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/comfort-zone-diffuser-refill-with-feliway-for-cats?mr:trackingCode=B58C60A1-1297-E011-B18D-001B21A69EB0&mr:referralID=NA&mr:device=c&mr:adType=plaonline&mr:ad=91196342413&mr:keyword=&mr:match=&mr:tid=aud-169948376413:pla-190855855213&mr:ploc=9026249&mr:iloc=&mr:store=&mr:filter=190855855213&cm_mmc=PLA-GG-_-PTC_P_SUP_PLA-GG_FY16_NB_CAT_SUPPLIES_GEN_PLA-_-Cat_Diffusers-_-92700012495014691&gclid=CMWj563a1c4CFROUfgodCvgKhw&gclsrc=aw.ds
The cause is unknown at this time. There's some evidence to show that it's a type of seizure disorder where the cats are still completely lucid and aware that their body is doing something they didn't cause. As previously mentioned, this condition has only recently been recognized so much data fails to exist. Over time, there may be more information available but at this time it's very limited. At best, ***** ***** what works for 'most' cats with FHS as far as treatment goes. But the case itself? We don't have that answer yet.
It's possible to have two cats in the same household with FHS. I have two, in fact, within my own home. It can be a daunting task to figure out why a cat might be doing what they're doing. Ruling out allergies and external parasites is certainly the first step, but it sounds like you have reached this point with your vet. Asking for a trial run on other medications is something your vet should be used to as not every case that we treat will resolve with our first effort.Let me know if I can help further.
You're very welcome. Good luck!
Checking in. How is your companion doing?