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She is angry with her tail, chasing it, biting it and has…

Customer Question
She is angry with...

She is angry with her tail, chasing it, biting it and has chewed all of the fur off of the tip of her tail

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the Veterinarian can help you. What is the cat's name and age?

Piper and she's a year old

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Piper?

She's an inside cat. She can only eat FreshPet cat food morsels; throws up other types of cat food wait ...how much is this.. I am broke until payday in two weeks

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 1 hour by:
12/18/2017
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Joey, Board Certified replied 7 months ago
Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5,053
Experience: 15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
Verified

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for asking your question and trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 17 years of experience. I am so sorry to hear Piper is chewing at her tail.

There are a few possible causes for this behavior. The number one cause is fleas. Often we cannot find any fleas when looking because cats are too good at grooming them off (the cat eats the flea the moment it feels it). So, if there is hair loss in the area of the base of the tail and/or spine and any scabs or redness in this area then it's probably due to fleas. Easily treated by getting rid of the fleas. We see a spike in fleas this time of the year, even if she is indoor only. To treat you have to use an effective produce such as Revolution or Advantage topical or a Seresto collar.

If you are already using one of those products, then it's probably not fleas and then this becomes more serious in that it may be a neurological problem, a spinal injury with referred pain or this could be a primary skin infection. These are rare problems.

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Joey, Board Certified replied 7 months ago

I am at a point I need to know what questions you have.

I hope that the information I provided has been helpful.

Please let me know if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer.

If you received all the information you needed, then please take a moment to submit a rating.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I was reading up on symptoms and found something called rolling skin syndrome Same symptoms she’s showing.
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Joey, Board Certified replied 7 months ago

Yes, it's called Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome. The exact cause of feline hyperesthesia syndrome is unknown. However, the behaviors cats demonstrate with this condition may be triggered by different factors, such as fleas, environmental stress, seizures, spinal or neurological/neuropathic pain, other sources of pain, meningoencephalitis associated with streptococcal otitis media, etc. Therefore, it's very important to rule out these other problems such as the easy ones like fleas (treatment takes care of this problem). Diagnosis of feline hyperesthesia syndrome is based on the signs, a normal neurological examination and appropriate diagnostic tests to rule out primary spinal cord and brain disease, and primary skin issues.

Symptoms of this? Behavioral changes in cats with feline hyperesthesia syndrome can mimic signs of being in heat sometimes. Affected cats might display aggressive behavior towards other cats or people. Signs may include biting at the tail, flank, forelegs, paws, or back areas. Increased vocalization/meowing, running, jumping, and apparent hallucinations are other possible signs. Affected cats often have noticeable skin rippling along the back that occurs spontaneously or may be induced by grooming or petting. Extreme cases may exhibit paddling, involuntary urination and defecation, and changes consistent with seizure activity. Some cats exhibit a range of self-mutilation from excessive licking to chewing the fur that lead to overt skin lesions. It is often difficult to distract the cat from the behavior.

This is a compulsive behavioral problem and the treat is prescription anti-anxiety medicaiton like prozac.

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Joey, Board Certified replied 7 months ago
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Joey
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