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PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 9104
Experience:  15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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She surly has what you call Rolling Skin Disease but she is

Customer Question

She surly has what you call Rolling Skin Disease but she is also licking and making her fur come out on her tail her back she licks her feet and this goes on all day. I feel really bad for her and so I took her to the vet and treated her with flea meds but that was not what was wrong. Can not keep going to the vet as I have two dogs and two cats. Please help!
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Using the wrong medication for fleas can be dangerous. You should definitely talk to the Veterinarian. How old is Rolling?
Customer: About 1 year
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Rolling?
Customer: She never offered any feed back to rolling just the fur licking and she wants me to change her food. That is next but I really don't feel it is the food I think it is something in the area she is allergic to as I have lived in the new area for about 1-1/2 yrs now.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

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?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Vet does not know about Rolling Skin,the cat is not on any meds at this time but the vet did give her meds to help stop itching about 3weeks ago. Meds did nothing at all and this issue of licking and biteing goes on half the day
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

Do you recall what medication was given 6 weeks ago?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No sorry
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year 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.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

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:


Let me know if I can help further.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My I ask what a pheromone collar is and where would I get such collar
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What is FHS caused from
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay I just need to say that my other cat has some of the same issues with yhe twitching and dashing and hers started after giving flea med to neck. Thank you for your help
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We are good, thank you for all your advice much apperciated.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

You're very welcome. Good luck!

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

Checking in. How is your companion doing?

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

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