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Feline Hyperaesthesia Syndrome

19 November 2018 – News

Feline hyperaesthesia syndrome (FHS) was first described over 35 years ago and, unfortunately, it remains a disease with an unknown etiology that is difficult to diagnose. Clinical signs may vary but presentations include excessive vocalization, skin rippling over the dorsal lumbar area, episodes of excitability, overgrooming, and self-trauma. In the most severe forms, animals might significantly injure or even mutilate their own tails.

This retrospective study was the first to analyse presenting signs associated with FHS. Seven reports were analysed in order to understand their diagnostic work-up and the treatments that were used. None of the animals received a definitive diagnosis and no significant abnormalities were found on the exhaustive tests that were performed.

Six of the seven cases improved with medical treatment and five of these demonstrated complete remission. Several types of drugs were used, alone or in combination: gabapentin, meloxicam, cyclosporine, prednisolone, phenobarbital and antibiotics.

Using  this data and the available literature, the authors developed a flow chart that could be used to determine the best treatment protocol for each case of FSH as well as when to refer them to a feline specialist.

In Feline hyperaesthesia syndrome with self-trauma to the tail: retrospective study of seven cases and proposal for integrated multidisciplinary diagnostic approach; Pablo Amengual Batle, Clare Rusbridge, Tim Nuttall, Sarah Heath, and Katia Marioni-Henry; Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery (2018)