Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome with self-trauma to the tail: retrospective study of 7 cases and proposal for integrated multidisciplinary diagnostic approach

Pablo Amengual Batle, Clare Rusbridge, Timothy Nuttall, Sarah Heath, Katia Marioni-Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Case Series summary. This was a retrospective study on clinical features and response to treatment in 7 cats with Feline Hyperaesthesia Syndrome (FHS) and tail mutilation. FHS is a poorly understood disorder characterised by skin rippling over the dorsal lumbar area, episodes of jumping and running, excessive vocalisation, and tail chasing and self-trauma. The majority of the cats were young, with a median age of 1 year at the onset of clinical signs, male (6/7), and with access to the outdoors (5/7). Multiple daily episodes of tail chasing and self-trauma were reported in 5/7 cats, with tail mutilation in 4/7 cats. Vocalisation during the episodes (5/7) and rippling of lumbar skin (5/7) were also reported. Haematology, serum biochemistry, Toxoplasma gondii and FIV/FeLV serology, MRI scans of brain, spinal cord and cauda equina, CSF analysis and electrodiagnostic tests did not reveal any clinically significant abnormalities. A definitive final diagnosis was not reached in any of the cats, but hypersensitivity dermatitis was suspected in 2 cases. A variety of medications was used alone or in combination including gabapentin (6), meloxicam (4) antibiotics (4), phenobarbital (2), prednisolone (2), and topiramate (2); ciclosporin, clomipramine, fluoxetine, amitriptyline and tramadol were used in one cat each. Clinical improvement was achieved in 6 cases; in 5 cats complete remission of clinical signs was achieved with gabapentin alone (2 cats), a combination of gabapentin/ciclosporin/amitriptyline (1), gabapentin/prednisolone/phenobarbital (1) or gabapentin/topiramate/meloxicam (1).
Relevance and novel information. This is the first retrospective study on a series of cats with FHS. The diagnostic work up did not reveal any significant abnormalities of the central or peripheral nervous system; dermatological and behavioural problems could not be ruled out. We propose an integrated multidisciplinary diagnostic pathway to be used for the management of clinical cases and for future prospective studies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Feline Medicine and Surgery
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

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