Un voyage de mille kilomètres commence par un seul pas

img_8495We still feel very positive and optimistic after the feedback from the Royal Veterinary College. However, the words “We need to treat this quite aggressively” – which is what we were told on Friday – are still ringing in my ears, as are the words of one of the other vets at the practice, who told Cat Daddy on the phone that treating this condition would be “a hard slog”.

Feline hyperesthesia is a very rare and complex thing indeed. Our good friend Google will give you plenty of information about it but, to save you some tapping and scrolling, here it is in a nutshell:

– Prevention: not known
– Causes: not known
– Main symptoms*: irritated skin; eyeing tail warily as if it were an alien being; over-grooming or scratching of tail & lower body; hissing or yowling at tail; attacking tail; appearing glassy-eyed and in a trance; touch-sensitive flesh that quivers on contact, which gives it its nickname of “rolling skin syndrome” (although, interestingly, Louis Catorze has never displayed this symptom, which was why we initially didn’t think he had the condition)
– Testing: none
– Cure: none
– Treatment: usually bombardment by anti-anxiety and/or neurological drugs and/or, in extreme cases, amputation of the tail

(*Obviously, if your cat is displaying these, or other, symptoms, please don’t make any assumptions based on my word: SEE SOMEONE WHO IS QUALIFIED. I am neither a vet nor an animal behaviourist, and I can only give anecdotal advice.)

The next step for Louis Catorze is to continue on the Gabapentin, varying the dose until we hit upon the magical level that completely stops him from attacking his tail. Then, after a few months on that level, we will gradually try to wean him off.

This means that, for the foreseeable future, at least, extended holidays away won’t be possible, as we will need to be home to monitor him and make sure his routine isn’t too disrupted. But, given that my favourite place to be is Le Château, and my favourite people with whom to spend time are Cat Daddy and Le Roi, this shouldn’t be too much of a hardship.

We knew from the start that we had a special boy, and knowing that he’s one in several thousand makes me love the little sod even more.

Statement from Cat Daddy: “I think he’s milking it a bit.”

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4 thoughts on “Un voyage de mille kilomètres commence par un seul pas

  1. Oh hahaha the daddy always suspects the child of a bit of attention seeking in most scenarios but a furchild?? May be worth telling him that if said child is aware their plight isn’t it a normal reaction to stress how bad they feel to try and get their point across… just saying! Gabapentin is good and used to treat all manner of ills, once to find the right dose it works well. Bless you all, you’re expert in judgement of Louis’ needs, good luck and love to you all xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As temperatures have fallen here we have to keep our cats inside.They are now very bored and very frustrated. Both cats are now constantly attacking their own tails after never having shown any interest in them before. As there is no cure for the diagnosised condition maybe chasing birds and mice outside all day might take his majesty ‘s mind off his tail once and for all. What do you have to loose?

    Liked by 1 person

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