After making an introductory post about our cat Fury, I wanted to start documenting several medical challenges with her that we are working through. There is little information out there (for pet owners or veterinarians) for animals like Fury and hopefully, by maintaining her story online, it can be one more source for cat owners (and other animal owners) that struggle with these conditions:
Early Spring 2018
Earlier this spring, we noticed that as Fury grew, she often scratched aggressively behind and below her ears with her back feet. It was just, a bit much. Minor injuries began to occur as slices or tears of the skin below where her ears met her neck. These were usually enough to require a small number of stitches or glue to close back up again. Our local vet was very investigative when it came to these injuries. Yet without any presenting symptom other than itching, we didn’t really have any clear diagnosis other than to begin assessing skin allergies.
We began to notice other odd behaviors as well over the weeks. Randomly, Fury would be in the room with us, and out of nowhere, she would enter a moment of frantic agitation. One second she’s fine, the next her pupils were dilated, she postured as if she was ready to enter fight or flight mode and she would sometimes dash out of the room for no reason at all. In fact, it almost seemed as though she was hallucinating. And just a moment later, she’d flip an invisible switch and be entirely back to normal again.
We started searching online for any guidance of what we could be dealing with and we started seeing feline hyperesthesia syndrome (or “Twitchy Back” syndrome). It seemed to perfectly align with most of her behavior but didn’t account for other behavior. We also noted from reading and in discussion with our local vet that this was a diagnosis only arrived at after ruling out many, many other diagnoses first, so this was put to the side until we could confirm more. Continue reading