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Nerve Spasms?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Glad I found this site! Rascal is an 18 month male, neutered. He is lively, extremely curious, likes to drape himself at the top of dressers, and prior to about three weeks ago allowed me to pet him only when he chose! He enjoyed play--run and tumble, jump and pull. I have spoiled him, of course. Rascal was neutered when he was six months old at the advice of my vet. At this time he had a bad experience because I gave permission to draw blood prior to his being neutered. I was told he is fear aggressive. The vet was not able to draw the blood prior to the surgery. He also had a bad experience having his claws clipped when he was about 12 months. The last unpleasant experience for him was when he was about 16 months old, when I took him in for his annual shots. The vet was able to inject one shot but couldn't get near him after that. The decision was made to give him all shots at this appointment and this was done by putting a blanket over him. I am giving this background because taking Rascal to the vet is not a pleasant experience for anyone! Normally, he is friendly to even strangers that come into our home. He goes up to them and rubs against them and does not run and hide nor show an aggressive behavior.

Early one morning, about three weeks ago, I woke up to see Rascal on top of a high dresser chasing his tail around and around. He did this about six or eight times and then jumped down. This was the first time I saw him do this. He begin acting very strangely all day. I noticed that his skin would spasm or twitch along his back and then the end of his tail would move back and forth--almost like a separate entity! This would cause him to jump in a frightened manner, pounce on the end of his tail, lick himself in a quick and nervous manner and run. This continued off and on all day. The only thing that consoled him was to hide under the bed. It was Labor Day, my vet was not in. I called emergency and talked to them. Of course, they couldn't tell me what was wrong. On Tuesday I called my vet. She said it could be a nervous disorder or (sorry, can't recall what else at the moment!!!!). We agreed that unless he became worse, I would continue to watch Rascal closely. To examine him, he would need to be sedated. I consider the vet and the clinic I go to a very good one. The situation is most unfortunate, however. I put a calming homeopathic remedy in his water, which my vet had told me was OK to use. This helped some. Over the last three plus weeks I have given Rascal lots of attention and he has gradually improved. He is learning to cope with this situation and the spasms/twitches along his spine are much less. However, the end of his tail still moves at times in an involuntary manner. Rascal will stare at it and attack it, sometimes licks it or bites it. He has lost some hair on the end of his tail. Only this last week is he back to lounging on top of dressers and doing some of the old familiar things. He increasingly came to me to be calmed, to be massaged. This has helped him. I am beginning to suspect that possibly he could have hurt his back in some manner. As he did a tumble out of laundry basket that was on a high stool. There are no vets that I know of in my area that can apply chiropractic treatments. Not even certain if there was one, he would allow it!

After this long winded post, which I thought was necessary in order to give some background, I am hoping some of you will have some suggestions, or possibly have some experience with this type of behavior. This kind of tail pouncing is certainly NOT FUNNY!
post #2 of 6
I am sure that Hissy will write soon to tell you about a very sad and scary experience she had with one of her cats who had similar symptoms. In the meantime I will try to find her thread about this so you can read about a rare medical condition that can cause this kind of behavior.
post #3 of 6
I didn't find her thread, but I did find a link Hissy provided in an earlier thread about Feline Hyperesthesia.

Click here for the article about this serious disease.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your quick reply! I've gone to the purely pets link you suggested. Some of the symptoms of FHS seem to apply. One good thing is that Rascal is much better. However, I intend to find out all I can about this and, as well, use some of the helpful information that I found in the article. What is your opinion regarding the product Revolution? I have been giving Rascal this once a month since he was a kitten. He goes outside only onto a small enclosed patio for a short time each. As for diet, I have been feeding him mostly dry and a small amount of wet--mostly Nutro. I just read a rather sickening article in the September-October NEXUS magazine, "The Perils of Pet Food," by Ann Martin. I definitely am going to look for the best quality pet food possible. Mostly when looking at the ingredients, I was trying to avoid chicken by products!
Her web page is http://www.newsagepress.com/foodpetsdiefor.html#author.

Thanks again for your help!
post #5 of 6
It might be a good idea to go a month without the Revolution to see whether that might be contributing to the uncomfortable skin. Or, if fleas are a real problem, try switching to Frontline for a month to see whether that helps.

I agree that diet can make a huge difference in the health of our critters. There are specialty foods just for cats with skin problems. You might want to talk to your vet about those.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your suggestion about Revolution. I had thought about not giving him the monthly dosage that is coming up in a few days.
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