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We have a mature, desexed male cat with a health issue that is baffling us. Vets unable to help, cant diagnose it or suggest treatments. He is overweight, so cannot groom his back. He gets an itch on his back & it sends him into what we call a "spac attack". He loses control of himself and spins helplessly trying to reach his back. He has no control & bites himself, badly, drawing blood, sometimes a lot - on his sides, legs & feet. It is very dangerous as he doesn't know what he's doing, so will bite us if we try to interfere. Very scary, he slashed hubby's wrist deeply, if it had sliced a vein or artery, he could have died before we could get to hospital or doctors as we live 45 minutes from town. The attacks only last maybe 20-30 seconds. No idea what triggers the attacks, he can be asleep, resting, walking, eating. He is a very affectionate & loving cat & we are at our wits' end.
What we've tried: Brushing his back firmly every day, removing all loose hairs. Oils & conditioners. Anti-histamines. Nothing seems to make much difference, although brushing seems to reduce the number of attacks (from up to 6 a day to 2 or 3) & possibly the severity of the attacks, although yesterday he bit his foot so badly there was blood everywhere.
We keep him free of fleas with regular monthly flea treatments. The vets could not identify any ringworm or other fungus type issues.
One vet thought he might have some sort of mental problem, but I doubt it. He was a stray, I believe he was dumped, possibly because of this issue, but for the first 3 years he was here he didn't have the problem. It seems to have come on only in the last year or so, since he became too overweight. We have him on a strict diet and he has already lost a lot of weight, but still cant reach his back. The vets suggest euthanising him, but he is a lovely cat & we really don't want to do that without trying everything we can.
I'd be very interested to hear any suggestions, and whether anybody else has ever experienced anything like this.
 

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Hmmm.... it might be Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome, a strange condition that is difficult to diagnose. The fact that your boy seems to have a severe problem with this condition biting himself and people is very worrisome.
 

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Helen I tried sending you a link to a video by Dr. Karen Becker but your box is full? so I suggest you google her name because it very much could be Hyperesthesia. ~Best

ps he is a doll!
 

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Hi Helen,
My first thought was hyperesthesia as well...

I am curious as to why, you give him monthly flea treatments?
Some cats are very, very sensitive to flea treatments, especially, if they're over the counter kind.
They can cause neurologic symptoms, and even kidney failure!

One other thing, I thought of, has he ever had an x-ray done of his spine?
A bad injury at one time, could have caused lasting damage to nerves, that causes him to have intense pain, when that particular point is touched/activated, which would also cause him to react violently, I would think (?)

Bless you for not wanting to put him to sleep, because of this.
Wishing you all, the best!
 
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