Twitching Cats – Demystifying Feline Hyperesthesia (for Nurses)
Feline hyperaesthesia syndrome (FHS) is a poorly understood disorder that causes a variety of symptoms including tail chasing; biting or licking the lumbar area, flank, anal area, or tail; and skin rippling and muscle spasms of the dorsal lumbar area. Some affected cats make unusual vocalisations and will have episodes of wild, frantic running. This condition can have a significant negative effect on the affected cat’s wellbeing and quality of life. A diagnosis of FHS is made by exclusion of other possible aetiologies.
This presentation will discuss the typical presentation of FHS and detail the diagnostic process to rule out other possible diagnoses that may cause similar symptoms including dermatological, orthopaedic, and neurological conditions.
The prognosis for response to treatment for FHS is fair and involves a multimodal approach to optimise the cat’s environment, provide behavioural modification, and pharmacotherapy. Several drugs have been found to help this condition and these treatment protocols will be discussed.
RACE approval pending.
Recording from 13 October 2021
Dr Martine van Boeijen BSc BVMS (Hons) MANZCVS (Medicine of Cats) ISFM AdvCertFB
Dr Martine van Boeijen graduated from Murdoch University in 1999 and after spending her first post-graduate year in Perth, she moved to London to work in a busy emergency centre where her passion for feline medicine developed. She attained her ANZCVS Memberships in Feline Medicine in 2010, and in 2016 branched away from general practice to open Perth Cat Hospital; the first, feline-only vet facility in WA. Her practice has expanded substantially since opening and proudly won a highly acclaimed Telstra Business Award for Energised and Emerging Businesses in 2018. Dr Martine regularly lectures on feline specific topics including behaviour and is well known for her enthusiasm and energy. Her practice sees both first opinion cases in addition to accepting regular referrals from surrounding Perth practices for complex dental and medical cases. Martine is a dedicated cat parent to her two very loved, geriatric Burmese; Rollie and Eddie.