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Wellness Center - Articles

Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome, Rolling Skin Disease

by Darleen Rudnick, B.S.W., M.H.N.

Is your cat biting at himself, sensitive to touch and showing erratic behavior?  Your cat may be suffering from Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome, also known as Rolling Skin Syndrome.  Read how to control FHS naturally through a high quality diet and supplements.  Learn what may cause FHS.

Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome also known as "rolling skin syndrome," is in some ways very similar to a seizure disorder.

Symptoms of FHS:

    • Dilated pupils
    • Twitching of the tail
    • Appearing to be annoyed with the tail
    • Biting at the tip of the tail, sometimes to the point of mutilation
    • Behavior may change from loving, to scared and depressed
    • Sensitive to touch around the tail
    • Staring into space
    • Persistent, loud meowing
    • Dashing off madly and aimlessly around the house or yard
    • Rippling skin on the back just above the tail

Below is a video of a cat suffering from Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome (FHS):

These symptoms are not always triggered by unpleasant events, but can occur while you are petting your cat loving, or when touching your cat near the tail.

It is believed that over-vaccinating, low quality diets, preservatives and chemicals may be leading to this problem.

Below is a more severe case of Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome.  This is a disturbing video at the end, so you may want to have your valume turned down.  

How to Control Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome Naturally

A prevention plan is a simple method of enhancing the level of nutrition and making lifestyle changes. It is an attempt to address any special needs your pet may have and promote a healthy lifestyle. Below are suggestions on how to treat FHS.

Rule out other health problems

Rule out other health problems such as Thyroid, Diabetes, Cancer, Liver or Kidney disease. A health problem may be triggering these episodes.

Promote a healthy lifestyle

Poor nutrition is a direct cause of many major and minor diseases. Therefore, a commitment to optimum health and longevity for your pet must include a high quality diet.

Research has shown that a low quality diet -- meaning a diet loaded with chemicals, fillers, stabilizers, coloring agents, sodium nitrate (found to produce epileptic-like changes in the brain activity of rats that ate it regularly) and by-products -- can lead to allergies, nervousness, hypertension, diabetes, weight problems, dry skin, and many other common ailments.

A homemade diet is recommended, as this is the best you can do for your pet. However, home cooking does not fit into everyone's lifestyle and if this is the case, it is essential to choose a high quality dry or canned food.  Because of what goes into pet foods today and what does not, it is important to know how to read labels, and know the history of the company manufacturing the pet food.

For a list of homemade recipes or a list of best and worst dog/cat foods, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Structure meal times

Some pets suffer from hypoglycemia, which is a medical term meaning low blood sugar. The causes of hypoglycemia are overproduction of insulin, excessive exercise, heredity, or an inadequate diet. Some symptoms of hypoglycemia are very similar to Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome.

Symptoms of a hypoglycemic attack are:

  • Staggering, collapse or dashing around
  • Weakness
  • Aggression
  • Moodiness
  • Glassy eyes, dilated pupils
  • Seizure

Because the symptoms of hypoglycemia and FHS tend to be similar, feeding structured meals is suggested. When you feed one meal a day, your pet's body produces insulin. High levels of insulin cause low levels of fat burning and high levels of fat storing, the reverse of what you may think. When insulin is not stable in the body, it throws the hormones and brain chemicals out of whack and the body starts storing fat to save itself.

Therefore, it is extremely important to feed 3~4 times a day. When you feed several small meals a day, the body burns fat more effectively, and speeds up the metabolism so your pet can burn more calories.

Recommended feeding schedule:

Breakfast:  A high quality pet food or homemade food.

Lunch:  A high quality pet food or homemade food.

Dinner:  A high quality pet food or homemade food.

Before bed:  Snack.

Snack Suggestions:

  • Hard Boiled egg
  • Scrambled egg
  • Cottage cheese
  • Plain yogurt
  • Homemade meatballs
  • Chicken

Supplement Recommendations

If your pet is on medication to control FHS, Purely Pets does not recommend discontinuing traditional medications cold turkey or discontinuing them at all. This is your decision based on how the following program works. We highly recommend you work closely with your veterinarian.

D'Toxifier

D'ToxifierInformation has been hinting that FHS may be due to over-vaccinating or excessive use of chemicals used to control fleas and ticks. Because cats are much more sensitive to vaccines and chemicals than dogs are, they can suffer more serious side effects. D'Toxifier is a homeopathic remedy highly recommended for detoxification.

 

Nupro YEAST FREE

Nupro YEAST FREEIt is very important to give your pet an an-all around vitamin containing vitamins, minerlas, amino acids and digestive enzymes to round out the diet.  This is important regardless of what you are feeding. Nupro YEAST FREE  is an all-natural pet supplement. It is helpful in promoting hair growth; controlling itchy, dry, flaky skin; repelling fleas and ticks; building energy and blood; stabilizing nerves for better disposition and alertness; arthritic conditions; allergies; improving appetite; burning fat; digestion and relieving gas.

Click here for other supplements cats like

Calm & Relax

Calm & RelaxWill help control behaviors such as biting at the tail, nervousness and aggressiveness.  It is excellent in restoring proper nervous system balance and works as a daily tonic for highly stressed pets.

 

 

Factors That May Contribute to a Toxic Overload

Titanium dioxide -- Titanium dioxide has recently been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen ''possibly carcinogen to humans''. It is widely used to provide whiteness and opacity to products such as paints, plastics, papers, inks, foods, and toothpastes. It is also used in cosmetic and skin care products, and it is present in almost every sun block, where it helps protect the skin from ultraviolet light. It is found in cat food and should be avoided as it has been linked to some cases of Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome.

Hair spray -- do not spray when pet is in the same room.

Cigarette smoke

Pollution from chemical plants

BHA -- a preservative commonly used in pet food.

BHT -- a preservative commonly used in pet food.

Sodium nitrate -- proven in research studies to cause severe seizures. Sodium nitrate is found in MANY things we eat. Read the ingredient labels carefully.

Carpet powders

Air fresheners

Salt, Ferrous sulfate, Copper sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Monosodium glutamate in excess

Sugar -- sucrose, corn syrup, molasses, cane sugar.

Low quality commercial treats

Low quality dry food

Low quality canned food

Plastic bowls -- These bowls have been implicated as a health concern because the plastic may leach into the food. All plastics release some undetectable fumes, especially when heated. This out gassing means the fumes can pass into the foods that are served or stored in the bowl or container. Stainless steel or glass bowls are recommended.

Cheap ceramic dishes -- same concern as above.

Fumes from all bathroom cleaners

Fumes from bleach

Fumes from dusting products.

Household cleaners - household cleaners contain a chemical called formaldehyde (also known as embalming solution), which could cause severe irritation to pet's eyes, throat and skin? Some floor polishes contain chemicals that can cause cancer as well as damage to the heart, kidneys, liver and central nervous system.

All toxic flea products -- If the product states on the label, "Hazardous To Humans And Domestic Animals", it is hazardous to your pet.

Toxic shampoos

Toxic flea collars

Vaccinations

Lyme vaccine

Rabies vaccine

Lead -- lead poisoning can result from licking or eating wood chips on which there is lead paint. If this is a concern, a blood test can be done when doing regular blood work, but it must be specified that you would like a LEAD POISONING TEST which is not part of the normal blood work.

Paint fumes

Paint chips from lead based paint

Scented candles

Vitamins with high sodium level

Pine cleaners

Red food dye

Ethoxyquin

The above program does not apply to every pet and therefore, it is important to have your pet thoroughly examined by a veterinarian. If you decide to seek natural methods, Purely Pets recommends a consultation with our on-staff nutritionist.

A consultation will include a personalized diet and holistic program suggestions, all custom-tailored to your pets' personal needs. This is particularly imperative in pets with complicated health issues, or if you have done outside reading and have conflicting information.

Please feel free to contact Purely Pets today!