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Unread 09-14-2015   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tail Biting, Tail Discomfort, NEED ADVICE!


My name is Christina. I have 3 very friendly cats named Rusty, Phoebe, and Winnie.

Rusty is 6 years old and has always been a very happy, affectionate cat. About 2 months ago. He would look at his tail funny and eventually started nipping it. He nipped it too many times which led him to bleed so I rushed him to the emergency veterinary hospital. Once I was there they told me it looked like a trauma wound or a scratch that might have been bothering him or itching him so when he nipped it he made it worse.

I was afraid it was a neurological issue because he had been acting weird but they said the wound did not look like that because it was split more down the center rather than him nipping the whole end of his tail. They bandaged him up and I got the bandage changed every week after that.

He was great during the bandage changes and with the bandage on never messed with his tail at all and seemed much more comfortable. It was healing really well and it was not even sensitive to the touch. About a week before the final bandage removal, the bandage somehow slipped off!

The tip of his tail was still shaved and there was just a very slight small scab. Well, with the bandage off he freaked out! He was dashing all over the house, panting, couldn't relax. He was flapping the tail all over the place. I thought at first maybe it was just very sensitive to and felt different because he had had a bandage on for so long and it was sensitive since the tail was shaved at the tip. It may be the case, but needless to say he was so frantic, I was so worried following him everywhere as he hopped around the house. Eventually he nipped it a few times and he made it bleed again. This time a little bit worse!

Since both time this happened after 10pm, I had to rush him to emergency again. They had to sedate him to bandage him because he was so upset and in pain. They took an xray to make sure there were no broken bones but there wasn't. The vet explained that the tip of the tail is very sensitive and hard to heal and that an inch or two of amputation may be the only route.

I brought him home and with the bandage on he was fine again. A few days later I took him to my primary vet to asses the situation and change the bandage again. While they were cutting the bandage off it was traumatizing! He was so upset and I was hysterical. He wasn't even in any pain I think is just getting tired of his tail being handled. Eventually they got the bandage off and the wound was really still not even that bad at all. They re bandaged him and due to how anxious he was prescribed him 5mg a day of Paxil for anxiety.

I brought him home and again he was completely back to normal. That was 8 days ago. Yesterday, I noticed him being a little weird where he would look back at his tail as if something was bothering him. If the bandage had not been there, he would have definitely gone to nip at it. This morning, the bandage being well intact he was acting very anxious and was licking the bandage and going after the tail. He was unable to relax. He would lay down put the tail between his legs and gently lift his two feet up grazing the bandage. He definitely seemed to be in some sort of discomfort. Eventually he went under the bed (which is not like him) and he eventually relaxed and laid down and has been there ever since. For about 3 in a half hours so far. He looks fine, he is alert, he lets me pet him but something is not right!

I am starting to lose my mind because I do not know what to do going forward. I am starting to think that the small amputation might be my next option because with the tip of the tail removed where the skin is so sensitive maybe it will cause some relief. My fear is that what will happen if he goes and gets this expensive surgery and then that bandage comes off and he bites that too! The only difference I have learned is that it may heal better since it is a surgical wound and new skin rather than the same irritated thin layer of skin at the end of the tail.

I have started using the pheromone outlets and putting rescue remedy in there water for the past couple of months now. Anything to maybe relax him if for some reason it is anxiety. All of my cats get a long very well and I have never had any problems.

I don't know what could have made this neurological and the fact that he acts fine except for today with the bandage on makes the doctors believe it is no neurological. They think if it was he would still be fixated with something even with a bandage on.

What bothers me the most is what could have happened between yesterday and today for him to be uncomfortable with the tail while the bandage is still on. Especially when he is shown many times even when touching the actual wound that he is not in any pain at all from it!

Has anybody ever experienced something like this or have any advice? Do you think I should amputate an inch or two and see if that relieves him? I am so overwhelmed and stressed. I don't know what to do anymore but it kills me that he is uncomfortable and I don't know why.

I just think that no matter what, whenever this bandage comes off again he is going to nip at again and again. When will it ever come to an end?

Please help me!
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Unread 09-15-2015   #2 (permalink)
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How awful for you and Rusty.

Have you ever heard of Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome? (FHS) This is the first thing that comes to mind, for me, after reading your post.

What kind of diet are your cats on? I would look to a diet change before considering amputation.

How long has he been on the paxil? Some cats need a stronger medication, such as phenobarbital, to control this.

I remember a few years ago reading a thread about this in another forum. The poster opted for amputation and regretted it deeply, because it did not stop the problem.

I'll see if I can find the link.

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