Two steps forward, one step back?

Sprocket was getting better gradually and had a couple days where he was mostly better, but then this evening he has had a bad episode where he is super twitchy and agitated and alarmed and won’t eat. I’m worried! His course of antihistamine/steroids stopped on Saturday night. He has not gone for a full 24 hrs without at least one episode. His behavior has been mostly normal but he hasn’t been sprocketting anyone or running around much. Friday night he had a minor bout of twitchiness/agitation/alarm that didn’t last too long, Saturday night he had one that lasted a little longer, Sunday morning he had a short episode, and he was fine until around suppertime today, but this evening’s episode is the worst since he started the medication.

The episodes usually involve agitated and frenetic bathing. It’s very easy to tell them apart when you watch, but hard for me to describe in words. He has taken long naps the last two days but it is difficult to say if that is normal or not. Sprocket takes long naps but he also expends a lot of energy sprocketting, but he hasn’t been sprocketting around much at all.

I’m not quite sure what to do. I just want to know that he’ll get better soon! I’m not sure how much more of this my nerves can handle before I become a twitchy mess too. Poor Sprocket. He’s such a good little kitty and it’s hard to see him too spooked or agitated to do his normal sprocketty things.

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30 Responses to Two steps forward, one step back?

  1. Oldcat says:

    It sounds like you need to check with the vet – if the agitation was supposed to be from getting into far corners of the house, but he has not gone there and is still the same, you might need a different theory.

  2. Val says:

    Awwww for Sprocket. My Gus has been having weird twitchiness/agitation/alarm episodes for several months. The doctor said he was allergic to flea bites, but I didn’t agreed – haven’t seen any evidence of fleas for several years. We gave him a steroid shot and he was better for only about 3 weeks. His episodes don’t come as often as Sprockets and besides them, he seems fine. I find he is itchy on his lower back so I give him a good ole fashion scratching and he’s happy. I didn’t like the idea of giving him steroids too often – only when he seems really bad which is during high allergy season so once or twice a year max.

    • littlemiao says:

      It sounds similar to what Gus has. So is it a fairly daily thing for him?

      The only other time Sprocket has had something like this was 1.5 yrs ago. He had a steroid and antihistamine shot the same night the symptoms started and it resolved in less than a week. This time time is lasting longer. He does get low back itchiness, or twitchiness, on a fairly regular basis but it has never affected his life or held him back until like this.

  3. amelie says:

    Keep in mind the steroids can make them even more twitchy. Did his symptoms clear up nicely while he was on the medications? You might want to see if you can reach the vet via beeper service or see if they gave you more doses and if you’re allowed to give those tonight.

    It sounds obvious, but has he been checked for fleas? I don’t see a lot of cats jump out of their skin with simple ongoing allergies.

    • littlemiao says:

      I did check for fleas, because about a month before it started I was in someone’s house and their cats had recently had fleas. But there is no evidence of fleas in the Miao House and none of the other Miao Kitties are itchy or twitchy.

      I do have a few tablets of the medication for emergency use, but I’m hesitant to give it to him tonight. His symptoms cleared up gradually and incompletely, but definitely noticeably, on the medication.

      it is actually Triamcinolone, a corticosteroid, so he hasn’t been getting antihistamines after all.

  4. amelie says:

    The antihistamines might also be making him drowsy.

  5. I second amelie. The steroids may be making him agitated and jumpy. It’s worth a call to the vet to see what s/he thinks. It may mean he needs an adjustment in his medication.

    ((Hugs)) for you guys. It sounds like the stress has been getting to both you and Sprocket.

    • littlemiao says:

      I should have thought of the side effects of the steroids. I will definitely call the vet tomorrow. I had asked them today about how long the steroids would stay in his system after his last dose (saturday) but somehow I didn’t get a clear answer or I didn’t convey my question coherently.

      And now Ping seems under the weather, so it looks like I will have another reason to call them. :(

      On 25 November 2013 21:35, the miao chronicles

  6. knotrune says:

    It might be that the course of meds wasn’t long enough. Did the vet discuss allergies much? My cat, Pebble, had an itchy skin condition recently, well, she has always had it on and off, but it is quite seasonal and seems to relate to moulting (that’s my theory) but she had skin scrapes and definitely has some kind of allergy. She went on steroids to calm down the itching for several weeks, and has gradually come off them, not suddenly as that can cause the symptoms to recur.

    The vet said flea allergy is the most common, but if there is no evidence of fleas it is quite tricky to work out what it can be. Her first suggestion was actually to try food, as it’s easier to do. It would involve feeding just a very plain diet (bought from the vet of course) which might be harder in a multi-cat household unless they all go on the diet! Then if after a while of that it sorts it out, it proves it was food and foods can be gradually re-introduced to see what it might be. Obviously if it doesn’t help then it could be dust-mites or some other random thing. The way to test for that was very long and involved lots of blood tests and I hope we never have to do it!

    I hope poor Sprockers picks up soon :( and Ping.

  7. Lauri says:

    How mysterious. I will ask Ken if he sees cats like this. He must! But, I haven’t heard of it. I won’t see him until tomorrow. (Tonight’s bowling night and I work way too early to stay up!)
    Is Sprockers eating alright? Drinking? Peeing and pooping fine? (too personal?)

    • littlemiao says:

      He’s eating fine, but at the beginning and then again last night he would have an episode of twitchiness and dash off somewhere and not want to come out, but he would eat food if brought to him, or if he was brought to it. He would eat, but very fast. I think I have seen him drinking. and i think he is peeing and pooping. he hasn’t had diarrhea since last week. we think the dissolvable antihistamine may have upset his digestion. or that may have been part of whatever reaction he has been having.

      On 26 November 2013 04:34, the miao chronicles

  8. Oh dear……I know this is really driving all of you crazy including Sprocket but hopefully some kind of adjustment in his medication will solve the mystery. Your vet needs to be able to give you really good and complete explanations of EVERYTHING and of course keep adjusting Sprocket’s meds until the right combination actually works and he’s back to his “normal” self. IT’s disconcerting isn’t it….well, Sammy and I are hoping it’s soon resolved for everyone’s sake….I know it’s hard when our “kids” aren’t themselves….in fact it’s beyond “hard” – it’s VERY bothersome!

    Hugs of support, Pam

  9. Tim does that sometimes too – but not on a regular basis. Mom seems to recall an episode on “My Cat from Hell” that talked about something like this….it is actually a syndrome that causes them to twitch. Of course now she can’t remember what it is called….but something to think about (and if her brain turns on and she remembers, we will let you know)

  10. amelie says:

    Good call by Random Felines. I had to look it up, but I think it’s Feline Hyperesthesia. It’s rare but it sounds somewhat like what you’re describing. I mean, it’s a long shot but certainly something a traditional vet might not recognize. It’s a type of seizure disorder. Some cat illnesses manifest in very odd ways, so I try to never rule anything out.

    http://www.vet.cornell.edu/FHC/health_resources/HyperesthesiaSyndrome.cfm

    If it’s not that and especially if the other cats are having issues, I’d reevaluate the food and consider any pollutants in the house.

    • littlemiao says:

      Someone else mentioned Feline Hyperesthesia when things first started. She said her cat had it and in her case it was related to hyperthyroidism, but Sprocket isn’t having other symptoms that I associated with hyperthyroidism. I should ask the vet to do a more thorough examination. The descriptions of Feline Hyperesthesia really fit.

      On 26 November 2013 13:13, the miao chronicles

      • amelie says:

        I don’t think they know the exact root cause. It could just be a seizure disorder. Cats are SO weird when they get seizures. They all look different and some cats just sit there and stare off into space.

        I know I mentioned this before but get to a bookstore sometime and peruse the Your Cat book if you can. It’s informative if nothing else. Defiantly good for allergies.

    • Lauri says:

      Wow, that sounds like a real possibility. When our dog Vinnie first started having seizures he was really scared, too, because he obviously didn’t know what was going on.
      Interesting find!

  11. Oh no, poor Sprocket. I hope your vet can find a solution rapidly and that Sprocket can be better real soon. It must be very worrying for all of you. Sending you purrs.

  12. Lurkertype says:

    Poor Sprocks. And you. And Ping. But mostly poor Sprockerball.

    • littlemiao says:

      Ping seems to have perked up. He didn’t want supper last night and was acting lethargic for a few hours. Now his appetite is back.

      Sprocket was slightly more social today. He had one or two twitchy episodes that spooked him and he didn’t come to his meals by himself. He’s not back to his normal activity level, but overall, Papa Miao (who is home more than me) thinks he has improved.

      On 26 November 2013 18:10, the miao chronicles

  13. Mark's Mews says:

    Has a good V-E-T seen him?

  14. leendadll says:

    Oh Noes!! I hope symptoms have magically improved!!
    Boo’s thyroid tests keep coming back as inconclusive because they run 2 different tests and 1 is pos while the other is neg and, minus the current cold, she shows no signs of thyroid probs.

  15. Nylabluesmum says:

    Yow me n Mum just found yer bloggie n want to say we hope Sprocket iz on da mend n not so itchy or twitchy….sumtimez bein a sick Kitteh iz bery hard werk :(
    Nylablue n Sherriellen Mum

  16. It’s been a few days…how’s everyone doing now?

    • littlemiao says:

      thanks for asking, Stephel. Sprocket seems about the same. He improved dramatically on the meds (though the symptoms were never 100% gone for 24 hrs) but he’s backtracking now, even though he’s still on them. I’m still frustrated and don’t know how to help him. :(

      Everyone else is doing very well.

Miao & Purr!

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