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Breakthrough Briefings – Paroxysmal dyskinesia

13th December 2021

In February 2021 we enlisted the help of the Veterinary Neurology Facebook site, International Cat Care and Your Cat magazine regarding a unique movement disorder in Sphynx cats, in order to raise awareness and request further information from owners who believed their cat was affected with paroxysmal dyskinesia. We are pleased to report that our study entitled ‘Phenotypic characterisation of paroxysmal dyskinesia in Sphynx cats’ has now been published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery (JFMS) (see link below).

In movement disorders, or paroxysmal dyskinesia, is a condition causing episodes of abnormal muscle movements and postures which can sometimes be confused for epileptic seizures. Ours is the first official report of this condition in cats. The study relied on video footage and questionnaire responses volunteered by owners and veterinary professionals, allowing us to evaluate any suspected triggers, the frequency and duration of the episodes, as well as the long term outcome of affected Sphynx cats. Our main findings and detailed discussion can be viewed via JFMS.

The study was only made possible by the overwhelming response to our call for suspected cases and we would therefore like to thank everyone that took an interest in the study.

We continue to receive valuable information from Sphynx cat owners and veterinary clinicians, aided also by the wide reach of Vet Oracle and Veterinary Neurology social media channels. We hope that the study contributes to increasing awareness of movement disorders in cats and leads to future research, particularly into possible underlying genetic components to the condition.

Paroxysmal dyskinesia has been widely recognised in dogs in recent years across many breeds but until we did this study there was very limited information on this condition in cats. We are increasingly seeing cats with paroxysmal dyskinesia and are continuing our work to increase awareness and collate knowledge so that we can better understand the best options for cats with this previously unrecognised condition


Green M, Lowrie M, Garosi L, Bessant C (2021) Paroxysmal dyskinesia in sphynx cats.

JFMS; https://doi. org/10.1177/1098612X211032123.


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