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IBD- Need Advice Please

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
My vet thinks that Emily might have Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and he left the next step up to me, so I'd really appreciate some advice. In October, Emily had not eaten for 2-3 days, so I took her to the vet and they did bloodwork and x-rays, and everything came back normal. They gave her some appetite stimulant medicine, which started her eating again. This week she had stopped eating again for 2-3 days, so I took her back to the vet on Tuesday. They did bloodwork again, and everything was normal. They gave her a fluid injection and an anti-nausea injection. They gave me the appetite stimulant medicine again, which has started her eating again, but she is not eating as much as she should. She has also vomited twice.

The vet called me yesterday to tell me that he thinks she might have IBD. The only way to tell for sure is to do surgery and biopsy the intestine. He said that we can either do that, or just start her on treatment, which is usually steroids. He also said that I could start giving her Pepcid AC (1/4 of a 10mg tablet every day).

I really don't know what to do. I hesitate to give her treatment without doing the surgery/biopsy and confirming the diagnosis. Thank you so much for any help you can give me. I'm really worried about her.


P.S. She eats California Natural dry food. I have tried many different wet foods, and I can't get her to eat any.
post #2 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenny82 View Post
The vet called me yesterday to tell me that he thinks she might have IBD. The only way to tell for sure is to do surgery and biopsy the intestine. He said that we can either do that, or just start her on treatment, which is usually steroids. He also said that I could start giving her Pepcid AC (1/4 of a 10mg tablet every day).
Is Emily throwing up, hence the Pepcid AC? Any problems with her using the litter box (soft stool, diarrhea), or with her losing weight (eating a lot but not gaining weight)?

As mentioned in another thread, I'm going through the same thing with Nakita. She didn't stop eating, but she was throwing up bile once a day, every morning. She also developed some type of allergy (itching ears, licking paws) so we have her on Prednisone and a prescription diet. We're going for allergy tests tomorrow to try to figure out what she's allergic to (food or environmental) and then wean her of the Prednisone.

If it is IBD many cats respond well to a raw or wet only diet. A unique protein source, with limited grains or extra additives is best. And it is possible to turn a dry kibble addict ( ) over to a wet only diet. It's a slow process with some cats, sometimes takes up to a couple of months.

After we finish with the allergy testing, I may be changing Nakita over to an all wet food diet. I tried this past summer, but it didn't work as well as I expected.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russian Blue View Post
Is Emily throwing up, hence the Pepcid AC? Any problems with her using the litter box (soft stool, diarrhea), or with her losing weight (eating a lot but not gaining weight)?
She has thrown up twice- Tuesday morning and Tuesday night. She had a history of throwing up after eating, so I raised her food bowls a few months ago and the problem almost completely went away. She has not had any stools since Sunday. When I took her to the vet on Tuesday, they said her weight was normal.

Good luck with Nakita's allergy tests tomorrow. I hope that can give you some answers.

ETA: I will try really hard to change her over to wet food, but for now I just want to get her eating normally again.
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenny82 View Post
She has thrown up twice- Tuesday morning and Tuesday night. She had a history of throwing up after eating, so I raised her food bowls a few months ago and the problem almost completely went away. She has not had any stools since Sunday. When I took her to the vet on Tuesday, they said her weight was normal.

Good luck with Nakita's allergy tests tomorrow. I hope that can give you some answers.

ETA: I will try really hard to change her over to wet food, but for now I just want to get her eating normally again.
Oh, I totally agree. You need to keep her eating instead of making so many changes when she's already not accepting her current food.

I hope I can find some answer for Nakita as well. It's been very frustrating to say the least! I just want to get her off the Prednisone as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, with IBD, the only way to verify is through a biopsy. I have been doing some research on alternatives for Nakita. I came across some holistic remedies and one that looks promising for IBS is Slippery Elm. I have no experience with it but will be consulting a holistic vet after the allergy tests. Here's one link to a cat owner dealing with IBS: IBS

Keep us posted, since I'm very interested in hearing what will solve Emily's problems as well!
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the links. I still can't decide whether to have the biopsy done or not...will talk to my husband more tonight and try to make a decision by tomorrow.
post #6 of 20
Pepcid can be compounded by a pharmacy into liquid and a more cat friendly flavor

GOOD LUCK TOO you BOTH
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
I just went home on my lunch break and Emily had the first stool since Sunday and it was normal.

I guess I will see how things go for the next couple days because she was eating a little again. She's also hiding under the bed at times though, which isn't normal for her.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Now she has bloody stools. The vet is calling me back first thing in the morning. I am so worried. I should have had the biopsy done right away.
post #9 of 20
Sending hugs and vibes
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenny82 View Post
Now she has bloody stools. The vet is calling me back first thing in the morning. I am so worried. I should have had the biopsy done right away.

Don't kick yourself.

We never had a biopsy done on Teddy - but because all of his other tests came back normal, the vet is certain he has IBD. Bloody stool was definitely one of his symptoms.

Every cat is completely, utterly different from the next. I've posted a few longer things about Teddy somewhere in this forum, but in summary, what worked for him was:
1. Prescription diet - limited ingredients (note: it took a while to find out which one worked, and we're up for a switch at some point, so food is not a permanent fix for Teddy)
2. Prednisone. We have FINALLY weaned Teddy down to 2.5mg every other day (thank you to everyone who encouraged us!). He probably can't take less than that - and he used to take 10mg PER day, so his progress with it is amazing. I think it saved his life. I personally feel that prednisone should be used to regulate, and then the cat should be taken off it if at all possible. Teddy is probably not that lucky - without it, he's a mess - and it was a last resort that worked wonderfully.

I have confidence that you'll be able to work this out so that your cat is healthy again. If you'd like to know more detail about Teddy's IBD experiences, feel free to send me a message.

Good luck.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you. It sounds like she does have IBD. I feel a little better. I'll update after I talk to the vet tomorrow.
post #12 of 20
Well, I've got an IBD cat on my lap right now.

Once you get a normal fecal and CBC back, some steps to take are to:
1. give a probiotic powder like bene-bac or acidophilus.
2. switch to an all-wet grain-free diet. Grain is really, really hard on IBD kitties' intestines. In the case of my Raphael, so was too much fruit and veggies. Raphael eats a diet of Evanger's Organic Turkey and Butternut Squash We have had absolutely no vomitting and about 90% of stools have been formed since we got him switched over. I've also heard of IBD cats having luck with Cal Natural Venison and Rice (the rice could irritate, though), Waltham's Rx Venison and Green Pea (has by-productd), Nature's Variety Prairie Lamb, Rabbit or Chicken (very pricey) and Wellness CHicken or Turkey (the Wellness was too veggie-ful for Raphie)

3. Check those teeth. A lot of time, stomach irritation can be caused in part by bad teeth. Getting a dental is only going to improve things.

Also, there will obviously be no more treats or seafood for this kitty. Raphael has bloody stools when he has seafood and he had all normal tests. We never did a biopsy...we just ruled out everything else.
post #13 of 20
I am late to this thread, not much to add except I never had a biopsy done on my 3 kitties where the working diagnosis was IBD. I did go as far as an u/s for an exam of the intestines, and both by palpation and exam, thickening could be seen, no tumors were seen. We then went to diet change and prednisolone(which I would use versus prednisone). In one case, it was so severe we were on our last efforts when Hills Z/D first came out and it saved Joshua's life. Now I'm not a fan of the ingredients, but..it worked. And that was the bottom line. At that time we'd tried everything else available (all the veterinary diets of single protein w/green peas etc.).

Change in diet, finding the minimal dose of pred that will work, made a huge difference for Joshua, and certainly helped Patrick live far longer than was expected (they felt it was eithe rlymphoma or ibd, we treated as if ibd as he was not a healthy candidate for biopsy, but were told he had a couple of months. He lived over a year and a half more and it was not the IBD that was his final, insurmountable illness).

Best wishes, I hope to read all is going better soon.
post #14 of 20
Jenny, it won't hurt at all to try changing her diet. As already noted, every cat is different so you may have to test a few foods to find one that fits her. Try placing her on a Prescription diet for the IBS to start with. Emily could be having problems with either the rice or chicken in the California Natural. You may want to get a food that has a totally different protein (duck, rabbit) and also change the carb (from rice to pea). For the last 8 weeks, Nakita has been eating Waltham Sensitivity Duck and Rice. We tried Duck and Pea and also Venison but she wouldn't go near it. I also supplement the dry with Wysong's Duck meat only canned food.

You can also try Natural Balance Venison and Pea dry food. Here's the link: Natural Balance I tried that first with Nakita, but she actually backed away from her bowl.

We went to the vet yesterday. We're holding off on the allergy test right now since she seems to be pretty good at the moment (no itching or throwing up). Plus, she needs to get her teeth cleaned so we figured we would get that done first.

I had her on 1/4 pill of Prednisone ever other day for one week and now will be skipping to 1/4 pill every two days and see how that goes. Also, we changed her litter. She was using Swheat Scoop and figured that's the last variable to change.

Give us an update when you get a chance.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant View Post
2. switch to an all-wet grain-free diet. Grain is really, really hard on IBD kitties' intestines. In the case of my Raphael, so was too much fruit and veggies. Raphael eats a diet of Evanger's Organic Turkey and Butternut Squash

3. Check those teeth. A lot of time, stomach irritation can be caused in part by bad teeth. Getting a dental is only going to improve things.
That Evanger's food is an interesting combo.

We're also getting Nakita's teeth cleaned as well. Hopefully all this will produce one healthy cat, since my pocket book isn't looking too healthy at the moment!
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russian Blue View Post
That Evanger's food is an interesting combo.

We're also getting Nakita's teeth cleaned as well. Hopefully all this will produce one healthy cat, since my pocket book isn't looking too healthy at the moment!
Honestly, we switched the food and did the dental (11...ELEVEN..extractions. We knew he had dental disease, but we didn't know it was THAT bad!) the same week. It was like we had a brand new cat.

That and Evanger's is excellent food. For me, it's locally produced so I like that about it, but they also do a whole organic line and it's compltely affordable. The stores around here are charging between .85-$1.29USD a can for organic food. I also get their Holistic Pheasant for the other 2 cats and they love it...Leo wouldn't even touch wet food before this one.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Update:
Emily had bloody diarrhea last night and this morning, as well as vomiting this morning. I spoke to the vet on the phone, and he really does not want to start her on Prednisone without confirming IBD with the biopsy. He said that could be very dangerous if she actually does not have IBD. My husband took Emily in to the vet this morning because I had a prior appointment. They did X-rays again since she hadn't had any since October and he wanted to rule out a blockage again. The X-rays were clean again. They also gave her another fluid injection. The vet gave us some "bland food" in a clear plastic bag to try with her this evening- my husband didn't ask what kind it was and now they're closed for the weekend. I do have some California Natural herring and sweet potato on the way for her. They also gave us a medicine to help with the diarrhea (I think). So we're going to see how she does with the food this weekend and the vet is calling me again Monday morning. Poor baby has been moping around a lot.

Thanks everyone for sharing your advice and experiences...it's really helping me to understand what's going on since it's been kind of confusing for us.

ETA: The vet did check her teeth and said they looked fine.
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant View Post
I also get their Holistic Pheasant for the other 2 cats and they love it...Leo wouldn't even touch wet food before this one.
I will have to try that one since Emily won't touch wet food either. We don't have any small pet stores near us (just Petsmart and Petco) so unfortunately I have to order all of the quality food online and wait for it to be shipped.
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russian Blue View Post
We went to the vet yesterday. We're holding off on the allergy test right now since she seems to be pretty good at the moment (no itching or throwing up). Plus, she needs to get her teeth cleaned so we figured we would get that done first.
I'm glad that Nakita is doing well for now.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant View Post
Honestly, we switched the food and did the dental (11...ELEVEN..extractions. We knew he had dental disease, but we didn't know it was THAT bad!) the same week. It was like we had a brand new cat.

I had never considered the relationship between the IBD problem and the teeth before. Teddy has horrible breath, and his teeth were not in any kind of decent shape when we adopted him (he was emaciated, too). The vet has mentioned possible extractions are in his future, but I never thought of it in relation to his other problems. He's had one dental (a year and 2 months ago), and because of his breath, he'll probably go in the spring.

How was the recovery from such a large number of extractions? I'm sure Teddy may need more than one. Also, how did the extractions help with the IBD?
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