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Flea Allergy and Overweight

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Hi! My name is Mindy. I just joined a few days ago. I've been looking for awhile now for some information concerning one of my cats, Max. Sorry for the long post.

Max is 5 years old. He weighs about 16 lbs. I've tried cutting back on his dry food. He'll hunt for food then...mice, get in the trash, beg for scraps, etc. The last time, I put him on a diet...I think I went about it the wrong way. I think that I cut back his food too drastically. He started eating his litter, which terrified me considering its clumping litter. Anyway, I've started researching more, I should say, on different foods and types of diets for him before I do anything. Right now, he's on Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers Soul. He eats about 1 cup a day, which I know is a little much.

I've been looking into grain-free diets, low carb-high protein diets...even feeding raw.

However, being overweight isn't as big an issue as his flea allergy. I have done everything I can think of. Treated all 3 cats and my 2 dogs with Frontline (which did NOTHING)...treated the yard...vacuum twice a day. I've tried numerous things. Nothing works. Last summer, he started ripping his hair out, getting bald spots...making himself bleed. The only thing that gives him relief is a cortisone injection. However, last time he got one he got very ill. I'm leary about giving him another one. Usually during the winter, he gets better. His hair starts to grow back, his coat starts to shine and he just acts like he feels better. This past winter...he still ripped and pulled at himself. He has scabs all over him. I know it has to be painful. I've been to 3 different vets...no help whatsoever. He just lays around all the time, like he's depressed. I feel horrible for him and bad that I haven't found anything to help him. His well being is my responsibility and I feel like I've failed him.
Lately, I've been trying to "think outside the box". I've known for 5 years that he has a flea allergy that nothing seems to help. What if it is something else as well? I've started considering other allergies...like food allergies, which can tie into the overweight issue.

I've thought about taking him to the vet for allergy testing but don't really know anything about it. I'm still wanting to do a food change regardless.

I don't really know what I'm asking here...LOL!! I'm just venting a little and wondering if anyone has any advice or anyone going through something similar?

post #2 of 2
Maybe it isn't a flea allergy. Maybe it's a food allergy.

I'm sure that if a cat has sensitive skin, any additional stress-like fleas makes it worse, so making sure that's treated was still a good idea and it sounds like you were quite vigilant in making sure there were no fleas.

My cat Scooter goes through this too. It started when he got his last set of vaccinations and then it was like his immune system was in overdrive. He got oinment and a liquid steroid (MPV in pet tinic). The steroid did nothing. The frontline, or advantage did nothing.

I've now switched them from Avoderm to Innova to get rid of corn as one of the ingredients. The canned food is grain free. And I started added an Omega 3 liquid supplement to his canned food meal. It's fish oil, so hopefully it's not a fish allergy.

I actually thought it was a nervous disorder. He's a compulsive bather and has been the whole time I've had him. It was only after the last vaccination that he started licking spots clean of fur and then the wound is self-perpetuating.

I find that cleaning the spots with R-7 cat antiseptic pads helps cool off the hot spots and helps him leave them alone. The lotion keeps the scabs from feeling too dry, but then he just works on a new place. It's very frustrating.

From what I've read, it can take a couple of months to notice differences in changes you make. Usually it's grains if it is a food allergy, or some food they get a lot, which could be chicken.

I've noticed a slight improvement with the change in the foods though. THere's no harm in removing grains from the food.
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