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IBD in cat-seeking advice

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi all- It's been a while since I posted but I can really use some advice. Mertle is 15 and has inflammatory bowel disease. Background: She has lived with diarrhea and vomiting for one year-and the diagnosis was pretty much IBD (I would not allow the vet to biopsy since I wouldn't have put her on chemo if she had cancer, so that's why I say pretty much). I recently took her to a new vet and it turns out he is also pretty sure it is IBD-he didn't feel anything bad in her belly and one level of her white blood count was higher than normal indicating what the vet feels is an infection in her intestines due to the IBD. Comprehensive blood workup done last week shows no kidney/liver issues, urine and fecal are both ok. I have tried all different foods including duck and venison and she will starve herself for days. I can't allow that as she is dropping weight - she is only 7.5 lbs down from 8.9 last year down from 10 the year before. Here's where all my problems really begin: The vet put her on prednisolone - 5mg 2x/day. After about 4 days-when the vet said the meds would kick in-she shoved herself under my husband's shoe rack in the closet and wouldn't come out. When she did, she layed in the litter box. Her pupils were dialated as big as her eyes and she was listless. She didn't poop for 24 hours and when she did, she basically exploded wet stool up to my walls! and then vomited all over the bathroom. This was 10 times worse than any bad IBD spell. I called the vet and they still recommended I keep her on the meds which I thought was cruel. The cure seemed worse than the disease. I can get pepcid in her wet food and she'll sometimes eat it. I have read other posts where people recommend a raw diet and some other different foods. The issue is she is just not getting nutrients from her food into her body so the weight loss continues as does the diarrhea and vomiting. I am less concerned about "why" this is happening as to how I can give her a quality of life she can enjoy and not wither away. She runs and plays and has good days and bad days. I hate that she jerks her belly in the litter box just to squeeze out some runny mess yet she is in no way ready to be put down. I have a 4 year old boy cat that is now beating up on her to become the alpha-it is not a violent, everyday thing but it also shows me that we all see she is getting weaker. Has anyone's cat had such a wild reaction from prednisolone? Do I try it again? Does anyone know of any way I can get nutrients to stay in her and get some weight back on her without the steroids? I plan to call the vet but since the vet seems to be guessing a bit as to what will work, I'd like to go into the conversation with recommendations and see what he thinks. Any help is appreciated.
post #2 of 12
I was told Coco had Ibd when she was 10 and they gaver Metronidazole for it. She has never had a bad reaction to Pred. Coco dosent take ny Meds for ibd anymore. She gets a Depo Shot when her Asthma acts up Or the Pred. I hope something will help your Cat. Coc is always Constipated now.
post #3 of 12
Maybe a second opinion from a new vet, if you feel like yours is floundering?

Have you tried a prescription high-fiber diet? My cat has colitis, which I know isn't exactly the same, but it responded so well to the Royal Canin CC High Fiber that I was able to stop giving Flagyl (and it works better than the Flagyl). This contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. A potential problem in this case, though, is that it's a low-calorie formula, and your cat is already low in weight.

Other potential diets my vet said can help in these cases are sensitive-stomach/low-residue diets, or allergy diets, or in some cases even low-fiber diets. I personally feel like the high-fiber has the best chance of working in, because in addition to keeping the colon moving and regulating, fiber has an anti-inflammatory effect on the intestines. But often you try the allergy one first to make sure the whole problem isn't being triggered by a food allergy.

The problem is that you have to do an eight-week food trial of each to figure out which will work.

For the short term, if her undernutrition is dire, try KMR or possibly baby food or boiled chicken.
post #4 of 12
I am so sorry to hear about your kitty's IBD issue! I am dealing with a similar issue, and I am also looking for food that my cat would eat. She ate the pea and duck for a short time, but chose to go hungry before she's eat any more.

My vet thinks my cat also has allergies --- maybe that is your kitty's issue too?

Good luck with all of this, and keep us posted!
post #5 of 12
I'm so sorry to hear your kitty is not well. I'm trying the Natures variety lamb and oatmeal kibble for my cat that has a sensitive tummy. All my cats really like it. It has freeze dried raw bones and freeze dried raw meat on it and the bones will help firm up the stool. It also has acidophilus. If my cat would eat raw meaty bones that would be the way to go. I have another kitty being treated with homeopathy and it has changed him for the better. That kitty is slowly being switched to a raw diet. I think raw would be the best for your cat and yahoo has a support group for raw feeders.
post #6 of 12
I'm so sorry you are going through this. It is such a hard thing to deal with. My vet suspects that my female Kabou has IBD. She is only 3. I went so far as the ultrasound and the next step was a biopsy. As a last resort, I tried a raw diet and it has miraculously worked for her. I presently use Feline Instincts "My Natural Cat" powder which is mixed with raw meat, liver, salmon or fish oil, and water. I was lucky because she took to a raw diet immediately. The vomiting and not eating has not returned for about a year. My fingers are crossed because I don't want to go back to that place of not knowing what to do for her, seeing her hide in pain, and having to pay extremely expensive vet bills. The only time she will not eat it is if somehow I was off a tiny bit in my ingredient measurements. Then I have to toss it and start over which is big fat pain.

Another thing I think about is that when she was so sick I kept switching her wet food trying to find something she would consistently eat that agreed with her. That probably made her worse. Perhaps the raw diet is working because it is the same food all the time. I know the vet said to stop switching her food. That was fine, but she wouldn't eat it, vomited, and starved herself.

I know a raw diet isn't for every human and cat and that raw feeding comes with some risks. But so far it has worked for us. I wish you luck with your kitty.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the support and kind words for Mertle and thanks for the suggestions. So here's where we are-she hasn't been very hungry so I have mixed it up-for better or worse, I am switching her food. I bought a few kinds as you all gave me suggestions and saw what she would take to. She likes the nutro natural choice so that is where we'll go. It got her eating again. Also gave her some raw salmon that she loves. She still spit up this morning-white spit-it isn't bile. We are now thinking it may be b/c she drinks so much water. The vet has no idea medically why-she has just craved water for about 2 years.
Our 4 yr old cat went after her bad the other day-chasing and jumping on her. Seems he knows she's sick and is fighting for alpha. Today though they were sleeping on the bed next to each other. Go figure...
The main question now is, do I just let her live her life out like this - good and bad days with the weight loss being my biggest concern-or do we try the steroid again? Any idea on how to get more nutrients in her? She doesn't like kittyvite.
Jem-she was checked for allergies and doesn't appear to have any from the food changes I tried earlier-the vet thinks we've ruled that out. But really, this whole thing is a guessing game...
post #8 of 12
RAW SALMON is Dangerous ... it can kill... sorry for being so blunt ... if she really likes try a freeze dried salmon like wildside salmon ...
post #9 of 12
when Java went on her self-imposed 'diet' i got her people salmon to supplement her food.
post #10 of 12
To clarify, if you go to the fish store and buy a piece of fresh, uncooked salmon, you must either cook or freeze it before consuming ... or allowing your cat to consume.

If you go to the store and buy a can of salmon, the process of canning removes the risk and it is safe to eat or allow your cat to eat.

If you go to the store and buy smoked salmon, it is raw but in the process of smoking, it is allowed to age in brine, which removes the risk and it is safe to eat, but it may be too processed to allow your cat to eat. (My Lexus loves it but she throws it up as soon as she eats it)
post #11 of 12
Has the vet tested your cat to rule out diabetes? Because two symptoms of that are excessive thirst and weight loss.
post #12 of 12
My Mikey has IBD. It's been about 18 months since he was officially diagnosed. No biospies, just based on symptoms, etc. He is on ID diet (wet and dry). Ask the vet if they can do an injected steroid instead of the pills. Maybe she'll have a better reaction to it. Mikey gets his prednisolone injections every 2-5 months depending on symptoms. He tolerates it very well and eats like a pig these days.
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