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Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex - At a loss

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well,

Misty and I went to the vet last night and it is not a hot spot after all. The vet said it was eosinophilic granuloma complex (ie an allergic reaction). She said most likely it is to her food, although she's been eating the same all her life (Misty will be 3 in August).

Does anyone have any experience? Misty got a steroid shot in the rear end and sent home. The vet highly recommends prescription food too although I'm not a fan of SD.

Do I need to change her food right away? Do I wait and see if the steroid clears up the plaques? I just don't know what else to do for my girl.

She is picking at it a lot less than she was yesterday so it must be feeling better.

I'm still doing research, but I always stop here first! I have so many questions and don't really know where to start.

Thanks guys!
post #2 of 13
I just did a quick search on TCS - there are a good number of previous experiences here.

The first I read through has some interesting comments from a holistic Veterinarian, Dr. Jean Hofve who was a "guest expert" on this site a little while ago.
post #3 of 13
Allergies can develop over time.

There are OTC allergy foods you can try. Natural Balance makes one, I can't think of the others. PM sharky, our resident food guru, for food help.

You'll need to stay on any food for at least 8 weeks, preferably 12 weeks. You won't see an immediate change within a week or two.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys, do you think I need to change foods now? Should I wait and see how she responds to the steroid first? Could it be something else that she is allergic too? I'll need to change foods for my whole household as I free feed which is why I want to try the OTC route first I guess.
post #5 of 13
Calico76- I sent you another link in a PM...
post #6 of 13
what are you feeding ??

Has this been a new extension of an exisiting issue??/
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks Blaise...

Sharky I PM'd you, but she is on Nutro Natural Choice (not indoor) both wet and dry.

This is new, we have not had any food issues, ever. We did switch from indoor to non indoor in October 07 but didn't have any issues with that.
post #8 of 13
Hi there...i am the proud momma of an EGC baby. Rambo developed his symptoms starting when he was about 18 months old. It was a long battle to figure out what it is and what to do about it. EGC is actually an immune system OVERREACTION. It might be that your kitty is only responding to the food...at this point. Rambo was first triggered by litter....we think. After an over 1 year battle full of tests the vet wanted to put Rambo on steroids to manage his immune system and this is probably the line of treatment your vet will suggest. Steroids have a rough impact over the long term on your kitties organs. After much research I have Rambo on Cyclosporin...which is an immunosuppressant that is actually made for humans.

If you want more info on EGC feel free to let me know or PM me. EGC is an ongoing battle and I am a little skeptical that an SD diet will solve anything.

What are your cats symptoms? if you search Rambo you will find threads on Rambo's EGC outbreaks as they happened. Rambo has atypical symptoms of the illness.
post #9 of 13
Allergies are rarely something you're born with, they develop after frequent exposure and various (and often undetected and undetectable) factors can cause your immune system to suddenly over-react to certain proteins or substances. My dad developed an allergy to cow's cheese in his early 50s, and I developed hayfever to certain tree and grass pollens in my late 30s.

The thing with steroids is that they will work initially - they do so by suppressing the body's immune response, which stops the immune over-reaction to the allergen - but also stops the body being able to fight off infections - it's not a great longterm solution.

I can't offer much advice about dealing with it, we were worried Radar had it but his lumps and bumps turned out to be a result of his acne and cleared up ok with antibiotics and thankfully haven't recurred at all - if it were a human with an allergy I would initially suggest restricting the diet to one or two ingredients and seeing whether there is any improvement over a couple of weeks, if there is then add one ingredient at a time to see whether it flares up again.

Having never dealt with it, I cannot advise on how to safely do this with a cat. If she's always been on the same food it could well be an ingredient in that food that is the culprit - there are foods available that don't use the most common ingredients, so cats are less likely to have a reaction to them (rabbit, venison, or duck as the main meat protein source instead of chicken, wheat free etc - the usual cause of allergies is a protein that they have had longterm exposure to, in susceptible individuals)

Have you asked your vet to refer you to an allergy specialist?
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone! I love this board and the knowledge it houses! I have only just begun this road. This is the first time Misty has shown any symptoms and she has the classic plaque on her back legs near her belly. The vet gave her one shot of a steroid to start and said to change foods.

I notice already that the area is clearing although this may be only temporary. I am very nervous about changing foods. My girls are VERY picky and will eat only certain things. They are not going to eat duck in a pate formula. MAYBE I can switch their dry food, but if I'm changing diets I might as well change how I feed and go to wet food as overall I believe it is better for them. I just don't know how to do it if they won't eat it.

Everything on the internet that I have found about EGC makes it seem like not a big deal, but I tend to think I need to jump on managing this now while it is just a little plaque. Does EGC progress? Will it get worse over time? If I find the allergen and remove it, will that stop it altogether or only for the time being?

Just one thought...could stress have brought on the symptoms or brought out the allergy? We have a lot going on at home and wonder if that did it and once it all settles things will be ok. It's a long shot I know and there is more stress to come before it gets better as we're expecting in early November and Misty will have to get used to a new family member...

I guess I'm going to get some new food this weekend and start there. I know it could take a long time to change the food over, I just hope I can do it eventually...One day at a time I guess...
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calico76 View Post
Thanks everyone! I love this board and the knowledge it houses! I have only just begun this road. This is the first time Misty has shown any symptoms and she has the classic plaque on her back legs near her belly. The vet gave her one shot of a steroid to start and said to change foods.

I notice already that the area is clearing although this may be only temporary. I am very nervous about changing foods. My girls are VERY picky and will eat only certain things. They are not going to eat duck in a pate formula. MAYBE I can switch their dry food, but if I'm changing diets I might as well change how I feed and go to wet food as overall I believe it is better for them. I just don't know how to do it if they won't eat it.

Everything on the internet that I have found about EGC makes it seem like not a big deal, but I tend to think I need to jump on managing this now while it is just a little plaque. Does EGC progress? Will it get worse over time? If I find the allergen and remove it, will that stop it altogether or only for the time being?

Just one thought...could stress have brought on the symptoms or brought out the allergy? We have a lot going on at home and wonder if that did it and once it all settles things will be ok. It's a long shot I know and there is more stress to come before it gets better as we're expecting in early November and Misty will have to get used to a new family member...

I guess I'm going to get some new food this weekend and start there. I know it could take a long time to change the food over, I just hope I can do it eventually...One day at a time I guess...
The steroid shot will work for a little while...about a week I think. The steroid suppresses the immune system enough for the body to start clearing out the plaques. The results are temporary unfortunately. For Rambo the EGC started when he was 18 months old...which is usually the time when the feline immune system reaches maturity.

If the food....or some ingrediant in the food is the only cause of the allergic reaction and you can get rid of it...then you are golden! For me...I couldn't nail down what was triggering the reaction. For Rambo the plaques came on his mucous membranes such as his eyes, throat and esophagus. His latest symptom (prior to started the cyclosporin) was swelling in his front paw pads and they turned a purple/blue. It may be that Rambo's allergic overreactions went from being eaten/inhaled allergen to a contact allergen.

Definitely try changing the food...see what happens. Sometimes the flare ups will cycle over time...Rambo had a flare up to start about every 4 weeks. Realize that while you are figuring this out, you may need to manage these flare ups.

If it comes to the point where the flare ups are only manageable with prednisone (steroid), they you may want to ask your vet for alternative medications such as the Cyclosporin (most vets use it for dogs with autoimmune conditions...but it's newer with cats).

I will be keeping my fingers crossed...so let me know what happens.
post #12 of 13
My cat had about 5 open sores on his face that he kept scratching (the biggest 2 were at the base of his ears). Basically, any scratchy, itchy open round sore on their face is a hallmark of a food allergy. My vet gave him a shot of steroids that basically let them heal without his scratching the scabs off.

In my opinion, you have to change the cat's food asap. You basically have to keep eliminating possible allergens. Ironically, my cat was eating the same food that yours is now. I decided to eliminate grain first as that is a common allergen. I was very lucky that I guessed correctly.

I now feed my cat Wellness Core - grain free dry and wet food. He was so happy when he switched and the sores healed up and never came back.

Try that and then you can go from there. There is also hypoallergenic food that your vet can write a prescription for.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, we (DH and I) have decided to start small and work our way through the possible allergens. We really have a great fear that Misty (nor our other babies) will not eat the duck or venison food.

We bought some Wellness Core and grain free wet this afternoon and will start the transition to that tomorrow with their daily feeding. One question though, I noticed that the Core is fish and foul. I didn't think that feeding a seafood diet consistently was a good thing. Is it ok in this form?

Are the Wellness packets grain free? Will this defeat the purpose if I feed that?

I'm excited about the change (if not apprehensive too) cause overall I think it will be better for the girls.

Hopefully we can transition without too much trauma and see what works for Misty...

I'm sure I'll be back with updates...

Jen
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