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Please Help! 8 Vets later and STILL no luck!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am having the most DIFFICULT time treating my diluted calico, Sagwa. It all started with bad ear scratching about 2 years ago. She's 8 now.. I took her to the vet to see if she had ear mites. They put her on a liquid for her ears and then an ointment that for the life of me i cannot remember the name... Anyway, I did that for the 3 weeks they told me to with no response... 4 vets later with the EXACT diagnoses... Nothing helped.. I branched out to the surrounding areas and visited 3 more vets, none told me anything different. "She is acting like she has ear mites but none are detected." Thanks. That helped ALOT. The last vet I decided to go to specializes with cats... he took one look at her and said it was a food allergy. We put her on IVD Duck and Green pea, and Rabbit and Green pea formula. 30 dollars for an 8 pound bag of food better work. Not even close. I've had her on this expensive food for almost a year now and NOTHING is helping! Shes been to the same vet that diagnosed her with food allergies about 4 different times just because he gave me some hope by giving me a different answer and its like shes uncurable! The expenses on this cat are more than I've ever paid for my own doctor bills, but I refuse to give up on her. Another weird thing about her, Since all this scratching has occured... If she goes a few hours without food, she will throw up her food, usually almost whole. If I leave food out all the time I never see her sick... AHH this cat is trying me crazy... I just don't know what to do! The pictures are a bit gross that I took of her (not to mention on my cell phone!) but I just need some kind of help... If ANYONE knows what might help ease this a bit i'm open to all kinds of suggestions! Honestly, what I saw today was terrible... I have her in one of those collars that go around their whole head to keep them from scratching... and i take it off to let her clean herself (I just thought it was cruel to not let a cat clean themselves!) And she did THAT to her face. It honestly looks like she has a flesh eating virus or something... Her lips and around her chin are so puffy... she just looks terrible and in pain and i'm at the end of the road, i have NO where else to turn... Please please PLEASE help!!

This is on the side of her chin.. it looks SO terrible and puffy and BLOODY. Its horribleeee

I thought she might have cat acne... but I wouldnt even think cat acne would take it to this extreme.

Inside her ear was ALOT bloodier than that... I cleaned it with the Q-tips and put some neospiron on her ears to hopefully cut back the pain a bit

Her eyes are even bleeding around the corners of them!!

These are the nasty Q-Tips that were used to clean out her bloody ear and chin...

Please... Help if you have been through this before... Shes in so much pain and I don't know what to do to help her!!
post #2 of 13
Have you run allergy BLOOD work/?

Do you have or have you tried a feline specialist or a holistic vet
post #3 of 13
Have they ruled out fleas or other skin parasites? Honestly, I might seriously consider requesting a skin scraping for something this bad ... bless her heart, I know she must be suffering.
post #4 of 13
I'm no expert. But, what about the possibility of Herpes?? I had read that there is a possibility of outbreaks if it is contracted. There is another cat owner on the site that had a forum about it. Maybe you could show the picture to her and see if its similar. Just throwing things out there. I hope you figure it out! Poor baby!!!
post #5 of 13
Has anyone recommended predisone to at least see about quieting her system down? Its not the solution but may bring some needed relief until someone can figure out what to do or test for. I don't know if accupuncture would help with something like this or not. It may be worth a consultation anyway.
post #6 of 13
Have you ever run a full blood panel on her?
post #7 of 13
Maybe its an autoimmune condition. I remember a long time ago there was a member that had a cat with an autoimmune condition I think and she gave him something called Transfer Factor as a supplement and it helped him. You could probably do a search and see if the symptoms may be similar or look up this product online.
post #8 of 13
Originally Posted by malynn View Post
Maybe its an autoimmune condition.
Allergies are actually an auto-immune condition. I was going to offer that it sounds like an auto-immune disease, but there are a lot of kinds of auto-immune diseases and isolating what it is to provide the right treatment is always tricky. Allergies are the easiest ones for vets to throw out there without additional tests. If no one has done a biopsy on her yet, I really recommend you have one done.

I'm no vet, but I have lived with a lot of critters over the years and have seen just about everything that is out there. Read my advice with good judgement please.

My Stumpy was hairless on 2/3's of his body for years and even with skin scrapes I couldn't get an accurate diagnosis. When the condition moved from his skin to his mouth and I had an actual biopsy taken, we were able to diagnose it as a specific auto-immune disease.

When things like this become chronic like yours has become, it make take some time, trial and error to get it under control. Stay with a specialist, and ask about antibiotics to get rid of any bacterial infection that may have settled in. Once an auto-immune disease starts, it often becomes a magnet for bacterial infection. Then ask about anti-inflamatory medicines. They will scare you a bit with things like depo shots or prednisone (both steriods) and will probably suggest being on them for life. If that is the only thing that will ultimately help her, and they can reduce the length of her life (they are not without risk), then you ask yourself the question - what is more important for her: the quality of her life or the quantity of her life?

Don't take a pat answer of "allergies" from your vets. If you are willing to spend more money on her to isolate her condition, ask for more diagnostic tests. Ask what they are for and if it makes sense to you to have them run, then do it.

I wish you a lot of luck getting thru this. Conditions like these are maddening! I've gone thru this with about 5 of mine over the years.
post #9 of 13
I think I'd ask for any type of lab work that may provide a diagnosis, full blood panel, skin scraping, culture growing, and a steroid shot for relief for your poor baby. That's gotta hurt him and you to look at it. Definitely make sure to rule out a yeast infection in the ears. That has to be the most uncomfortable condition for a kitty! Callie had one for the longest time and it took an ear flush (or 3) and a couple rounds of medicine to cure it. Has anything helped at all? Is this problem on his whole body or just face, chin, and ears. I wonder if it might be litter related?? (Just thinking out loud and considering all options.) Do you run feliway diffusers? It might be triggered by stress. Again, just thinking out loud here.

Also, make sure you are using metal or ceramic bowls for water and food. Make sure you sanitize them in hot soap and water frequently. I do this when my kitty is having a flare up of her herpes and it really helps. I also wash all the bedding in borax and hot water to kill any types of germs during her flare ups.

For an immune booster, I have no experience with Transfer Factor, but we have started my little girl on Missing Link. One word of advise, start slowly with it, maybe 1/4 the dose and build up to the full dose over a few week's time. Otherwise, they'll not eat their food.

I would also suggest looking for a holistic vet if you can find one in your area. Just do a Google search for holistic veterinarian in your city. There's a holistic veterinary association website with a search engine on it as well that you might try. Sorry, I don't know the website off the top of my head.

Lastly, you might try a cornmeal bath for some relief for his little chin. Go to the feed store or health food store and get some horticultural cornmeal. Put about a cup of cornmeal in an old piece of pantyhose, then hang it over a gallon container or a pitcher. Run HOT water over it and let it set with the cornmeal pouch in the water for about an hour. Remove the cornmeal pouch. (It will STINK!) Use the cornmeal water to dab on his chin with a cotton ball or q-tip. You can try putting it around the eyes with a q-tip but be cautious not to get any IN the eye. I would not recommend putting any in the ears. (Cornmeal works great for fungal infections and to soothe irritated skin.)

Keep us posted on his progress!
post #10 of 13
Please find a feline specialist, and please stop using q-tips on this poor kitty's ears. I know what I am speaking about, as my sweet Kitty Trump also has this condition. He has had 6 "one time" treatments for ear mites and none have helped very long. Q-tips will exacerbate the condition. Use soft rolls of cotton- not cotton balls, they are two small- buy cotton rolls and use that. Don't put any type of medicine in the ear that is store bought- only do what the feline specialist tells you to.

If you contact me privately, I can help you with this- but please be patient with me if I don't respond right away. My life is a bit out of order currently. PM me when you can- I'd bet money your cat is a carrier of feline herpesvirus. That is what they finally determined with poor Trump who is now doing so much better.
post #11 of 13
Poor poor baby! I have no advice, but I sure hope someone on here will know just what to tell your vet to get him all better. You know he must be miserable! I would be!
post #12 of 13
Originally Posted by stephanietx View Post
...I would also suggest looking for a holistic vet if you can find one in your area. Just do a Google search for holistic veterinarian in your city. There's a holistic veterinary association website with a search engine on it as well that you might try. Sorry, I don't know the website off the top of my head...
I would also suggest a consult with a holistic Veterinarian...

This is their association's website.

If you have trouble with the search function, you'll find their email and phone contact info at the bottom of the page.
post #13 of 13
Two things come to mind--esosinophilic granuloma and pemphigus. Both are autoimmune disorders. MNJULZ's suggest of asking the vet about predinsone/prednisolone is a good one, since it will suppress the immune system, and autoimmune disorders are the result of an overactive immune system. It buys some time and relief so you can work on figuring out a trigger. Here are some links about autoimmune disorders (warning, some have very graphic pictures):

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