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IBD, Changing Food & a Raw Fed Cat

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Ok, I must admit I'm having some issues. Woody (15 yrs) has very recently been diagnosed with IBD. My vet has had me switch foods due to a suspected food intolerance. Well, after 2 weeks on the new diet it's not so suspected anymore, it's a fact. My problem lies in the fact that she switched him to a canned food because she wanted him to have a novel food (venison). A very high quality canned food (Natural Balance) and I choose it because I didn't like the ingredients in the prescription crap (full of by-products) that she offered. Woody wouldn't eat it anyway.

It goes against my grain to feed him canned. He LOVES his raw food. He keeps trying to steal the raw out of the other kitties dish. My dilemma is that he came very close to dying on me so I'm afraid to do anything that may risk his health and wellbeing. Obviously, fresh venison is not available 99% of the time and the vet wants him on this diet for the rest of his life. I'm afraid to start testing him to see if he has other food allergies because he's absolutely skelatal right now. I really want to see him back on raw but my vet doesn't agree and obviously right now I'm too afraid for him to risk much of anything. What would you guys do?
post #2 of 28
#1 you have no way to get venison? I have 4lbs in the freezer I got off craigslist for free. Did you know that most counties/cities have a list for roadkill deer (car accident hits), that the sheriff will call you immediately to come pick it up? Do you know anyone that hunts? My husband will be hunting rabbit, squirrel and venison this fall for the cats food alone--he usually hunts but will be doing it for a very important purpose this year. We even have some raw sellers who sell venison around here, its not horribly expensive $3/lb

#2 i don't blame you for wanting him off canned--so start searching for venison and after some weight is gained, slowly introduce new protein sources.

Leslie
post #3 of 28
What was he eating that he is believed to have an intolerance of?

Venison isn't the only raw alternative. Have you tried rabbit? Beef? Quail? Lamb?
post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
What was he eating that he is believed to have an intolerance of?

Venison isn't the only raw alternative. Have you tried rabbit? Beef? Quail? Lamb?
The first thing that came to my mind was Duck, but Rabbit or Lamb shouldn't be too hard to get either.
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
So, it wouldn't matter if it's not venison? Beef is the one thing I am sure he has an intolerance for. He got several good bites out of the other kitties dish (in another room!) before I caught him. About 3 hours later we had an ugly, smelly, nasty mess. I asked about Duck with my vet but she's afraid that if he's allergic to chicken or turkey (don't know) then it's close enough that he'll probably have a reaction to that as well. I have been typically feeding, chicken, turkey, pork, and beef using beef heart (for taurine) and either beef liver or chicken liver (for Vit. A & D).

I've given him lamb in the past so that is not a novel food but It's something I might try. It too is a little hard to come by in any quantity. Chops yes, but that's about it. Rabbit I've never tried so that is wide open. I'm wondering if my vet chose venison for a particular reason? Or should the rabbit do the same job being a novel food? I can at least order rabbit and lamb over the internet until summer comes. Most of the reputable suppliers seem to be back East and overnight shipping from there is prohibitively expensive. I've never been able to locate any quail.

I've had ad's on craigslist and I must get every flake out there because they will answer my ad and say yes we will give you the rabbit, deer, elk, freezer burned meat...whatever and then I never hear from them again. It's been an exercise in frustration. So, I'm trying to stick with meat that is easily available in my grocery store but obviously Woody's needs can't be met that way.

The vet is also afraid that he may be allergic to one of the other ingredients in his food. I use Vit E, B-Complex, Salmon Oil, different types of squash (for fiber), kelp & dulse (for trace minerals). That's it. Have you heard of allergies steming from these ingredients?
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWMeowMix View Post
So, it wouldn't matter if it's not venison?
The reason your vet suggested venison is because it is something he currently isn't eating and it is available in prescription and over the counter processed foods. For IBD you don't need to feed venison, you just need to stop feeding whatever is causing the IBD. Feeding a novel protein is part of an elimination diet. You feed something that he currently doesn't eat and hopefully the IBD goe away. Then you can start adding back other proteins to see which ones he has a reaction to. Be sure to give his digestive system a couple of weeks to heal before adding back a protein though.

Quote:
Beef is the one thing I am sure he has an intolerance for. He got several good bites out of the other kitties dish (in another room!) before I caught him. About 3 hours later we had an ugly, smelly, nasty mess.
Have you tried just not feeding beef? You would have to omit the beef heart also.

Quote:
The vet is also afraid that he may be allergic to one of the other ingredients in his food. I use Vit E, B-Complex, Salmon Oil, different types of squash (for fiber), kelp & dulse (for trace minerals). That's it. Have you heard of allergies steming from these ingredients?
If he is OK on the NB, just feed him that but start adding other things, one ingredient at a time until he has a reaction. Then you know what he has an intolerance to.

When adding ingredients make sure you don't introduce them more often than one every week or so to be sure his body has time to react to it before moving on to the next ingredient.

When did he start having IBD symptoms? Was he able to eat all the things you are currently feeding without problem at first but then at some point he started having problems??
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Have you tried just not feeding beef? You would have to omit the beef heart also.
No, this is a recent development of which we've had some false starts. Now that we KNOW what's happening I can try that at some point. I'm afraid to do much of anything right now with him being so skinny. He went from 12 lbs down to 7.5 lbs. I'm thinking after he's gained back some weight I'll try experimenting with protein sources but not right now.

Quote:
When did he start having IBD symptoms? Was he able to eat all the things you are currently feeding without problem at first but then at some point he started having problems??
About 2 months ago. Yes, that's exactly it. Never had a problem, he's never been sick...ever... except that he had some major dental work done (he's toothless now) and had some complications with tearing out stitches and infection. After the surgery he had trouble with vomiting & diarrehea which we thought was due to the infection, and then due to the antibiotics. But it never stopped! After the 4th trip to the vet I told her that if we couldn't get the v & D under control I was going to have to put him down. He wasn't eating, he was drinking too much and he would stay under the bed all the time. I was having to force feed him because I was worried about Fatty Liver Disease. FINALLY, after an ungodly amount of tests and money, the vet figured he either had cancer or IBD. I refused the experimental surgery to find out. Seeing how he's responding quite well now, I'm going with the IBD theory. Last night he ate 1 1/2 can's of NB!!!! Unreal. I figure another week or two with the NB and then we'll start experimenting with raw proteins.
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWMeowMix View Post
Last night he ate 1 1/2 can's of NB!!!! Unreal. I figure another week or two with the NB and then we'll start experimenting with raw proteins.
Wish I had some information to add. But it's great to hear Woody's eating!! I'm praying for him Debbie! Lot of
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWMeowMix View Post
No, this is a recent development of which we've had some false starts. Now that we KNOW what's happening I can try that at some point. I'm afraid to do much of anything right now with him being so skinny. He went from 12 lbs down to 7.5 lbs. I'm thinking after he's gained back some weight I'll try experimenting with protein sources but not right now.

About 2 months ago. Yes, that's exactly it. Never had a problem, he's never been sick...ever... except that he had some major dental work done (he's toothless now) and had some complications with tearing out stitches and infection. After the surgery he had trouble with vomiting & diarrehea which we thought was due to the infection, and then due to the antibiotics. But it never stopped! After the 4th trip to the vet I told her that if we couldn't get the v & D under control I was going to have to put him down. He wasn't eating, he was drinking too much and he would stay under the bed all the time. I was having to force feed him because I was worried about Fatty Liver Disease. FINALLY, after an ungodly amount of tests and money, the vet figured he either had cancer or IBD. I refused the experimental surgery to find out. Seeing how he's responding quite well now, I'm going with the IBD theory. Last night he ate 1 1/2 can's of NB!!!! Unreal. I figure another week or two with the NB and then we'll start experimenting with raw proteins.
The poor boy! I'm glad he's eating the NB. Hopefully he'll keep eating it and gain some weight.

Good luck!

BTW - I assume the vet did a blood work up and his kidneys are OK???
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lil maggie View Post
Wish I had some information to add. But it's great to hear Woody's eating!! I'm praying for him Debbie! Lot of
Thanks girlfriend! It is encouraging. He seems to have his good day's and his bad days but the V & D has subsided. THANK GOD!
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
The poor boy! I'm glad he's eating the NB. Hopefully he'll keep eating it and gain some weight.

Good luck!

BTW - I assume the vet did a blood work up and his kidneys are OK???
Yes she did. She said his liver counts are a bit high but everything looked good. She was a little worried about his kidneys because they were a little small but at his last appt they were bigger so she was happy about that. Both Woody and Waco have follow up appts. on Monday so we'll see what happens then.

Oh, and I did order some raw rabbit from Hare Today. It will probably be here next week. I think I'll start testing the waters then...
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
Well, good news from the vet! She is tapering Woody off the steriods and will be off them in a week. She's pleased with his progress and say's she doesn't need to see him again unless things change. WHOO HOO!!!!! (Snoopy Dance!). He got into the other kitties raw food again last night. He's a resourceful guy, I had put the plate on top of the fridge because I was going to be out of the room and the little monster managed to get up there (I thought he was still too weak!) and eat the rest. And yup, it all came back up a couple of hours later. The menu? You guessed it...beef. You'd think they'd be smart enough not to eat something that made them sick but I guess not. So, I'm going to have to be even more vigilant until all the food with beef in it is gone. I'll stick with chicken livers and supplements if I have too.
post #13 of 28
I'm glad he is going better!

What is he eating now? Is he OK as long as he doesn't eat beef?
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
Seems like. He's snuck turkey & chicken before without any consequences. Right now he's still on NB but I have some raw rabbit coming...should be here in the next day or two and I'll switch him to that and then try experimenting with chicken after a bit.
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Ok, call me officially frustrated. I got the rabbit and I made the mix of rabbit, B-Complex, Vit E, Taurine, Kelp, Dulse, Salmon oil, eggshell & homegrown pumpkin (he did fine on canned pumpkin) and poor Woody's stools got soft like pudding again. So I narrowed it down even more on the next try with pork, pork heart, pork liver B-Complex, Vit E, Salmon Oil, eggshell and homegrown pumpkin amd that was even worse! He V & D'd!! I'm going to try chicken w/bone, chicken hearts, & chicken liver next with no supplements at all and see how that goes. He so wants his raw...I feel so bad for him when I have to pick up the other kitties food dish so that he can't eat their raw food, but he just can't afford to V & D anymore. He needs weight! He seemed to do ok with a little bit of ground turkey (nothing added) so I'm hoping the chicken will be alright. I worry about him getting enough nutritents from the canned and I know he won't get enough from just plain ground turkey. What to do?
post #16 of 28
1st--why all the extra supplements?

2nd I think for him just feeding muscle meat for a week or two to start is just fine, don't stress about the other stuff right now.

Leslie
post #17 of 28
Some kitties need slow transitions .. ie mixing two meats together to prevent pudding poop till the cat get s used to the second meat ... I do this routinely to prevent digestive issues ... I have learned one meat per 4-6 weeks with one week transition....

you may want to look into apple pectin and or slippery elm
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
Some kitties need slow transitions .. ie mixing two meats together to prevent pudding poop till the cat get s used to the second meat ... I do this routinely to prevent digestive issues ... I have learned one meat per 4-6 weeks with one week transition....

you may want to look into apple pectin and or slippery elm
Wow! 4-6 weeks? Do you start adding your supplements back in after that time? Or should I go ahead with the rabbit mix again in with his canned food?

I use slippery elm but it doesn't help his poops. Their still soft and runny even with SE. I haven't tried apple pectin. I had read somewhere that fruit pectin was too acidic for cats or am I understanding that incorrectly?
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWMeowMix View Post
Wow! 4-6 weeks? Do you start adding your supplements back in after that time? Or should I go ahead with the rabbit mix again in with his canned food?

I use slippery elm but it doesn't help his poops. Their still soft and runny even with SE. I haven't tried apple pectin. I had read somewhere that fruit pectin was too acidic for cats or am I understanding that incorrectly?
All I know is the pectin acts like soluble fiber and aids in control of loose stools... did wonders for a cat and a dog in my house ... neither vet found any info about it having issues with something like acidity

I use the same whole food meat based supplements with all meats about 3 times a week and then the things like pectin and se as needed ...

normally mixing is something I wont do but yeah try mixing ..
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
Which supplements do you use?
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWMeowMix View Post
Which supplements do you use?
mostly standard process ( holistic doctors and vets carry them) ....
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
mostly standard process ( holistic doctors and vets carry them) ....
I checked this out and under other circumstances it would be a really good supplement to use. Unfortunately its key ingredients are based on cattle (beef) liver/spleen etc. and that is one thing that Woody reacts to violently. I guess I'll have to keep looking but thank you.
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWMeowMix View Post
I checked this out and under other circumstances it would be a really good supplement to use. Unfortunately its key ingredients are based on cattle (beef) liver/spleen etc. and that is one thing that Woody reacts to violently. I guess I'll have to keep looking but thank you.
If you want I will ask my vet for alternatives I am sure she has them ...
post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 
Oh, please do! Thank you!
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, thank you for your warm and caring thoughts for Woody. Unfortunately, he developed a secondary infection that has claimed his life. He was just too old and too weak to fight it off. He had stopped eating and drinking and the antibiotics weren't working. I couldn't stand to see him suffer anymore so on Monday I helped him to make a painless passage to the Rainbow Bridge. He died peacefully in my arms. Needless to say, I'm devastated but fortunately I have an understanding boss who gave me a couple of days off to grieve. I know you all join me in wishing my beloved Woody a gentle journey...
post #26 of 28
Oh my God... I am so sorry to hear this! Hang in there...
post #27 of 28
I am so sorry to hear that. But bless you for making that decision. He's now playing happily across the bridge!

Leslie
post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack31 View Post
I am so sorry to hear that. But bless you for making that decision. He's now playing happily across the bridge!

Leslie
Thank you, Leslie...
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