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Cat wih SEVERE allergies....Help please

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I am at the my wits end.

My cat is now about 14 months old. After he got neurtered (6 months) he started with the constant scratching on his head and neck. My vet told me is it probably food allergies. He started on Hill D/D, then Hills Z/D and now on prescription food from Royal Canine. He scratches to a point that he has sores all over his neck and head. So bad sometimes they will bleed. I take him to the vet about 2-3 times a month where he will receive 3 shots: Allergy, antibiotic and steroid. Nothing help with the presciption food so I took him to an animal allergist. They found nothing wrong with him and also said it is probably food allergies and it could take awhile until I find the right formula. Well a couple months later I had him tested for allergies. Indoor and outdoor panel. He is allergic to about 25 different things THe indoor showed that he is highly allergic to cat dander and dust, chicken, pork. (so he is a cat allergic to himself...makes no sense!!!) He is midly allergic to other things too. I give him his allergy shots as precribed. The shots have been going on for almost 2 months and I see no improvement. A week ago he had scratched his head so bad he delevoped an infection in his skin. The infection also went into his eye. It was the weekend so I took him to the animal hospital. He is fine now with the steroid shot and antibiotics. I am completely lost and frustrated. My vet has an excellent reputation and pretty much said he has the worst allergies he has seen ever. I have spent thousands of dollars on him and he is only 14 months old. I have tried bathing him for the allergy to cat dander but he clawes the heck out of me. I have 2 air purifiers for the dust allergy. He had a blood test and all his organs are within normal range. Negative for feline FIV and Leukemia. He does not have mites. He is on flea control although he never goes outside. Do anyone have any suggestions???? I don't know what else I can possibly do. 

 

I have heard of raw food diet but I seriously doubt it will make that much of a difference.

post #2 of 16

Hi there, jennifer505, I'm Jen. wavey.gifWelcome to TCS!!! rub.gif

 

So sorry that you're having so much trouble with your baby boy. First things first, is he on the prescription dry food, or wet? Dry food isn't very good for cats because it contains mostly plant based protein (which cats can't digest, anyway). Cats are obligatory carnivores (which means they eat only meat. Pet food companies pretty much only add veggies and grains to their food as filler dontknow.gif). Cats also get almost all of their moisture and water content from the food they eat, because they have a low thirst drive. So if a cat is on dry food, there is a great chance of the cat becoming dehydrated, which can lead to kidney and urinary tract issues (especially in males). I would start out by switching him to an all canned food diet. Start by slowly decreasing the amount of dry food you feed, and add in the canned. Adult cats (14 months would be considered adult) should have 5.5oz of canned food per day. SO, I would do the transition over the process of two weeks, slowly decreasing the amount of dry food and increasing the amount of wet. There is an amazing article on transitioning kibble addicts to canned food here: http://catinfo.org/docs/Tips%20for%20Transitioning%20PDF%201-14-11.pdf

 

If you're really willing to convert to a raw diet, would you do homemade raw (ground or whole prey model) or commercial raw? I feed my cats commercial raw (I have a 13 month old female, Cookie and an eleven week old female, Cuddles). There are many "raw experts" on this site, who will surely reply to this thread. You can also find some raw feeding support and resources in the sub-forum. I'm kind of a "raw newbie", myself, so I don't really wanna go giving advice on that just yet. laughing02.gif If you are going raw, there are many alternatives to chicken and pork - lamb, rabbit, duck, venison. I feed Nature's Variety Instinct Raw, and they have all these kinds of meat in the frozen section of my pet store, which is super, super convenient.

 

As for the allergies, a few members on our forums have been experiencing similar things. A lot of them have been switching to raw diets with amazing results! So if you're willing to do that, it's possible the allergies might decrease. Here are some websites with information on food allergies, and how to handle them: http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+1402&aid=142, http://www.cat-world.com.au/food-allergies-in-cats,http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/healthinfo/foodallergies.cfm, and http://pets.webmd.com/cats/common-allergies-cats.

 

Here is a link with some supplements that may be able to help heal the skin: http://www.allivet.com/c-171-cat-skin-supplements.aspx. I would definitely supplement some Omega 3 into his diet, because that can have a good effect on his coat and skin. http://nusentia.com/conditions/cats/cat-allergies.html/ is a link to a supplement that's supposed to help with allergies.

 

Anyways, I hope this was helpful. Lots of vibes for you and baby boy! vibes.gifheartpump.gif
 

post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifer505 View Post

I am at the my wits end.

My cat is now about 14 months old. After he got neurtered (6 months) he started with the constant scratching on his head and neck. My vet told me is it probably food allergies. He started on Hill D/D, then Hills Z/D and now on prescription food from Royal Canine. He scratches to a point that he has sores all over his neck and head. So bad sometimes they will bleed. I take him to the vet about 2-3 times a month where he will receive 3 shots: Allergy, antibiotic and steroid. Nothing help with the presciption food so I took him to an animal allergist. They found nothing wrong with him and also said it is probably food allergies and it could take awhile until I find the right formula.

 

Well a couple months later I had him tested for allergies. Indoor and outdoor panel. He is allergic to about 25 different things. The indoor showed that he is highly allergic to cat dander and dust, chicken, pork. (so he is a cat allergic to himself...makes no sense!!!) He is midly allergic to other things too. I give him his allergy shots as precribed. The shots have been going on for almost 2 months and I see no improvement. A week ago he had scratched his head so bad he delevoped an infection in his skin. The infection also went into his eye. It was the weekend so I took him to the animal hospital. He is fine now with the steroid shot and antibiotics.

 

I am completely lost and frustrated. My vet has an excellent reputation and pretty much said he has the worst allergies he has seen ever. I have spent thousands of dollars on him and he is only 14 months old. I have tried bathing him for the allergy to cat dander but he clawes the heck out of me. I have 2 air purifiers for the dust allergy. He had a blood test and all his organs are within normal range. Negative for feline FIV and Leukemia. He does not have mites. He is on flea control although he never goes outside. Do anyone have any suggestions???? I don't know what else I can possibly do. 

 

I have heard of raw food diet but I seriously doubt it will make that much of a difference.

I am so glad you posted all the details! I can relate completely as I used to have a cat like that. Well, not exactly, but very similar. Obviously, it is impossible to give you medical advice without a DVM degree, but I have purrsonal experience to help you and your cat.

 

Wilbur was diagnosed with allergies when he was licking lots of fur off to the point of having large bald spots, some of them red. Brown things were in his ears too. First the vet said he had a yeast infection in his ears, which is caused by allergies. He said the fur loss was also allergies but could not say if that was food or something else. So he ordered an eight-week food elimination test, meaning Wilbur must only eat rabbits.

 

After six weeks, we knew that was not the problem. So the next step was steroid shots. But steroid shots are dangerous - too many of them is the formula for organ failure and diabetes. They also made Wilbur sneeze at high doses. So one day the vet asked me if I want a blood test to determine what Wilbur was allergic to, which would allow a dermatologist to create a customized allergy shot. I said yes because I didn't want a diabetic cat.

 

The blood test, which cost almost $200, revealed Wilbur had 20 definite allergies and was borderline for five more, so I took him to a specialty hospital with two dermatologists. While they treated him he stopped licking his coat off, but started getting large scabs of varying sizes, one or two at a time usually but sometimes more. They ordered more blood tests just to get updates, and each time he had more allergies. One was, to everyone's surprise, other cats - but not himself. He was also allergic to human hair LOL. Some allergies were severe.

 

Allergy shots worked well enough to stop the steroid shots but one dermatologist eventually put him on dry Hill's and wet Royal Canin d/d. No one ever said he was definitely allergic to something in the Blue Buffalo he used to eat. They just thought it is a good idea to put him on rabbit and pea for the rest of his life. Wilbur still had occasional flare-ups with clusters of scabs all over his body, but usually had few or none and he never licked his coat off again. However, he did lick and bite two toes on his right foot a lot. Eventually, he no longer liked the rabbit and peas. A dermatologist switched him to lamb and barley to make him eat again and that worked.

 

Sadly, Wilbur was euthanized December 1 after six months with CRF. I read allergies increase the risk of getting that disease. rbheart.gif

post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifer505 View Post

 

I have heard of raw food diet but I seriously doubt it will make that much of a difference.

 

I'm so sorry that you and your poor kitty are going through this. My Maine Coon, Maxie, has Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex (EGC), which is a type of allergic reaction. His was in his mouth, but it can present in many ways. It does sound like your boy has an allergy, and not necessarily EGC. That being said, since their diet is the foundation of their health, diet is a good place to start. With Maxie, I switched to a homemade balanced raw diet. Within a week I was seeing improvement, and by the third week you would never know he has this disease because it cleared up completely. Here's a link to show kind of what EGC looks like: http://www.fabcats.org/owners/skin/eosinophilic_granuloma.html. My Maxie's did not look like this (it was deep inside his mouth to start with), so if none of the photos look like your bubby's sores, I wouldn't rule it in or out.

 

If Maxie eats any commercial canned food, it comes back--with a vengeance--and spreads up to his nose and his eyes. I even tried the commercial novel protein diets with him, numerous brands, and still no improvement. There is just something in commercial canned food (I didn't feed dry) that effects him and his immune response and triggers the allergic reaction. I wonder if this could be the case for your boy? Not necessarily EGC, but the same reaction. You could do a trial of raw food to see if it helps (at least a month). For what it's worth, before switching to raw, none of my kitties could eat canned food with beef in it--they upchucked it every time. But on raw, they can eat beef (this is a food intolerance, not allergy). Some kitties that are allergic to canned food with chicken in it have an allergic reaction, but do not to raw chicken. Must be something in the processing. dontknow.gif I tried some commercial raw diets, but mine would not eat them, but you might consider trying Rad Cat's Raw food? A lot of kitties here at TCS love it, although I've never purrsonally tried it (one of the few!).

 

There are quite a few websites with raw diets, but only a few that are (IMHO) worth using. A site that has quite a few recipes is here: http://www.holisticat.com/well-fed/.

 

Maybe a raw diet might be worth a shot?

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the input.  It sounds like a raw diet is worth trying. I know chronic steroid usage is not good but I heard it is much well tolerated in cats.  Maybe the raw diet will address his food allergies but he is highly postive to Cat Dandur and dust.  I have no idea how to address that except clean his bedding regularly, dust often and use my air purifiers.  He will not allow me to bath him.  I took him to a groomer and he scratched the heck out of her too.  He is a very aggressive cat so only a couple people can handle him.  Mainly my daughter and me.

 

He has medium grade allergies on about 10 others things and about 7 were border line.  None of these are related to food. 

 

His allergies, scratching, sores, bleeding, shots, pills etc have me to a point I am emotionally sick over it.  I won't consider putting him down.  That is not an option for me.  I just want him to get better.

post #6 of 16
hugs.gifhugs.gifhugs.gif Aw, your poor baby! hearthrob.gif

FYI, a number of people who have cats with food allergies have discovered that when they switch to a raw diet, the allergies clear up - even feeding the same proteins they fed canned. agree.gif A member of TCS, Carolina, her kitty Bugsy was definitely allergic to chicken. On raw, if she feeds regular supermarket chicken, he'll have a reaction. BUT if she feed vegetarian fed chicken, no reaction. So some cats are so sensitive that the feed used on the animals we're feeding our cats makes a difference!

Commercial raw is easy to feed, so it's certainly worth trying.

Our Chumley is FIV+ and has environmental allergies. (So do I. I'm also allergic to cats). I use a dust-free unscented litter, I have numerous HEPA filters in the house. Every cleaning product we use is natural, unscented (in fact, I use 7th generation unscented stuff). I wash their bedding weekly, and I vacuum a lot. Rather than trying to bathe them - which just makes them lick themselves all over - if he likes being brushed, buy the Furminator for "brushing" him ( it removes the undercoat, which is what sheds), and just wipe him down with a damp wash cloth - preferably damp with distilled water. What you're going for is something that doesn't make them wet, but picks up the extra dander and fur. It leaves no scent, so he won't feel the need to re-groom himself when you're done. agree.gif

Steroids are well tolerated in cats. I had one that needed shots for years, and my cancer survivor is on a low dose of pred for however long he'll be with us. hearthrob.gifrub.gif

....but I suspect you'll find that if you switch to a raw diet, and you use an omega 3 supplement with it of some kind, you'll see a dramatic change in your boy. In fact, you may want to consider a GLA supplement. I'd start with raw and an omega 3. But if he's not 100% in a couple of months, consider adding some evening primrose oil. Less is always better, and you don't want to oversupplement. So wait and see if it's even worth considering first.

hugs.gif
post #7 of 16

Who is your cancer survivor?

post #8 of 16
Lazlo. http://www.thecatsite.com/t/234030/mega-massive-vibes-for-lazlo-urgent July 27th will the first anniversary of the discovery of his cancer.
post #9 of 16
Her cancer survivor is Lazlo, who had intestinal lymphoma. hearthrob.gif
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittylover23 View Post

Her cancer survivor is Lazlo, who had intestinal lymphoma. hearthrob.gif

Actually, it was a "massive" tumor in his stomach. He also had bleeding ulcers, though we don't know if the ulcers preceded the cancer, or were the site of inflammation that attracted the lymphoma to "mass" there. dontknow.gif But chemo worked, for him. hearthrob.gif

BarbB's Toby has intestinal lymphoma. rub.gif

Sorry, Jennifer, for the thread derailment.... hugs.gif
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thank you.

 

I have been searching on various websites about frozen pre-made raw and reading the ingredients.  I have noticed that most have chicken eggs in the list. My kitty is highly allergic to chicken so I want to steer away from that.  I am sure making his raw diet myself would be ideal but honesty I don't know how I would have the time. Is there a manufacturer that makes frozen raw with just the meat (for example rabbit or venison), a few veggies and that's it. I can always add in something like fortiflora to help with his immune system.  I am weary about all the ingredients I see in some of the raw foods online. 

post #12 of 16
Please don't use fortiflora as the probiotic. It's not a very good one. In fact, it's got animal digest in it, which just isn't a healthy choice for your cat: http://www.thecatsite.com/t/246327/animal-digest-versus-tripe

The probiotic I use is a human supplement: Natural Factors acidophilus + bifidus. Whatever you use, just look for something with 10 billion active cultures. agree.gif

There are a LOT of options without egg. I put together a spreadsheet reviewing most of the options (if you're in the U.S.):

http://catcentric.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Commercial-Raw-Product-Overview-Initial.pdf

I'm finding:

Bravo Balance
Darwin's Pet
Paw Naturaw
Primal
Stella & Chewy's (the feline products are freeze-dried and meant for rehydration. This is an expensive option, but most cats love them). Their frozen raw for dogs is appropriate for cats - it's supplemented with taurine - but I haven't checked the ingredients on the dog products for egg).
post #13 of 16
Nope - no eggs in the Stella & Chewy's frozen raw dog food: http://www.stellaandchewys.com/dog-frozenlamb.php
post #14 of 16
Here's an article about a dog with a similar condition and what his owner did about it


http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com/articles/real-life-story-of-supplement-free-pet-food.html

Keep us posted on your boy!
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

An update on my kitty (sidy).  I have an appointment with another allergist. Since my last postt, I have been to the vet's office at least 5 times.  Sidy has developed two severe infections. He scratched himself so frantically his w hole face was infected.  I thought I got it under control with Steroids shots, anitboitics etc.....now has an infection in his ears.  He scratches and digs his claws into his ears so now his ears are terribly infected.  He has a cone on along with all the same meds.  He is completly  miserable, cries he is in so much pain from scratching.  Still using the Atopica.  I have tried 3 different types of raw and he will have nothing to do with it.  I have noticed he is loosing weight, not much but some and lethargic.  My vet said we have tried everthing........steroids, allergy shots, atopica, prescription food, allergy medication, probiotic...he said the only thing left is another allergist.....

post #16 of 16

I am sorry you are still having problems with your kitty. I was going to ask if you'd tried atopica, it helped my cat who has severe allergies (until it stopped working, but it may have had something to do with the compounding as it was the generic form...)

However I have been told to be careful with raw if using atopica, as atopica supresses the immune system and makes them more prone to infection (or infections to be more dangerous), and they may be less able to handle bacteria that can be found in raw.

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