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Feline Allergies:Help!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone, I'm new. And desperate for help!

Firstly, I work at a reputable vet clinic under two wonderful veterinarians. However, we're a bit stumped to my cat's problem.

I adopted Napolean a few months ago from a local rescue. He and his brother were found in a garbage can. He was tested negative for FIV and FELV. Everything was peachy, except a few weeks later he was getting bald patches on his face. We black lighted him, nothing. We did a scraping, nothing, we did a fungus test for 14 days. Nothing. I was given animax cream to put on it, and things seemed to be going well. When I had him neutered I was prepping him and noticed his ear was inflamed and really crusty. I cleaned his ear out with Otirinse, we also swabbed for ear mites. No mites. Well the next evening his ear was crusty and I finally noticed him digging at it. So we gave him a shot of cortizone, and I put otimax in his ear. Well the right ear cleared up, and a few days later the left one started getting gross. So I used to otimax and things were fine. Well he started scratching his chin again about a month and a half ago, so we switched his food from Science Diet Kitten food [[which he was being fed at the rescue]] to IVD Feline Duck and Pea. We also put him on clavamox to take of any underlying infection. He started doing fine again, but a week ago I noticed his chin was all scabbed up. So I brought him in on Friday, by then his right ear was gross again. Dr. gave me some drops with cortizone in them, cleaned his ear, gave him a shot of cortizone, and we called it good for the time being. Like he says "We're missing something."

So has anyone had this issue? Could is maybe even be the litter I use? I use the scoopaway... and was thinking I should maybe go to Feline Pine or yesterday's news. Something different. But I don't know. I just don't like him being miserable. He's been checked 3 different times for mites, he's an indoor cat, we keep him up to date with Revolution so he doesn't have fleas. I'm just at my wits end as far as what could be wrong. I was also even thinking even a raw diet might be in order if something in the kibble is bothering him. But the special foods were made for animals with allergies to the average beef, chicken filled foods.

Anywho, if anyone has any ideas. Let me know.

post #2 of 17
Suzanne, I would look beyond just a simple allergy and suspect he has bacteria inside that is causing this problem (probably picked up while he was in the garbage can. I would start him on some GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract) just a few drops in his water, and in his canned food. You can also make a rinse of GSE and warm water and sponge off his crusty chin and other parts (not his ears though) that get nasty crusty. He could also have spores in his nostrils that are causing problems- again being in the garbage can could have done it-

Poor Kitty- thank you for rescuing him
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice! However, like I said we put him on Clavamox, so any infection he would have had should have been cleared up. I also didn't give you an accurate account of his age.

I adopted him when he was about 12 weeks old. He is now about 24 weeks old, maybe a bit older, I'd have to peek at his chart but he's 6lbs, and go with the 1lb a month ratio, he's 6 months old. However, you're right it could be something having to do with his past. But it happened a while ago. [[The girl got him when he was just a wee little one.]]

But on the note of Grape Seed Extract, I would love to try it! Any ideas where I can find it? That was also reccomended to me to give to my horse to help with her Melanomas, but I couldn't find the extract anywhere.

Anyways, I really appreciate the advice you offered!
post #4 of 17
Originally Posted by Plebayo
Could is maybe even be the litter I use?
Yes, if allergy it dont need to be food-allergy. It may very well be for the litter sand.

Try with some different litter sand.

It may be for your home-dust. (ALL homes have more or less of dust).

When cleaning, take it with wet cloth, dont only dust off (sorry, lack words, dont have good dictionary either).

Do observe, if it is allergy - very often you dont see a change for better in some weeks - every test must be at least 4 weeks to be sure, or sometimes even 8 weeks - especielly when changing food.

But the other way you see it almost immediately... Feks if you had begin a new diet, and he is slowly better - you cant know for sure why - but if he gets wrong food - whoops- there they are, the sores....
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
I know about the food changes. I do work in a clinic

He's been on the food for at least 6 weeks. I don't expect immediate change. But I would not expect for his ear issue to come back suddenly. If it were strictly food allergy.

I will definitley try new litter! Thanks!

Home dust? It could be... like seasonal allergies. Although we do have an air filter in every room, and on heating vents as well as on our furnace/air conditioner. So I imagine we would kind of have it a bit cleaner than the usual household. I have issues with asthma, so we have to be careful. But I see what you're saying, regular dusting would be a good idea.
post #6 of 17
I had a similar problem with my Maine Coon. After trying steroids, food trials, etc I ended up doing allergy testing. I tested him for everything. Come to find out, he's allergic to several protiens in food, as well as borderline for some of the fillers in the food. I checked every food for cats and finally found one with none of the ingredients he was positive for, and limited amounts of things he's borderline on. Now, he's got all his hair back and happy as a clam. It was well worth the money!
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
The allergy test is pending. My lovely vet and boss got a back spasm, so he had an hour on the ground to devote to my kitty hehehe.

Anyways, this is disgusting. We lyme/sulfer dipped him on the off chance he has demadex gatoi, it's a demadex that's hard to diagnose even if you do a scraping. [[we've done 3 or 4 of them]]. We'll do a repeat next week, maybe the week after. We also put soft paws on his back feet so he can't scratch his face too badly. We have also switched him to z/d. So that's just a small update.
post #8 of 17
I suppose you know what an elimination diet is, how about trying that? Of course the allergy could be for anything, but those symptoms sound a lot like my Finnish forum pal's cat's. Commercial allergy food didn't help her, switching completely to self made supplemented chicken, lamb and rice did the trick. Good luck!
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have thought about a homemade diet, and thought about RAW. Unfortunatley at this point, I don't want to make him something, and because he's deficient in something else cause problems. If acat gets too much of something, or too little it can cause heart problems and other things further down the road. Until we know for sure it's allergies, and not demadex, I'm not going to be doing any homemade diets. z/d is a VERY low allergen food, they don't have ultra for cats, but they have that for dogs, and z/d ultra is a non allergen food in itself. However, if my cat doesn't have demadex, we'll be testing him for allergies. Which will tell us exactly what his problem is. And from there I can give him a diet based on what he is allergic to. But thanks! It is something I've read up on, and have been considering.
post #10 of 17
Is your house carpeted? I've heard of some cats being sensitive to carpet freshener & cleaning products.
post #11 of 17
Oh yes, I forget. Is he whole or neutered?

If untouched, how is he taking it? Is he a harmonic tom or is he nervous?

Our pedigree Sire had a lighter allergy to fish - seen as a bald penny on the neck, getting sore if he ate feks tuna fish conserves.

Some periods he had hardships with his malehood (his son had it much easier).

After neutering he became harmonic castrate. And behold, although he sometimes ate from his sons tuna fish - the bald penny didnt get bigger or sore, and in time was lesser and lesser.

So the allergy of Muskis was partly a stress-reaction to his malehood.
post #12 of 17
gee he seems awfully young to have food allergies

i am assuming the vet did a culture on his ear gunk and not just a check for mites? my grandkitty who is about two years old got a chin acne and a icky ears, he had yeast in his ears

the chin acne was from eating dry food, ANY dry food, read how it is made and you will understand why (i will try to find the link for you)

once he was put on canned food his acne cleared up

we dont know what caused the ears to have yeast, but he was a stray before he was adopted so most of his histry is unknown

i hope your vet does not continue to give steroids so freely, they can lead to steroid induced diabetes. i can get you more info on that too.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Basically my cat has facial pruritis. IE: he is scratching his face.

His ears have been checked for mites 3 or 4 times now. Nothing, absolutely clear. He's also been cultured. Nothing. He is neutered, he was itchy before being neutered. But we thought he had been banging his face from being in my bedroom, maybe being unhappy [[he had to stay in there alone for an hour or so a few times.]] Well when I had him neutered I was trimming his nails and noticed his ear was all gross. And thus things began making themselves apparent.

He is 6 months old, one of the technicians thought he would be too young for allergies, but that is what all of his symptons point to, unless he's got demadex gatoi.

Our house is carpeted, but, and this sounds horrible, we haven't ever had the carpets cleaned, and we don't really vaccum. And when we do, we don't use any deoderizers. But that's a good thought, carpet sensativity.

He isn't being over loaded on steroids. The injections he's had has been to control the itching and keep him comfortable. We've got soft paws on him, and I'm going to continue with the dip for 4 weeks to see if it helps. We'll also see if it's a food issue, since z/d is one of the least allergen filled foods reccomended. If this dip doesn't work, we'll be doing an allergy test. And if he has to be on a raw or homemade diet, so be it. But I am not doing it now. It's too easy for your cat to get deficient in something, and I'll take facial discomfort over heart failure.

He's also been tested for any kind of fungal growth on his face. We've tried creams and what have you. I've only had him since July, and this kind of creeped up. I'm going to call the lady who has the rescue and see if his brother is having these problems. I'm hoping to get the allergy test done soon, hopefully sooner than this "dip" expiriment because it smells bad, and I really don't think it's demadex. I'll be surprised If it is. Because it's just on his face, it hasn't spread anywhere else at all.

He also threw up a couple times on the Duck and Pea. Which also points to food allergy.

What other hosuehold things could be the issue? My thinking was food, kitty litter, and possibley my dog? Or maybe something my dog brings in on her skin from being outside? They play all the time. I was thinking of changing his litter to the organic litter, or to the little crystals. And seeing if that helped. I just don't know what he could be allergic to that only affected his face. It's definitley not acne, and I see him scratching his face and ears.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
I also hope I don't sound like I'm making up millions of excuses. I REALLY appreciate the input. I just wanted to let you guys know what other things I was trying, like the lyme/sulfer dip.
post #15 of 17
It doesnt sound like you are making excuses at all. When I went through this, I had gone through every possible reason and treatment. Finally at my whitts end, I figured once I did the allergy test, I would know exactly what he was allergic to, and although you can't take out all enviromental allergens you can try. Heck, I was curious to see if he was allergic to dog, cat, or people dander. It sounds to me like you are taking the logical steps to help your kitty.
post #16 of 17
Just another thought...when the vet did the fungal test, did they do a fungal culture, or just a Woods lamp exam?

When my cats had ringworm several years ago, it took a while for the vet to figure out what it was because it didn't present like regular ringworm, and it didn't fluoresce under the lamp. When they did a culture, though, it turned out to be positive for a different variety of ringworm fungus that doesn't fluoresce.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
We did the black light, and then we did an actual culture. Where you put it in the little jar and see if the ogar stuff turns red. The test needed ten days, we gave it fourteen just to be safe and nothing grew.
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