TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Help - Ethics and Steroids
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Help - Ethics and Steroids

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Some of you have seen my multiple posts about my cat and his food allergies. I'm not going to type up all that we've done, but we've done everything imaginable for him. He has FOOD allergies, NOT inhaled allergies. He's strictly an indoor cat. My question pertains to what I should do for him.

Depomedrol keeps him stable, and stops him from itching his ears and chin to the point that he's bleeding. Depomedrol is a cortosone shot, and as we know steroids can cause Diabetes. I work in a vet clinic, so cost will never be a problem for me when it comes to shots and whatever I may need for him in the future.

My question is, what should I do? Should I put him on the steroid shots every couple of months, whenever the itching occurs and risk diabetes? or do I let him itch himself into oblivian? I mean, he gets to the point where he has no whiskers and no hair on his chin/ears and he gets goop inside of them. It's a complete chore to clean his ears because he hates it. Food wise he still itches and his right hear gets bad when he's on the rabbit, which I have him on now. With the depo and the rabbit he's itch free. If he were on a complete food the depo wouldn't make a difference.

I just don't know what to do. I don't think it's fair to him to make him suffer being itchy all the time, but I don't want him to be diabetic. I asked my boss/vet what he would do if Napolean was his cat, he said he would do the shot to keep him comfortable, which keeping him comfortable seems to be all I can do for him.

I just really need some advice because I don't know what to do for him anymore. He needs something because if we do more food trials he'll need something to calm the reactions down.

Just FYI for everyone he's only 13 months old. He's had food allergies since I adopted him at 12 weeks of age, and I suspect he was born with this problem.
post #2 of 15
Has it been determined what foods he's allergic to?

My NFC had food allergies as a kitten, so I cooked homemade foods for her until she was two, it was very hard to find cat foods that did not contain corn in those days, which is what her allergy was to.

Cooking may be an option for you to discuss with his vet.
post #3 of 15
I personally would work to keep his itching down. The discomfort makes his current days miserable and exposes him to infection.

I'm not familiar with feline diabetes so I don't know if there are measures that can be taken to reduce the risk.

Also, there are a number of members who swear by a raw diet to help with food issues. Have you investigated those?

It may just be a balancing act - steroids when the itching is the worst and none when you can get away with it to reduce the risk of diabetes.
post #4 of 15
I am facing a similar problem with my Wellington, who has to take steroids to control his asthma. Without the tablets he get attacks almost every day and is uncomfortable breathing. With the prednizone he is obviously much happier and the attacks are rare. The vet tells me to cut the medicines as much as possible, which I am doing, but to what level? Do I make him attack free, to risk diabetes and heart problems down the line, or do I lengthen his life but make it uncomfortable? It is a dilemma and so far I am not overdoing the steroids but trying to make him happy as for a cat I do not think it is ethical to keep them alive if they are miserable, and they have no foreknowledge of death in these circumstances. I am ready to be proved wrong, but that is my opinion.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Has it been determined what foods he's allergic to?
So far he's been allergic to:

peas, buffalo, pheasant, duck, chicken, rabbit[a little bit], turkey. Whole foods he's allergic to: Science Diet Kitten, IVD Duck & pea, IVD Venison & Pea, Nature's Variety RAW Venison Diet.

I've made a RAW diet before for him which he came out allergic to, and again it wasn't a complete diet because I didn't know what he would be allergic to.

Quote:
It may just be a balancing act - steroids when the itching is the worst and none when you can get away with it to reduce the risk of diabetes.
The only issue with that is that some cats only need one shot to get diabetes, he's had 3 shots in the year that I have had him... so he could potentially get it at any time.

I talked to my vet about making him a RAW diet, he's the one who actually suggested it. The problem is it deals with more food trials, which means no steroids [so I can test the food to see if he'll react] and also means possible reactions. The other thing is, he could be allergic to meat proteins and I can't find a vegetarian diet online that could supplement the protein he would need. Food trialing involves first finding a protein he can eat, and then adding more foods to see if he's allergic to them. Which these things take time because you have to allow the allergen to clear the system before you can try a new one. Hence another problem.
post #6 of 15
If you are going to food trial, start with meats, use first stage baby foods for this, single ingredients and not a lot of waste if he can't tolerate it.

Looks though, like the only viable main protein source you haven't mentioned was beef.
Though if he can handle soy you may be able to get away with fish/beef/soy combo, although far from ideal and he may need supplements.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I am facing a similar problem with my Wellington, who has to take steroids to control his asthma. Without the tablets he get attacks almost every day and is uncomfortable breathing. With the prednizone he is obviously much happier and the attacks are rare. The vet tells me to cut the medicines as much as possible, which I am doing, but to what level? Do I make him attack free, to risk diabetes and heart problems down the line, or do I lengthen his life but make it uncomfortable? It is a dilemma and so far I am not overdoing the steroids but trying to make him happy as for a cat I do not think it is ethical to keep them alive if they are miserable, and they have no foreknowledge of death in these circumstances. I am ready to be proved wrong, but that is my opinion.
I do agree with you, and what you are doing for your cat. If your little Wellington and my little Napolean were out in the wild, they would die. I can admit my cat wouldn't survive in the wild due to his allergy issues. However, since he isn't living in the wild, it's my responsibility to keep him comfortable. I've pondered euthanasia a couple of times, just thinking that then he would be allergy free and at peace. But I know he's happy right now. He's not the renal failure kitty that can hardly walk and is 6lbs underweight. He's fat and sassy, and aside from the itching he's very happy.

I don't know WHAT I would do if my cat had asthma. That's got to be really difficult to deal with. I think it's important to keep them comfortable, but what do you do once they are comfortable, but now they are diabetic? It's just so confusing
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Looks though, like the only viable main protein source you haven't mentioned was beef.
Though if he can handle soy you may be able to get away with fish/beef/soy combo, although far from ideal and he made need supplements.
He's had a blood test and he's allergic to beef. The blood test wasn't conclusive by any standards, but there is an allergy there. I also forgot to mention he's allergic to z/d which is the #1 allergy food. He's also been on Addiction's Unagi & Seaweed.

I do know about supplementing, I already supplement his current food with Taurine. I also know about starting with meat when doing a food trial. We just have to find a meat he can eat.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
These are all of my posts with information pertaining to what Napolean and I have done, some of them are outdated and the information has changed, so if there's any questions or contradictions, just ask me I can go into further detail on things:

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64351

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=68462

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=70781

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=83325
post #10 of 15
Hi, I'm new here and kind of a lurker, but your post kind of struck a cord in me so I thought I'd reply with my experience with a pet with allergies.

We have a family dog named Romeo, and he was diagnosed with having allergies when he was about 2 years old. The poor dog is allergic to just about everything under the sun. He was allergic to just about every kind of meat except duck and rabbit. He was very allergic to the grass in our front yard. We had a huge list. He would scratch his face on the carpet untill it would bleed. He would chew on the pads of his feet untill they would bleed. He has had constant ear and eye infections. Antibiotics barely do anything for him anymore. He has to get the super strong kind. He was really miserable. We went throught the expensive desensitization (spelling?) prossess with shots with no luck. He's about 12 years old and has been on seroids (prednizone) for all but about 1 and 1/2 years lof his life. We are all shocked that the poor guy has lived this long. The steroids make his life better. I can't even imagine if he'd never been on it. If he was having a particularly bad day, he'd get an benadryl. We are shocked that he's never had any liver problems considering how long he's been on the prednizone. From all the scratching he's done over the years, he's blind. And he had a really bad infection about a year ago in his ears, and now he's deaf. Strangely enough as he's gotten older, it seems as if his allergies have gotten less, but not dissapeared completely.

If you feel like his quality of life is good enough without it, then I say try it without the shot. If it ever gets to a point where you feel like he's suffering, then do it.
post #11 of 15
I would give him steroid shots to keep him from the extreme scratching. Also consider environmental allergies. I used to work with an allergist (for people) who believed environmental and food allergies affected each other.

For example, maybe you have a mild milk allergy, and are allergic to spring pollen. Most of the year you can tolerate milk just fine, but in the spring you cannot. Maybe try a different kitty litter, in case the dust from the kitty litter is affecting your boy. I would not do these "allergy tests" as you did the food tests...go ahead and get him the steroid shot, but try new kitty litter for a few weeks, and see if you believe it helped.

Look at the rest of the house, too. Anything can cause allergies...soaps, plants, etc. It will be harder than eliminating things from a person...but if there is a small chance that by double rinsing the blankets on your bed, your kitty will react less to his food, it would be worth it.

I didn't read through the old threads (sorry), but I remember reading some of them before. Do you have any knowledge about his genetic history? Is his Mom or Dad on a special diet?

And I'm sure you work for a great vet, but maybe a referral to a specialist might be in order, just to be sure every avenue has been checked.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plebayo
He's had a blood test and he's allergic to beef. The blood test wasn't conclusive by any standards, but there is an allergy there. I also forgot to mention he's allergic to z/d which is the #1 allergy food. He's also been on Addiction's Unagi & Seaweed.

I do know about supplementing, I already supplement his current food with Taurine. I also know about starting with meat when doing a food trial. We just have to find a meat he can eat.
How about trout? There is a new to the us food that is 100% trout (though it does have red algae aka carageenan as the only other ingredient). I am sorry the addiction food wasn't an answer, and that pheasant and buffalo are out. www.icelandpure.com to find the trout pate.

I think I'd do my best to provide good quality of life now, even if it may mean a shorter life overall. Itching like that is no way to live

Fwiw, I spent 3 years trying to find the cause of similar itching with a Curl I'd gotten from a friend..biopsies, food changes, meds including shots..finally we had a consult with Cornell, and I made the decision to pts as she was suffering with more and more frequent incidences and scratching at her face so badly she'd scratched her cornea twice (both times treated sucessfully). Cornell said we'd done everything that could be done...so I let her go.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
How about trout? There is a new to the us food that is 100% trout (though it does have red algae aka carageenan as the only other ingredient). I am sorry the addiction food wasn't an answer, and that pheasant and buffalo are out. www.icelandpure.com to find the trout pate.

I think I'd do my best to provide good quality of life now, even if it may mean a shorter life overall. Itching like that is no way to live
I absolutely LOVE you. Where the heck do you pull these crazy foods from?! When I finish the rabbit and have $60 to purchase 20 packets, I'm going to buy it and try it.

Quote:
Also consider environmental allergies. I used to work with an allergist (for people) who believed environmental and food allergies affected each other.
He's 100% food allergies. The only time he reacts is when we switch his food. I could ship him off to the clinic for 2 weeks, but he's too mean there [even trying to eat me.]
----

Thanks for the replies everyone. I'm going to try this new food... and if that doesn't help steroids it is. I just want him to live happy life. He's the best cat all things aside, he loves people, all dogs, little kids... he's been great. Just expensive and high maintanence the little booger :p
post #14 of 15
Have you tried oriental medicine???

I know it sounds off the wall but my yorkie is doing so much better... she goes weekly to accupucture for her ears ( foood and unknown allergies ) her improvement with only a few visits is 50% ...

I will be trying it but imagine this vets will work with you on $$ human drs wont...

I personally have masssive allergies that are allergies , I have an immune system defieciency in multiple proteins... this means I have the signs and symtoms of a basic allergy but it really isnt ... Have you had him tested for immune disorders ( other than allergies)??
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plebayo
I absolutely LOVE you. Where the heck do you pull these crazy foods from?! When I finish the rabbit and have $60 to purchase 20 packets, I'm going to buy it and try it.
Honestly, I bumped across it when I was looking at the vendors who would be at a trade show I couldn't go to...then they were at my local distributor's open house so I learned more about their products. I was so pleased to learn about them...I love doing product research, and I am always on the lookout for treats or foods like this
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Health
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Help - Ethics and Steroids