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Rodent Lip. Food allergies?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

At the beginning of August, our youngest cat Baxter (2 years) developed swelling on his upper and lower lips that a vet diagnosed as rodent lip and gave him a injection of steroid. The condition cleared up immediately and we were told that the syeroid would suppress the condition for a minumum of 8 weeks.

Well... His lips were swollen again at the beginning of September. The vet recommended a biopsy but couldn't do it for 2 1/2 weeks. We could not see him suffering for so long so another injection was repeated which cleared up the situation immediately.

The Vet told us that Baxter's condition could be related to a food allergy and sold us some Green Pea and Duck dry food and cans of wet. Couple problems though...

1. Since we have 5 cats there is no way that I can see to segregate their diets so they are all switched to this stuff. They all hate it and are not eating. Lets just say it's pretty miserable around the house right now.
2. This food is horribly expensive.

I talked to the Vet about this situation and asked if there was something else food-wise that we could try. She recommended Green Pea and Venison and Green Pea and Rabbit. I asked her what ingrediant(s) did she think Baxter may be allergic to and she was evasive. We ended up buying the above food from the vet and the same result-All the cats in the house hate it.

I am starting to think we are getting scammed to buy expensive food. From my searches, I am not even sure if his condition is even related to an allergy. If it is then fine, we will buy food to keep it at bay. However, this can't be the only food on the planet that we can try.

Looking for ideas and recomendations from members here. Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 13
As I understand it (although I am sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong!) latent food allergies are usually triggered by repeated exposure to a certain protein. Because chicken, beef, and fish protein (as well as wheat etc.) are those most commonly found in cat food, they are most likely to be what the cat is allergic to. Duck, rabbit and venison are much more unusual proteins to find in ordinary cat food, so your cat is unlikely to be allergic to these proteins.

I think

ETA: There are other factors involved as well that trigger the body to develop a reaction to certain proteins (personally I blame agrochemicals, preservatives, pollution etc. although nothing's proven) but the idea of feeding these to your affected cat is to eliminate everything that may be causing an allergy from its diet. Although the vet appeared 'evasive', it's just that it is a complex thing and he/she simply doesn't know. Unfortunately I am not able to recommend any alternative foods, but others may be able to help on that one
post #3 of 13
Jamie has EGC (eosinophilic granuloma complex), meaning he gets "rodent ulcers", and his is triggered by food allergies. He's allergic to soy beans and beet pulp. I also started with the "elimination diet", but since he also suffered from hyperactivity and hyperethesia, that took too long, and I ended up having allergy tests done, which cost about €800 (roughly $1,000). I have no idea what the costs would be in the U.S., or even if the tests are available for pets there. You won't have to use the expensive green pea and duck formula forever; usually other ingredients are gradually introduced to see what triggers the allergy.
One tip, which really helped: Add Omega fatty acids in the form of fish oil to your cat's diet (500 mg. a day) on a daily basis for about six weeks, and then reduce it to one capsule (pierce it and squeeze it over the food) a week for maintenance.
My suggestion would be to seek out an EGC self-help group/forum on the Internet. I belong to a German one, and have gotten invaluable advice there.
If you do a forum search here, you'll also find a lot of threads about EGC or rodent ulcers.
Edited to add: Rodent ulcers may or may not recur, but EGC is to be taken seriously, as it sometimes takes the form of vast external or internal lesions. In France, some progress has been made by giving affected cats a birth control pill. This is a very complex syndrome, about which not enough is known/understood, so I rather doubt that your vet is trying to "take" you.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies.

I guess our vet just has poor communication skills. I appreciate the help.
post #5 of 13
When Daisy had that the vet said that it could be caused, like acne, by plastic dishes. If you use those it could be worth trying stainless steel or glass. It is easier to change the dishes than the food and it worked for her, she has never had it again.
post #6 of 13
Originally Posted by vlad335 View Post
Thanks for the replies.

I guess our vet just has poor communication skills. I appreciate the help.
I wish you and your cat a lot of luck. If all else fails, would it be possible to designate one room in your house/apartment the "feeding room", keep the door closed, put a cat flap in that room's door, and equip all your other cats with a collar and "cat flap key", i.e., chip, and feed them their usual food there? If Baxter doesn't have the "key", he can't get to the "usual" food, and you can put his special food somewhere else in the house.
post #7 of 13
Originally Posted by Anakat View Post
When Daisy had that the vet said that it could be caused, like acne, by plastic dishes. If you use those it could be worth trying stainless steel or glass. It is easier to change the dishes than the food and it worked for her, she has never had it again.
It can also be triggered by a flea bite or bee sting, or even a pollen allergy. That's what makes it so difficult to treat/deal with.
post #8 of 13
California Natural makes an inexpensive, high quality Herring and Sweet Potato formula that is good for allergic cats.

the very best food is Nature's Logic Rabbit Dinner--it does contain some chicken, but there are no chemical vitamins and my Gizmo (who was allergic to all grains and chicken) is doing marvellously on it.

Get stainless steel dishes as well. the food will not catch in the cracks as in a plastic dish.

California Natural Chicken and Rice is also an excellent food as long as your cat is not allergic to chicken. There are only five ingredients and I recommend this line very highly.

The Green Pea and Rabbit formula that my vet prescribed for Gizmo was mostly green pea--so the Nature's Logic was substituted instead. It also contains probiotics that helped her a great deal, most from vegetables but some from 'montmorillonite clay'. Gizmo's been doing wonderfully well, bright eyed and without too many of the wheezing attacks that marred her life before.

if you are on a budget the California Natural is really best, but the cats eat less of the Nature's Logic since it is a high protein food, so the costs even out.

good luck and I hope your kitty is better.
post #9 of 13
one more to add to the mix and that is Life's Abundance -this is the only food that Loki does well on - he also has food allergies. Life's Abundance is Hollistic !!!
post #10 of 13
Life's Abundance is an excellent quality food, but it is chicken based, and not much help if your cat is allergic to chicken--

I had Gizmo on the California Natural Chicken and Rice and she bloated up by a whole pound. The rabbit food got her back to her normal weight.
post #11 of 13
Abi developed this just this week --- we go to the vet tomorrow. I hope its a food allergy only, I was switching her to raw but can easily go back to those nutro things she loved. She is going to hate a shot.... poor baby.
post #12 of 13
Oh Wow! I just got done posting about this problem pertaining to a different subject, and I would just bet this is EXACTLY what my sister's cats have (both the lips and the toes)! We've been wondering for years, and her vets have just treated it with antibiotics and steriods, but not given it a name! The older they get, the less it happens. Since they both have it, and their mom has immune/allergy problems of a different sort (fish and vaccinations), I assume it is a hereditary problem? Does anyone know? I didn't see it on the link I clicked on. Is it normal for it to get better as they get older? They are about 9 yrs old.
post #13 of 13
Abi got a steroid shot today and was put on a hypoallergenic diet. The doc said the most common allergies for cats are fish and beef. exactly what was in that primal raw i started feeding her. duh ... cats in the wild never catch tuna or take down a cow. I hope she can go back to her regular food when this swelling goes away. I hate it when she is sick... even though at this moment she was seen dragging a loaf of bread from the kitchen island, she loves brioche... go figure
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