cat with food allergy please advise - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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cat with food allergy please advise


I work at a rescue cattery & am concerned about one particular cat 'Blossom'

Blossom came in as a stray 2 years ago with a severe skin problem, her fur was completely gone on her head & neck with scabs & angry open sore's

at first it was though she had a flea allergy but when the problem did not clear up with flea treatment she went to see a vet who carried out test's & concluded she had bacterial infection internal & externally so she was put onto a steroid medication & given medical bath's 3 time's a week

once again the problem did not clear up, it would appear to be getting better & then she would have an outbreak

so back to the vet she went to check for allergies which confirmed she is allergic to chicken, tuna & salmon so she was put onto a diet of tinned pilchards & boiled white fish & to continue with her bath's

at first we were over joyed believeing we had found the problem & would now be able to help Blossom recover fully

this was 6 month's ago & she has since had terrible skin break out's & has lost all the fur on her head, neck & tummy area's

she has also now got very dark poop with blood in it

throughout these 2 years Blossom has been kept in a crate so she is not getting any exercise

I am extremely concerned at the fact that she is not getting a complete diet & no taurine in her food, I have expressed my concern but was told off for thinking I no better than the vet who has said that a diet of pilchards & white fish is fine!!!!!!!

Blossom is really looking very poorly now

I was told that there was no cat food that does not contain chicken, salmon or tuna - I done my own research & found 2 different brands of food that do not contain any of the above one of which is Ziwi Peaks canned food

but this would not be considered

so I was hoping that someone on here may be able to help advise me on what would be best for Blossom

a raw diet that did not include chicken seem's the obvious option to me

is it OK for a cat to live on pilchards & white fish alone??

thank you x

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 05:03 AM
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This wouldn't be a complete diet and would eventually cause issues including death. Taurine is only found in raw meat. It's added after cooking in commercial pet food. You may wish to consider finding a supplement for her as she almost definitely has nutrient deficiencies which could be causing her issues. You might try finding Nutri-Cal (or similar) or PetAg's CatSure (liquid meal replacement, similar to Ensure for people).

It is really sad for me to think that she's been in a cage for 2 years. That's not a life at all. I honestly don't feel that this is healthy and it could be contributing her health issues. If I were stuck in a small area for 2 years, I'm sure all of my hair would fall out from the stress and depression. It might be worth trying to find her a foster parent.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 09:20 AM
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I agree. Give the poor thing a nutritious paste that supplements the diet with all the essential vitamins,minerals ,amino acids and fatty acids. You could also add extra taurine and calcium (I think most pastes don't have calcium) .
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 12:03 PM
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Yeah, that diet is not going to be sufficient.

Is there any way you could get them to take her to a different vet for a second opinion? It's pretty obvious they should switch to the foods you found that wouldn't bother her allergies, but it sounds like the higher-ups need to hear it from a medical professional.

Maybe you could point out that Blossom is not improving and is even worsening in spite of vet care, and without pointing any fingers at the vet, suggest a second pair of eyes might help? A human patient would get a second opinion when a treatment isn't effective, so it's logical to get one for a cat too.

You could even call around and try to find a vet with experience managing food allergies. Then maybe that vet can suggest the changes that need to be made, and everything can be rubber-stamped as vet approved.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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thank you for confirming my worries

apparently she has been to a few different vet's including a holistic vet

I agree that more effort should be made to find her a foster home or to improve her living condition's, it is so sad for me & very frustrating as my opinion is not considered worthy regretfully

I have only been at the rescue for 6 months so I do not have any say but I am getting to the stage where I feel I need to speak out for this poor baby

last Tuesday I took a stall sample as Blossom had blood in her poop & Friday it was still sat in the fridge

I think I will seek my own vet advise as to what supplements would be best for Blossom & add that to her food at least then she will be getting all the vitamins etc that she need's

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 03:49 AM
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I was a foster for two failure to thrive "special needs" kittens. They were referred to by the shelter as the ever shrinking kittens. When I got them they were 3 or 4 months old, the girl weighing barely 8 oz and the boy just over 1 lbs. We started working with them and their diet and nutrition and I think being out of the shelter in a safe, warm, loving home environment really helped them. But they continued to have certain issues. Every Wednesday I had an appt to take them back to the shelter and have the vet check them out and decide if we were on the right path or if we should try something else. Nothing she recommended or prescribed worked. Eventually we got their weight up and their other issues taken care of and they were returned to the shelter in hopes of finding a family. When I went back to visit them a few weeks later, both had dropped from the magical 2 lbs that they were supposed to be to even be considered for adoption and their other issues returned. I adopted them because I knew that being in the shelter would kill these two. (I'm not anti shelters, I just know some animals do not do well there) Plus, with them being "special needs" they were less desirable. I refused to take them back to the vet that so many times before was wrong in her treatments. I took them to the vet I have now and they were given proper medication, their issues were actually dealt with and they started to get better.

As for allergy, the same thing started to happen to my cat when I was with my old vet and they said she needed a certain supplemental powder on her food. I began seeing these little marks at the base of her ears, the vet said she didn't see anything, then it got really bad where she scratched her head so much she took a huge chunk of hair and skin off. Then I found the same marks that were thicker creeping up her back from tail to neck, she was so sore I couldn't even pet her. The vet thought she had ringworm, so took a sample to be sent off and gave me something else which didn't help. So, I said, enough of this! And stopped the last few meds that were given to me before this eruption happened. Once I did, she cleared up in a day or two, by a week it was gone and the skin on her head was beginning to heal. Basically, long story made longer, vets don't always know the answer. I don't have one for you except that I agree that supplical would be good for her to start replacing essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients. The only other thing I could suggest, which I don't know if they'd let you or if you'd be up for it, is that you adopt her and get her into a different vet. Like I said, that's what I had to do or my two fosters would have surely died.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2013, 03:34 PM
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I just typed up a huge response as one of my cats had this exact same issue and I was able to cure him and find the exact culprit he was allergic to. I also found a great antibiotic to cure the skin infection that goes along with this issue. Unfortunately my post isn't showing. Well if this post shows up I guess I;ll try again later because I have a lot of good information that will help you.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2013, 06:09 PM
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There are canned food that doesn't have chicken, salmon & tuna. Addiction Venison, Addiction Rabbit, Addiction Brushtail which is high in omega 3&6, good for the skin, Natural Balance Venison.

A vet has prescribed a stray with excessive shedding Dermatrix and it really works DERMATRIX: Canine and feline nutritional supplement with Omega 3 and 6 for canine and feline skin and dry coat you might wanna try.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2013, 09:58 PM
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Tell me VictoriaX did your vet have you do food trials to determine what your cat was allergic to or did he or she just tell you what they thought your cat was allergic to?

You really can't find out without a food trial which takes weeks and you never said if your vet prescribed an antibiotic for the underlying skin infection caused by the cats' scratching and licking all it's fur away from it's neck an beyond.
I had a cat with this very same issue If you did at least a 6 to 8 week food trial I would believe what your vet said your cats allergies are. If not I highly doubt that cat is allergic to all three ingredients. Plus did the vet treat the skin infection?

Food trials consist of taking a cat off all normal protein sources and feeding them unusual ones until they heal. They will not be allergic to Venison or Duck. Natural Balance canned cat food venison and Duck limited ingredient cat foods are the best and easiest to do this with. It is what I used to cure the allergies along with Ciprofloxacin to cure the skin sores and infection. The you next need to find the real culprit of the allergy. Please Google Food Trials for allergies in cats if you haven't done one yet. You don't want to limit your cat to such a restrictive diet if you don't have to. He or she will be harder to place if you do. I swear it will only take 2 to 3 months max to fix this whole thing. Just switching your cats diet without addressing the bacterial infection under the skin won't work. Plus you need to find the allergic culprit if your vet just told you what the cat was allergic to without doing a food trial. There is no way for the vet to know otherwise without a food trial. They are just guessing without a food trial. Believe me, I have suffered with this issue just as you have and I know what's up. I know what you and this cat are going thru. If you check in here I'll tell you exactly how to cure this cat in the shortest time possible. I can tell you the right antibiotics and doses and the right foods to fix it. Then I'll tell you how to figure out the exact culprit that's causing this all without making the cat sick again.

Below are a few links that'll help from some vets who know about how to treat food allergies. I know my own vet wasn't much help either so I cured my cat on my own with vet guidance and a ton of research and speaking to other vets. I also did it for much less money.
My cat ended up being allergic to any type of fish product or protein. I thought it was chicken he was allergic to also according to my partially uninformed vet. Thankfully that wasn't the case and the way I found out was by doing a food trial which all vets usually recommend when it comes to food allergies.

BTW vets don't learn much about cat nutrition in vet school. Thankfully it's becoming a much more studied topic nowadays. It used to be the big pet food companies would come into the vet schools and teach nutrition to the up and coming vets. What a train wreck that is. Pet food companies up until the last 10 years haven't really cared about our pets best nutrition until the last few years when this issue has come to light. Profits were their main goal for years. The right nutrition can help an animal avoid so many diseases. It's just amazing what a good diet can do. Allergies are no less important.

Dog and Cat Food Allergy Treatment - Treating Canine and Feline Food Allergies

Identifying Food Allergies in Cats with Food Trials - VetInfo

There's a lot more info out there if your interested. You do need to address the infection too though. For me 250 mgs. of Cipro twice a day ground up with a pill grinder and mixed in with the canned food worked wonders during the trial feeding duck, venison or rabbit. Natural Balance has the right type of food to feed during a food trial to cure your cat. They have the Venison and Pea and the Duck and Pea food. You need to feed an unfamiliar protein and carb to start the trial. The antibiotic the vet gave me at first worked initially but as soon as my cat was off it the issue came back. A second round with that antibiotic did nothing. Ciprofloxacin was the key for my cat. It's a very common antibiotic for humans and animals that works.

Good luck and please message me if you want to know more.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2013, 09:59 PM
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are you going to adopt this cat or foster her and buy her food? because addiction, ziwipeak and hound & gatos which has rabbit, pork, trout and pheasant, are all fairly expensive. weruva wouldn't be suitable (at least not the flavor i use) because it has tilapia but it also has skipjack tuna in it.

but it sounds like she's nutritionally deficient in several areas. i don't think you can tell the shelter what to do with her, but if you adopt her then you can probably fix it all. (and i don't mean that you should feel bad if you don't, that's just the only way i can see her getting the diet and care she needs.)
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