Constantly Sick Kitty - IBD? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2016, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Constantly Sick Kitty - IBD?

Hello! I don't post here much, but I'm hoping to get some insight in to what's going on with my poor kitty, Lancelot. M/DMH/8yrs old. I don't know his early history, but he hasn't had the best health since he adopted me 5yrs ago.

Quick back story: Kitty started having bouts of idiopathic cystitis about 4 years ago, it was VERY bad for about 16mos (at the vet every month), but slowed down, and now it's been about a year since he's had a flare up with the usual symptoms (Crying, frequent urination, blood in urine).

However, now he's having episodes of throwing up and not being able to stop It use to be 1-2 times a year, now it's like clockwork every 3mos with no other symptoms leading up to it (He has no appetite during, obviously). Since he's never sick 9-5, we're now going to a 24hr vet, and his new vet thinks the throwing up might actually still be from the cystitis. During his last episode (last week) his urine test came back with some crystals, even though his litterbox is normal- his bladder area WAS very sore to her touch, though. She recommends trying to clear up the bladder with urinary food, and if/when he starts hurling again, we go the next step towards more invasive tests and biopsies to finally get to the bottom of this.

Has anyone ever had an issue like this with their own kitties? Does any of this sound familiar? I know there might also be a chance of some kind of digestive issues/IBD, though having him recently on Gastro food didn't help his flare-ups at all. We're just... tired. It's so stressful, he's the sweetest cat in the world and I hate seeing him in pain I know this new vet will do all she can to help him, but in the meantime I'm walking on eggshells, wondering every day if my next paycheck is going towards vet bills or not.

Like I said, I'm switching him from Gastro to SO wet, since that seemed to help his flare-ups before. I know these are considered 'crappy' food, but Lance has been on the usual high-quality foods before too (Merrick, Wellness, Evo) and either got sick or blocked (Evo) on them all.

Thanks for reading!

Last edited by marie73; 05-04-2016 at 04:17 PM.
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2016, 11:40 AM
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Are the foods you mentioned kibble or are they canned? I'm not a vet or vet tech, but if I were in your situation I would get him on an all canned diet that has no grains (no wheat, barley, corn, rice, soy). Think meat that has fur or feathers.....that's a cat's natural diet. Read the labels and get a canned food that is free of Carrageenan which can cause inflammation in the stomach. I think even Fancy Feast, altho small cans the ingredients don't contain grains or Carrageenan and is highly palatable and will likely get him interested in eating. Not only will avoidance of this additive be better for your cat, it will benefit your health as well. When you switch any foods, do it in a very gradual an not to upset the digestive system any more.....say only a tsp. at a time until converted. Hope you're successful in getting to the bottom of your kitty's problem. Best of luck! Hope you'll give us an update.

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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2016, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much, if there are any changes I can update

Kitty's been on wet food for years now, I even add extra water, so it's more like meat soup. I'm sure it's helped him in the long run!
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2016, 03:50 PM
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I'm so sorry Lancelot is having issues again. If your pic is of him, he looks absolutely adorable and sweet. and I LOVE how he adopted you. being chosen by an animal is very special.

I had to look up idiopathic cystitis to see what it was. how frustrating that there doesn't seem to be a known cause.

as soon as I hear of a kitty throwing up, i immediately think ulcers because of my own little girl who has been getting Pepcid for a few years now to keep the acid in check. i have no idea if it helps with inflamed bladder issues, though. then, of course, there's just the anti-nausea medicine, but again, i don't know if that would help specifically for the bladder. but it seems like anti-nausea medicine is pretty general anyway, so MAYBE it could help?

the only other thing i read briefly online is that stress can bring on flare-ups. heck, stress is bad for EVERYTHING, anyway. but especially important to avoid it for our kitties with other health issues. I'm going to start being known as the energy healing cheerleader pretty soon, but i will go ahead and mention it again. if you have an animal communicator/energy healer in your area, maybe it's worth a call to that person. I just have become a big believer in it since i started dabbling in it myself and going to classes after my girl started having ulcer flare-ups more and more often requiring the use of Carafate. i swear once i started trying a little energy healing on her AND myself at the same time, she settled right down and she's been so much better and happier and healthier. just a thought.

good luck to you and Lancelot.
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2016, 06:24 PM
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Hi Geek,

I haven't had a kitty with cystitis so I cannot offer personal advice/experience, but I have a 18-year-old kitty with a lot of other health problems that sometimes display symptoms like vomiting and inappetence, so I'll tell you what I can to maybe help that :} (my girl does have IBD, actually, the constipation form - she is on prednisolone and Miralax for that.)

First off - does the vet think there could be ANY other reason for the vomiting? Has Lancelot been palpitated/x-rayed for any blockages in his digestive tract? It's best to rule out things like that, even though the nausea and vomiting IS probably caused by the cystitis.

This is a site for cats with kidney failure like mine, but there is also a LOT of helpful stuff for managing symptoms, including vomiting:

Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease - Everything You Need to Know to Help Your Cat

Specifically -

Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease - Nausea, Vomiting, Appetite Loss and Excess Stomach Acid

Depending on when Lancelot vomits and WHAT he vomits, there are medications and/or treatments the vet could try. It could help relieve the vomiting, although it won't do anything for the cystitis - BUT I think he'll be a lot happier if the vomiting can get under control.

As for his inappetence, you can try offering him several other things, and see if you can coax him to eat. When my cat is having a "bad" day and she doesn't want her normal food (she is on a ground fully-raw diet) I will offer her:

-egg yolk. Raw, just the yolk, NOT the white.
-a bit of Fancy Feast Classic - trash food, but sometimes it's the only thing she'll eat
-meat baby food. Make sure the ingredients are pretty much only meat and water - no onion or garlic powders or extra flavorings.

Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease - Persuading Your Cat to Eat

I also keep Nutri-Cal gel on hand, and CliniCare liquid meals, and CatSure liquid meals. My cat sometimes seems willing to lap up liquid on days she won't touch even the soupiest solid food.

Also keep a check on Lancelot's hydration level - there is a simple fur/skin test and a gums test. Since he is puking a lot, he's losing water and he may not be drinking enough to rehydrate himself.

Cat Dehydration Symtoms - Dehydration in Cats | petMD

I'll keep fingers crossed for Lancelot - he's certainly been through a lot, and so have you. I understand the frustration and fears that come with chronic kitty illnesses - especially when you don't know what's coming down the road.

And finally:

Feline Urinary Tract Health: Cystitis, Urethral Obstruction, Urinary Tract Infection by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM :: cat urinary tract health

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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-21-2016, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much for your thoughts! The idea of ulcers never occurred to me, I'll definitely keep that in mind and ask the vet next I see them! He has to go in for a teeth cleaning next month, so unless he's sick before then I'll inquire

Kitty still has an appetite, he just doesn't have an appetite when he's throwing up- understandably. While he isn't thrilled with the bland vet wet food, his bowl is always empty when it comes to feeding him again. It's how I know if his puking is due to him feeling nasty, or him just trying to toss up a hairball

He's had several ultrasounds/xrays in the past, not lately but within the time he's had this throwing-up issue. They've never revealed anything, but they're a next step if/when he gets sick again. He's truly a mystery, but he's a cute mystery <3
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 12:40 AM
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Your poor little guy. I don't have any experience with cystitis, but it seems like the cyclical nature of his vomiting has to be important somehow. Is there anything that you can relate to the 3-month cycle? Does he get flea meds, or is there something that changes in your house or the surrounding environment that could be affecting him?
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-26-2016, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Nothing I can think of. He doesn't get meds or food swaps and nothing happens at home to constitute that kind of cycle. The time of day is different, and severity is up and down. It's truly puzzling.
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-26-2016, 06:27 PM
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I echo Lakota but want to add in a bit. I have an elderly cat (Lottie) - she has, latterly, had hyperthyroidism and has from the time of adoption had feline hyperthesia syndrome. Taking both those things out of the equation she also cannot eat certain foods. This is going to sound weird but she can, for example, eat real fish but not any wet food containing fish. It may be worth thinking of "allergies".
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Kitty had not been himself for a few days- uninterested, and generally 'off'. I thought I was imagining it for awhile, but tonite it came to a head when he kept to the very end of the bed and I couldn't get him to purr (He's a purr machine!). So I decided even if it was for state of mind only, to take him to the vet.

New vet this time. We talked about his history etc. I asked to have an x-ray done to cover ALL the bases if he did happen to have stones.

No stones, but... Ooh. Lance's intestines are looking MEAN. Inflammed and gassy So now we're looking at possibly IBD rather than cystitis, and she recommended a L.I. Natural Balance food she's had good experience with. We'll give it a shot and take it day by day, if the food doesn't help/he gets sick again, it's time to biopsy. She sent him home with the necessary meds, and I'm going to start transitioning his diet tomorrow.
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