Do you have a cat with a chronic condition? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-09-2005, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Do you have a cat with a chronic condition?

My Kitty has Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex (allergies). Living with this is making me so sad. Bless her heart I guess she is itchy all the time, she has spots on her body that are practically bald from her licking and scratching. She has had this since April and it just seems to be getting worse. Seems like the only treatment is a monthly steroid shot. This bothers me because I just feel like this is going to cut her life short, she is only about a year and a half old. I asked the vet about all these steroid shots and she says that cats handle steroids better than humans and dogs, and that about the only side effect would be that she may develope diabetes. I told her I had heard that it could affect Kittys kidneys and she said not unless she is predisposed to have kidney problems. I really don't believe that diabetes is the only possible side effect of all these steroid shots.

Anyway, this makes me so sad. Just wondered how anyone else deals with having a cat with a chronic condition.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-09-2005, 08:25 PM
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I've got a diabetic! (not from steroids though)
For me (or her), it's insulin shots twice a day.
In the beginning it was an ordeal, but now it's just part of the routine. Test, feed, shoot. We've been doing this twice a day for a little over 5 years now.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-09-2005, 08:52 PM
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My cat had the same problem and the vet told me the same thing. However, about 2 years into the pred. shots (he only needed them about every 3 mos.) He suddenley developed a heart murmer! He was at a different vet and they said it was a side effect of the steroids. I had a fit and started doing a lot of reading on allergies. I was determined to do everything I could to get him off the pred. Besides, don't they think diabetis is a serious enough side effect to try to avoid it? Makes me mad.
Anyway, I got my cat on a high quality canned food only (in my case it was Wellness)diet, put him on vitamin supplements, slippery elm (cause by this time he also had IBD which often eventually goes hand in hand with these type of allergies) and acidopholis. Within a couple of months I had completely weened him off the pred. and he never needed it again. I think I was lucky that I didn't have a huge amount of detective work to do. It's really hard to pin down the cause of an allergy but it's well worth trying.
Pred. DOES have side effects for cats no matter what your vet says. They may not be as serious as in humans but that doesn't mean they're safe. If there is anyway to avoid long term use I would try. Remember, the pred. is only treating the symptom and not the cause so your cat is never actually getting better she's only temporarily feeling better.
Unfortunayely, when it comes to nutrition and allergies vets don't have a clue. It doesn't mean your vet isn't good it's just not something most vets studied. I would recommened you do a lot of research on your own and find a good homeopathic vet to help guide you through this.
What are you feeding her now? Many of the major allergins in food tend to be grains and chicken (very simplified) You may want to start by putting her on a good quality food (no by products) that doesn't have any grains in it.
I so understand how upsetting and fruntrating this condition can be but there is hope. It'll take some work and patience on your part, but if you're able to figure out the cause it'll be well worth it.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-10-2005, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Well I sure hope she doesn't develope diabetes because I can't imagine giving her a shot twice a day. Poor Kitty is very nervous/scared all the time so I try to avoid anything that upsets her. We are terrible at giving meds.

As far as food goes, I do avoid anything but high quality foods. She eats Wellness wet food and dry and she was eating Eagle Pack dry for awhile. A couple of months ago I tried feeding her a hypoallergenic diet, Natural Balance venison and green pea. Unfortunately, when her allergies flared the last time I was so discouraged that I went back to giving her the Wellness wet food because I felt so bad that she wasn't getting the food she really loved. She is still eating the venison and green pea dry food. I know I should not have done that and should go back to Natural Balance only because I didn't give it the 10 -12 weeks they say, it was only about 6 weeks.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-10-2005, 08:56 PM
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My Ace has bad allergies as well.

We've gone through the testing (by blood draw) and the whole sha-bang.

No food allergies showed up (supposedly) but I keep him on the Natural Balance Venison and Green Pea. Same for the canned as well. All the cats eat it. I'm not playing games with who gets what food. If it's good enough for one, it's good enough for them all! And it's not like I'm feeding a crappy food.

He's allergic to ragweed, some trees (like elm and ash), a few other types of grasses, molds, and dog dander. We also have four dogs.

His allergies have flared up again (being fall and the ragweed was bad). But we are controling it. He gets shots when they are bad and does great for the rest of the year.

I'd advise you to see a dermatologist to tackle these problems. Our vet started with the steroid injections as well.....but I just couldn't do it. I'm a nurse and I know what steroids do to the body.

Feel free to PM me with gripes! I know I have enough of them to go around with my finding blood on window sills from where he sat there and chewed his feet/tail/legs.....licking his belly raw.....having scabs running up and down his whole back.

He looks wonderful now......we are controlling his belly licking!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-10-2005, 09:20 PM
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My Linx has asthma, he was diagnosed at 9mos. He was on oral preds for the first year but had gained weight and I was worried about long term use and developing diabetes. He is now on an inhaler and has lost the excess weight and has been symptom free! He is 2.5 now and I plan on him being around for a long long time! Hugs, prayers and purrs being sent
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-10-2005, 10:09 PM
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My Trixie has Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). She was diagnosed with it last Febuary. She gets a pill daily and is doing very well on it, with no negative side effects.

Hiro has a bone deformity in both of his front legs (Radial Hypoplasia). The radius in each of his legs stopped growing prematurely, while the ulna continued to grow, so his legs are slightly twisted. When he walks, he sort of limps, but it really doesn't seem to bother him too much. He gets glucosamine twice a day to help with any pain or stiffness.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-11-2005, 12:46 PM
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Sebastian was just diagnosed last week with a form of heart disease called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. He is on 3 meds - 1 is once/day, 1 is every 12 hours and 1 is every 8 hours (that is the most difficult but it doesn't have to be exactly . So far the meds are controlling it - they won't cure or slow the disease. Having blood tests run Thurs to see the affect on his kidneys and will need to adjust the meds accordingly.

He also has been diagnosed with megacolon so is on Lactulose and Laxatone daily.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-12-2005, 08:09 PM
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About a year ago we found out Tinkerbell has a heart murmur and a slightly swollen papillary muscle. I have to give her half a baby aspirin twice a week to control the swelling and prevent stroke. At our follow-up ultrasound nothing had changed and the vet is optimistic that we can control it since we found it early.
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