Need help for Delia's possible skin allergy... - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2006, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Need help for Delia's possible skin allergy...

I got Delia from the Humane Society back in October of 2005. She is one of the nicest loving cats I've ever had. She had a tiny bald patch on her arm which I didn't think too much about. Well I notice she began to excessively lick her fur off her stomach, arms, and inner legs and when I took her to the vet he suggested a few things:

1) allergry to her food
2) seasonal allergy that may get better after the fall/winter
3) diabetes

He gave her a cortizone shot and it sort of helped so I took her back to get another in December which helped and another in February, that didn't help. She's been licking way to much now with an occasional itch, and she does "bite" when licking like she really does itch.

People tell me it could be because she is obsessive compulsive or that it is a nervous habit. The backgroud on that is that I have another cat who is nice to her and leaves her alone about 75% of the time but torments the heck out of her the other 25%. But Delia doesn't act like she is scared of the other cat when he is being nice. She doesn't hide from him or act scared around him.

Sooooo, I really am thinking it is a food allergy that is causing this. I feed them both Iams. (I know how much everyone hates that food but I've fed it to all my cats forever and have never ever had problems with it until possibly now.)

My vet suggested a raw diet but I can't do that with Oliver around because I want to keep him on Iams. My mom suggested 50 cent cans of Tuna fish for Delia which is natural which I guess I could try and see if that clears up her skin.

I was wondering if anyone could suggest a dry food that is close to being
"natural" as possible without me having to switch to a raw diet for her?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2006, 05:04 PM
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Wow your vet SUGGESTED raw?! That's great! I'd love to talk to your vet!! lol My vet is open to it, but really doesn't know much and still relies on Hills

Is there any way you coud feed Delia differently than Oliver? I know it's a pain in the butt, but it could be for her best interest. If Oliver is doing fine on Iams, that's great! I understand you being reluctant to changing. But it really could make a dramatic difference in Delia.

I deal with a lot of food allergies at work.
http://www.healthy-paws.ca/testimonials.htm
That is a dog that my boss helped, who had severe food allergies, by feeding raw food. I'm sure Delia isn't that bad, but this gives you an idea of how much food can do

The first thing I usually reccomend (especially if people are reluctant to raw), is a higher quality kibble. Iams is kinda... lower middle grade quality. It used to be top of the market, but has changed a LOT since it's prime. Feeding her a higher quality kibble *may* just do the trick. The closer you get to real food, the lower chance she'll have a reaction to it. If that doesn't work (after about a month, this isn't a quick process!), I reccomend a high quality allergy formula specifically. There are several excellent foods on the market catering to food allergies, that have limited ingredients and use different protein/carbohydrate sources (ones she most likely wouldn't have been exposed to, therefore would more than likley not be allergic to). A grain free food would work into this step as well. The final solution after all this has been tried (if none has been successful) is raw. That's when there really is no other option short of steroid treatments, which really should be avoided long term

I would not feed her canned tuna. This is horribly imbalanced and high in mercury and icky toxins. It would only make her sicker.

Keep us updated!

<--Julia

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2006, 06:25 PM
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Yes, I agree with Julia on the tuna. It is not balanced nutrionally for cats, among other issues.

Heather, I feed two of my cats Natural Balance Green Pea and Venison (dry) which is their allergy formula. We don't use it for allergies, though -- they just really like it! On that basis, I would recommend giving it a try.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-24-2006, 01:17 AM
 
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The syptoms you describe is that of a OCD cat. I have one. I really doubt that it is a food allergy as I believe food allergies present in a different way. Let me ask you, do you keep Frontline or Advantage on her at all times? Meaning, not letting any time lapse between the recommended applications.

The cat that I have with a similar problem was adopted out of the street and she was very uncomfortable coming into a home with other cats. She made that clear from the beginning. It's obvious she was an only child.

She has received a few cortisone shots, usually lasting 3 months. She was also put on Xanax. It helps also. Since she responds to the cortisone so well we're really not sure if it is stress or allergy or both. I am being more vigilent in making sure Frontline is on her all the time. I have cats who go outside and they will bring in a flea now and then and of course with allergies, it only takes one to make them crazy.

Good luck.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-09-2006, 01:41 PM
 
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One of my boys...PB was just tested for allergies as he was having a depo
shot almost monthly for the past 6 months .. as he was going nuts itching & biting himself raw..well the allergy tests came back this week and found he's allergic to Corn & Soy (3 times the threshold for problems) changed his food
to non soy or corn foods ... hopefully this will cure his problem ... only time will tell..
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-14-2006, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Well she went to the vet last Tuesday and got another Cortizone shot and it seems to be helping...she isn't licking.

For the long term, she is now on an allergen free food called Z/G. No treats for her either. She needs to stay on it for at least 2 months to see if this is a food allegry or not.

Will keep ya posted!
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-14-2006, 08:11 PM
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I think, since the cortizone has worked in the past, you can rule out OCD. So you're most likely looking at an allergy problem. It isn't really surprising that the last shot didn't work as it can become ineffective after awhile. Best to stay away from it if there is any way you can avoid it.
I'm SO amazed that your vet suggested raw. WOW that's rare and nice to hear a vet open to something other than Science Diet!
I would definitely stay away from tuna. As said before, it isn't balanced but more importantly, can be an allergy trigger. Best to stay away from all fish.
I would also recommend trying the venison and pea diet. My cats love it too. If at all possible, I'd stay away from dry food, as most have grains, which can also cause allergies.
Just curious, is there a particular reason you want your other cat to stay on Iams? IMO it's quite over priced for the quality and you could do so much better. With the Natural Balance you can feed them the same food which would be way easier on you and probably a lot better for them.
I'm also curious why your vet thought diabetes was a possability. Are there other symptoms?
Hopefully, it's as easy as a simple diet change. If not I'd highly recommend getting in touch with good holistic vet to help you. It's especially good if your vet is open to alternatives (like raw food) cause it'll make it a lot easier to work with them both.
Good luck!

Victoria
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-14-2006, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Just curious, is there a particular reason you want your other cat to stay on Iams? IMO it's quite over priced for the quality and you could do so much better. With the Natural Balance you can feed them the same food which would be way easier on you and probably a lot better for them.
I'm also curious why your vet thought diabetes was a possability. Are there other symptoms?
Hopefully, it's as easy as a simple diet change. If not I'd highly recommend getting in touch with good holistic vet to help you. It's especially good if your vet is open to alternatives (like raw food) cause it'll make it a lot easier to work with them both.
Good luck!
Oliver was doing well on Iams and it is a lot cheaper than what I am paying for Z/G now. However, Oliver is now on the Z/G too because I don't want to risk Delia eating the wrong food.

The vet suggested diabetes because Delia drinks a lot. So on Tuesday I had a urine sample done on her and thank God she does not have diabetes. She's just a thirsty kitty.

If after 2 months and she is not better with the new food, the vet wants to take x-rays to see if she has a pinched nerve somewhere. He said that can cause them to lick like crazy too. I didn't know that. I wonder if she isn't pinched somewhere because she is the most loving cat but hates to be picked up most of the time, almost as if it does hurt her.

I just pray that this new allergen free food is the answer. It costs a lot but I'd rather this be the problem than something more serious.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-14-2006, 08:35 PM
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Maybe I'm being too simplistic but, why not just have an allergy test done? Sure it costs a couple hundred bucks, but so much easier than fooling with all kinds of foods and shots etc. Then you know what you're dealing with and go from there? And your kitty isn't itchy waiting to figure what's wrong.


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-14-2006, 09:11 PM
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I think the allergy testing, aside from being very expensive, is also very unreliable. When Sundance had allergies neither of my vets was very keen on doing them.
Heather, I'm so glad the diabetes was negative!!

Victoria
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