Over New Years, when I had the issue with the bad rabbit meat, I didn't have any rabbit to feed, but I did have a bag of dry kibble that I thought would work, because it didn't have any chicken of any kind in it. It was fish flavored, but I figured it wouldn't hurt if I was feeding it short term. Well, things got much much worse with the condition of their coats, and the itching. When I got the new rabbit, and was able to put them back on the raw, I withheld the fish oil I was feeding. HOLY CRAP!!!!!!! The fur looked beautiful, and they got fluffy again, the itching decreased quite a bit!
I feel like such a bad mommy, because in every single article I read, and I read MANY, they all boasted about how good fish oils are because of the omega 3's. The omega 3's are supposed to be good for allergies. I read multiple articles that said if a cat has allergies to fish, they can still safely consume fish oil because it doesn't come from the protein source of the fish. Well, not true in my case. Once I stopped feeding any kind of fish/fish oil, they are now on their way to healing.
BUT, in the last couple batches I made, I was adding in a bit of ground lamb for the needed fat. The skin gets to dry on just rabbit, and one does have some constipation issues on plain rabbit. Lamb also made them itch.
I have now started to use a bit of olive oil when I mix the feed, and it seems to be working. They each seem to need a different amount, so I put a little bit in when I make the medalions, and then supplement to those who need more when I feed.
I just feel awful! After everything that my kitties have been through, and if I had just taken them off the chicken AND fish oil all together, we would have solved this problem months ago!
It's a long process, and it's not over yet, it can take up to 12 weeks, or more, for the allergy condition to improve fully. Plus, then it's not even guaranteed they won't develop more allergies. If that's the case, I'm not sure what I'll be able to feed, because fowl, lamb, fish, and beef are off my list. My only other choice may be venison. But........let's not think about that before it becomes reality.
Now, if I can just make sure that the batches of meat I get are good quality until spring, I'll be even better. We are going to start raising a few rabbits of our own.
One point I want to mention, just in case some may not realize it, because I know I didn't until a couple months ago. Cod liver oil, and fish oil are not the same thing. Cod liver oil should only be fed in tiny amounts, which thankfully is what I was doing, because it naturally contains higher amounts of vit A and vit D. You want just plain fish oil for the omega 3's.