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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone! (Long post coming!)

My baby Callie (14 year old Devon Rex) has been on a raw diet for about 3 years. She has been eating Feline's Pride for the last 2 years and doing so well on it. But... the past few months she vomits about once a week or so. Last week she started vomiting and having diarrhea. I took her to the vet, they gave her fluids and a shot to stop the vomiting. She was also sent home with Metronizadole. She kept having diarrhea and vomiting (usually just bile) whenever she ate. Took her back to the vet on Tuesday- gave her fluids again and another shot to help with the vomiting and they ran labs. Her labs were normal. She had another episode of diarrhea yesterday morning so I took her back to the vet and they did an x-ray on her that came back normal. This whole time she didn't have much of an appetite- she would occasionally eat, but usually go to another room if I put food in front of her. When we got back from the vet yesterday, my husband and I were eating dinner and Callie was trying to eat our food. I figured I would try and give her some turkey lunch meat that she absolutely goes crazy for if I'm eating it (I'll give her a tiny piece and she paws at me for more). Gave her some of the turkey and she went nuts- she ate as much as I would give her. Hasn't had any vomiting or diarrhea since I gave her some last night.

I'm wondering if she is sick of the raw food or if I got a bad batch? What should I try feeding her? I am going to go to a store in town that carries frozen raw. Should I get some samples and see what she will eat and tolerate? I spoke to the vet this morning and she said to feed her whatever she wants- meat baby food, turkey, anything- but most regular vets aren't necessarily familiar with the raw diet. Any suggestions? I spent all day yesterday crying thinking my baby was seriously ill, but now I'm wondering if she was just being a super picky girl or having a reaction to her latest batch of raw food.

Thank you in advance for any advice!
Sarah
 

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A lot of those symptoms (diarrhea, vomiting- particularly bile, refusing food) our Puccini experienced in an episode of what our vet thinks was pancreatitis. Our vet told us that it's extremely common in cats but often underdiagnosed.

We had to get an appetite stimulant for Pucc to make sure he kept eating, as he got pretty dehydrated after about 48 hours of forced syringe feeding.

We had Pucc on Metronizadole as well, the vet said it can take a few days to take effect so it might just be a waiting game. I'd just keep trying different foods- samples would help- until she starts to feel normal again. Leaving the room when you take out food says (to me) that she is feeling nauseous and the inflammation in her GI tract or elsewhere could be the issue.
 

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We raw feed as well...our littlest one was sick all day yesterday but thankfully snapped out of it.

We give ours raw chicken meat as a treat - we slice pieces off our chicken before cooking it for them - and they go crazy for this. It is recommended to only use chicken that has been previously frozen for at least 72 hours to kill bacteria.

You may find changing brands helps. I vowed not to have picky eaters with these kittens, so I change their flavours every day and brands regularly.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I just went to a store that has raw food as well as regular food. I ended up getting some Rad Cat chicken and then some Stella & Chewy's frozen raw in rabbit. The woman at the store recommended maybe trying some Goat Milk and they had a coupon there that made it free so I will try that. She said there are a lot of good probiotics in the goats milk so I figure that might help restore her good bacteria balance since she's on the antibiotics.

The vet did a normal senior blood panel, a fecal sample and another panel for GI that checks out vitamin B12, pancreas, etc. They said that the GI panel can take up to a week to get results back.

I have some of the Stella & Chewy rabbit thawing in the fridge now and will see how she does with that. She has had the Rad Cat before when I ran out of her Feline's Pride and was waiting on a shipment.

Any other things I should try?

Thank you!
 

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When I need to thaw faster, I put the serving size I want in a plastic Ziploc bag, seal it well, and immerse it in almost-hot water in the sink.

When they get a food they aren't too interested in eating, I sprinkle freeze-dried-chicken crumbs on it (my two love freeze-dried chicken and there are always tiny crumbs on the bottom of the bag).

Others have suggested the water from a can of tuna (Make sure the only ingredients are tuna and water...drain the water and dilute it with their regular water).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Callie loves freeze dried chicken treats. She was waking me up every two hours last night to try to get more turkey out of me- I gave in once but then the next time she got the crumbs from the bottom of the bag of freeze dried chicken. I didn't want to go overboard with the turkey deli meat and was pretty much out of her treats. I did buy more of those today! I will try feeding her some food at around 3- that's her usual second meal of the day.
 

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I just tried giving her the Stella & Chewy's raw rabbit. She had no interest in it. I gave her a little piece of the turkey again and she ate that up so I put tiny pieces of the turkey over the rabbit. She still wouldn't eat it. I then added a little sprinkle of freeze dried chicken and she wouldn't eat it. Is she trying to manipulate me to see if I will just feed her the deli meat turkey? Should I try the Rad Cat food in a bit to see if she will eat that? She's so smart!
 

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I would try mixing it all together. That's how I get my cats to take supplements. Put in a bowl with canned food and some water and mix it all up, that might force her to eat the canned food if she wants the turkey.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
sheiladoreen- I put the turkey on the raw rabbit and she didn't want it. I would even pick up a piece of turkey, let her sniff it and then put it back on the rabbit. Same thing when I added the freeze dried chicken.

I'm about to try giving her the Rad Cat and seeing how she does with that. Keeping my fingers crossed!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
She ate the Rad Cat!! I didn't want to give her too much off the bat in case she threw it up, but she woke me up several times during the night to beg for food. Yay! I will try the Stella & Chewy's again since she is eating again, but if she doesn't eat the next offered portion of that, I will stick with the Rad Cat. Any other brands I should try? The Rad Cat is so much more expensive than the Feline's Pride. I was scared I was going to have to revert her back to canned food.
 

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I think a lot of commercial raw at pet food stores are expensive. You'll just have to price around your area--some shops will sell different brands, and store clerks there are often quite informed all about raw, so you can ask them for advice...they often have dogs or cats as pets, too! Since she took to raw, how about feeding her frankenprey? You can feed her small chunks of meat like chicken thighs, or even some raw chicken wing tips and see if she'll take to the crunchy bones. You'll need to research more about frankenprey diet, though, because you'll need to provide a complete, balanced diet over a week or two (can't just continue to feed chicken thighs only, for example). I've found a local butcher, but I know others may go to find stuff at Asian markets or their local grocery stores for their meats, bones, organs.

If frankenprey isn't your thing, I you can also make your own raw cat food and feed it safely as long as the recipe is from a reliable source, like catinfo.org. I hope Callie approves her future meals!
 

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My cats really like the Primal basic blends (no veggies) and also Columbia River Natural Pet Food (local to Washington, though, I'm not sure where you are). You'd need to add supplements to either of those, though. I'm so glad she's eating again for you :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you! I got a sampler pack of the primal and she is eating that too. Now I just have to figure out how to get her to stop waking me up every 2 hours during the night to try to get more food! I usually just pick her up and take her back to bed with me, but that only lasts for an hour or so. I've tried feeding her more, but it's not working. She's a smart little girl!
 
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