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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yay! :yellbounce

Good news/ bad news : Not sure if he actually HAS Pancreatitis. I love this woman and I think she's been positively wonderful to us, however, she basically told me that a dog she thought had Addison's disease actually wound up having Pancreatitis and she put him on this RX diet and it cleared up *snaps* like that. So I think she's assuming/hoping that the same will ring true for my Apollo. She even told me over the phone that she is unclear of what could've caused this episode on the first place.

She's making me give him Hill's z/d. So, aside from the few people on here that have said NO NO NO to Hill's, I've also heard a few other people say the same. I'm reluctant. She wants him on it for 4-6 weeks, and see how he does on it. "As he gets older, can we wean him off of it? Surely." Also, I have to give him 5 packets of FortiFlora and continue on with the 4 days he has left on his Enrofloxacin. Over the next few weeks, she wants me to continue feeding his regular food and gradually add in the Hill's z/d. I put some of his regular food in his bowl with about a tablespoon of the Hill's, grimacing the whole time. He has eaten a few bites already, and within 10 minutes of being home, he poopied. Not liquid, but 3 chunks of real, firm poo. WOOHOO. He hasn't pooped since Tuesday early before his ultrasound basically, and she figured it was because he didn't have his litter box here with his usual litter; instead they used newspaper in his kennel with a scoop of actual litter in it.

Anyhow, I told her about wanting to switch him over to Blue or one of the better brands of food, and her first response was that they're expensive, and then, she wants to see how he does on this stuff first.

She thinks the pain he was having was due to his pancreas, but she didn't send him home with any pain killers, which is perfectly fine by me. I'm more leaning towards the constipation (et all) that was making him hurt so badly.

He seems to be doing great as of right now, he's latched onto my arms and gnawed me to death a few times, but it was in the midst of a super duper cuddle session and I think he just got a little over stimulated. He's talking up a storm and playing with his toys right now.(By playing with his toys, I mean he's chewing the cord to his chicken on a string so that he can take the chicken away with him.)

They did not print out all of his results for all of his tests yet, but she assures me she'll mail them to me as soon as they can(?)

Thoughts, comments?
 

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I'm glad he's home and feeling better.
I have ulcerative colitis and no health insurance, in 2009 I had a flare up and the meds that previously cleared it up had little effect.
With no insurance there was no way I could afford the latest drugs at $1000 + a month and no guarantee they'd be effective, finally a combination of corti-steroids at both ends and mercaptopurine has me almost back to normal.
 

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Go Apollo! I'm sure you are both glad he is home!

Sophie (my IBD Kitty) ate zd for about a month before starting on the duck LID & then EVO. I think she got tired of it; it can't taste like much unless they have added flavors.
 

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So happy that hear is feeling better! I'm sure you're giving him tons of extra love and attention!

I've always been on the fence about those prescription diets too, but I've used them (only the c/d for UTI though). I don't think there's much to worry about since they're generally only fed on a temporary basis. I would question the reason for using them though - I think the appeal of z/d is a "limited ingredient" diet used for tummy problems, allergies, etc (or maybe not aggravating the digestive system in this case). If the vet is prescribing it for those reasons, then I feel there are better alternatives with better ingredients lists which would probably actually do the same thing more effectively (due to the superior ingredients). From what I recall, the Hill's is actually pretty pricey (I think I paid more than $2 per can), so the argument that the higher quality foods are expensive is just silly - most are cheaper! I wouldn't worry about feeding the Hill's though if you're comfortable and it's the easiest, and yes, he can be weened off later.

On a side note, I've never dealt with pancreatitis in a cat, but I had it once myself, and I can tell you it was the worst pain I have ever experienced, so if that's what he had, no wonder he felt so bad!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, he's definitely getting tons and tons of attention. He got so upset when I left to bring the trash out, I heard him crying from across the parking lot. I guess he missed me just as much as I missed him, awe.

I did a little more thinking about it, and I guess 4-6 weeks isn't too bad, once this clears up I'll just switch him over to a higher quality food. She doesn't want to upset his digestive tract anymore than it has been, so this stuff should hopefully work. I guess in awhile after seeing how he's doing, I can ask for alternatives. I'm worried about how much the Hill's is going to be, I didn't get a chance to ask, actually. The bag they gave me should last a couple weeks, at least.

I gotta say though, he does look super cute in a silly way with his shaved tummy and throat. He's really enjoying his gentle belly rubs today, that's for sure. He's still acting like he's uncomfortable; rolling around a lot after laying in one spot for a few minutes, it's hard to describe, but he just seems like he's still in a little bit of pain. Definitely pushing through it though, he's letting out the past 2 weeks worth of energy.
 

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YAY!! I'm so happy he's back home. I am not a fan of those diets either but if its not set in stone forever maybe it's ok. And of course he missed you. As soon as I go to the pet hospital and was talking to the receptionist last night Max heard my voice and started screaming from the back. The Vet came out and told me "he knows you are here, better come see him right away" :)
Our furbabies love us just as much as we love them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
As soon as I go to the pet hospital and was talking to the receptionist last night Max heard my voice and started screaming from the back. The Vet came out and told me "he knows you are here, better come see him right away" :)
Our furbabies love us just as much as we love them.
Awe, that's adorable :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm actually thinking as soon as this bag I have is gone, I am going to switch to something else. I just have to figure out exactly what he should & shouldn't have in his diet, as far as for what the vet suggests, then do a little more research to figure out what'd be best for him.
 

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I am utterly dismayed (but not at all surprised) that the vet sent him home with DRY food. UGH! A cat who has constipated should be on an exclusively CANNED diet. Why deliberately dehydrate him and set him up for another constipation by feeding kibble that does nothing but absorb essential moisture out of the digestive tract? Even if the vet wanted him on prescription food (the value of which I am not even slightly convinced), there's no excuse for prescribing the dry formula instead of the canned.

Shenanigans, you mentioned in one of your other threads that Apollo drinks a lot of water. In my experience with my own cats, they only drink large amounts of water when they are dehydrated and trying to make up the fluid deficits in their bodies. Cats on kibble diets tend to drink a LOT more than cats on canned or homemade diets. That's because kibble only contains about 8% moisture, while canned or homemade diets contain about 80% moisture. So, cats on kibble automatically suffer a moisture deficit that they have to try to make up by drinking. Unfortunately, cats generally have a low thirst drive, so they often don't drink enough to make up that deficit, leaving them chronically dehydrated. Chronic, long-term dehydration can have devastating effects on the body systems over time.

Your instincts are correct to ditch the kibble and switch Apollo to an exclusively canned diet. Better yet, feed him canned food soup (canned food mixed with warm water to make it a soupier consistency) to increase his daily fluid intake.

I'm so glad he's home and doing better. His body went through a lot of pain and trauma. It'll take some time for him to fully recover, but it sure sounds like he's on the healing road now.

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
She's made a point in telling me to feed him a can of food a day, which I'm doing, and I'm also adding in some warm water as I was doing when this all started. He's pooping fine right now, and I'm not too fond of the fact that I'm still feeding him his other food - however, I can't just switch him over like that without gradually doing it over time. Along with the can a day with the water in it, he's been drinking from his water bowl and the tub, and out of his bottles, so I know he's getting enough water. This has been the worst experience ever and I just want to eliminate all of it today. Bah. Over time.. Over time.

Aside from my own worries and all, I'm incredibly happy to see him back to himself again. I wonder how his tummy will react if I go grab some good quality canned food and start adding that in with his other foods. I mean, that's 3 different types of food, 2 of which would be new to his system. I might just wait a few weeks actually for his body to recover before I do that. As of now, I'm still feeding him the junky cans I was before, which I'm not fond of, but again, don't want to mess up his stomach again.
 

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Glad he is back to himself! I wonder if this experience and him learning he can rely on you to help him feel better will work to mellow some of his aggression. Sometimes cats which have been through a bad illness really bond even more strongly with their owners, as though they know we helped them get better.

As far as the food goes, definitely don't switch the wet and dry at the same time. Sudden diet change can upset healthy cats, so don't risk it with Apollo since he still needs some time to heal. In addition to that, you only want to try one new food at a time, so that if he reacts badly (vomit, diarrhea, etc), you will know which food was the likely culprit. If you are giving him two kinds of dry and two kinds of wet, it will be very hard to tell which one is troublesome should trouble arise.

Since the Hill's is dry and you don't want to permanently feed it, I wouldn't bother using it at all. I had assumed it was the wet food, which made a little more sense if the vet wants a special diet. Personally, I'd recommend looking for good quality, limited ingredient wet foods, and focus on switching the wet now. He's getting the most nutritional benefit from the wet, not the dry (good that she stressed the importance of the canned). I think getting him on to a good quality wet would be more beneficial at this point in his treatment than switching his dry. I'd focus on finding a wet that he tolerates well and once you find something he likes and his digestive system handles well and he has gotten a clean bill of health, then you can gradually switch out his dry to something better quality.

Personally, I think there's really very little point in gradually switching to a dry food you don't want to permanently feed. If your target is 4-6 weeks, consider that it would probably take about 4 weeks combined to switch to and from the Hill's so it isn't really practical or worth it when it's not your ultimate goal, and also not the most beneficial part of his diet.
 

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Switching foods gradually is important when you are changing from one type of food to another, such as changing from an exclusively dry diet to a diet that includes canned food, or switching from an exclusively canned diet to one that includes kibble. If Apollo's body is already accustomed to eating both dry and canned foods, there shouldn't be any problem eliminating the kibble when you're ready to do that, because you won't be adding a new type of food. Cats also generally don't have a digestive problem switching from one canned food to another (unless they have an allergy or intolerance to specific food ingredients). I feed five different brands of canned food and as many different flavors as I can get my hands on, and my cats have no problem eating a different canned food every day. In fact, they insist on the variety.

The Flortiflora you are giving Apollo will also help his digestive tract accommodate any dietary changes you may make.

Laurie
 

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No offense to anyone on here, and everyone will now attack me because nutrition is such a touchy subject on here, but I would not take advice you got over the internet to decide not to feed a food your vet just told you to feed. If it is only for 4-6 weeks or months or whatever, it isn't going to do anything bad to Apollo. You wouldn't go on the internet and get some information and then go against what your doctor said would you? I would really hate for Apollo to get sicker because you listened to us. If Apollo gets worse from the vet's advice you can do something about it. If he gets sicker from our advice you can't do anything, because we are essentially words on a screen with no faces. If your vet (who despite what some might think, is very educated and probably knows what she is talking about) thinks that this food is going to help your cat then please listen to her.
 
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