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Thankyou cat gurus...but I have yet another question

dogcatharmony
November 10th, 2009, 04:35 PM
First I would really like to thank all of you cat people for giving me information to help better my cats lives. Thankyou Sugarcatmom for all the info on good food and for the many cat links you provided me.

I am so proud to say that Amos has lost a pound and a half in one year!!!! When the vet told me that, I was just kind of happy, then she said "you need to understand, him losing a pound and a half is like a human losing 30 pounds.":highfive:Way to go bigcat!!

He still isn't totally of the kibble, but he gets a very small portion of kibble and then high quality wet.

Now my question. We had to go to the vet's today because Amos' back is a bloody scabby mess. For more than 12 years we have been battling him and his obsessive grooming. His back this time is really bad. So the new vet gave him a good once over. His ears, eyes (one is really goopy) and skin all are nasty and bald. She said he definitley has one hell of a problem. So she gave him a shot of Depo-Medrol, which is what the other vet gave him all the time, but she said it is time to get serious about what was once just him cleaning the hair of his belly, to now him removing it from his face, paws and back. So starting in a week I have to give him a 5mg tablet of Prednisolone daily for two months. She said that if I see an improvement over that time then we can play around with the dosage. First step after that would be one tablet every two days and see if it helps. Or possibly having to up the dosage if he doesn't stop ripping out his hair.

I asked the side effects and she said that cats tolerate this med very well. They may eat more and drink more but that is it. I asked how is it for his kidneys and liver, he is thirteen years old. She said no problems. Has anyone had to use this med? Is there something else I can try for him?

He is a very high anxiety cat. He started ripping his hair out and over grooming when his little mate of one year died from a stroke. He had a really hard time after she died, searching for her, not eating, peeing on everything, howling non stop. I got him another friend (Phoebe) and she took all the other problems away but not the over grooming. He is scared of ceiling fans or low hanging lights, if you move the furniture around he is terrified. Big things like adding a dog and another cat have no reaction to him, he could care less. But turn on the ceiling fan and he goes ballalistic.

:shrug: Any advice is greatly appreciated!

sugarcatmom
November 10th, 2009, 05:55 PM
I am so proud to say that Amos has lost a pound and a half in one year!!!!

Yippeee! Good job.

He still isn't totally of the kibble, but he gets a very small portion of kibble and then high quality wet.

What brand and flavours? (This will tie into my answers below)

So she gave him a shot of Depo-Medrol, which is what the other vet gave him all the time,

Has it worked in the past, and if so, for how long?

I asked the side effects and she said that cats tolerate this med very well. They may eat more and drink more but that is it.

Oh really? She should explain that to the large number of cats with steroid-induced diabetes. This is not a benign medication and it annoys me when vets treat it as such. Basically, it only addresses the symptoms and "works" by suppressing the immune system. If the original source of the problem isn't dealt with, then the symptoms will keep coming back.

He is a very high anxiety cat. He started ripping his hair out and over grooming when his little mate of one year died from a stroke.

My kitty also started obessive grooming when his brother was sick and dying 5 yrs ago. Luckily, he doesn't do any damage to the skin, he just has the smoothest naked belly - all the better for kissing :D. What happens is, during an overwhelmingly stressful time like our cats experienced, they look for ways to comfort themselves, and grooming is their main way to do that. It can even release endorphins. But then they get kinda hooked on it and continue to do it well beyond the initial stressful times. Voila: OCD.

So if the root of Amos' overgrooming is psychogenic, I'm not so sure that steroids are going to do much good, and there is potential for them to do harm. I don't suppose there is a holistic vet in your area, is there? That would be my first recommendation. They should be able to address Amos as a whole, and not just a symptom. Perhaps a combination of flower essences (Spirit Essences (http://www.spiritessence.com/?action=home) are a good choice, maybe something like Obsession Remedy (http://www.spiritessence.com/?action=product&act=view&id=142) and/or Nervous Nelly (http://www.spiritessence.com/?action=product&act=view&id=130)), acupuncture or homeopathy would be useful.

It's not that I'm against allopathic medication, I'm just not so sure it has a role to play here.

Something else to consider is a food or environmental allergy. Since food is usually easier to figure out than environment, I would start there (although eliminating all scented cleaning products and laundry detergents, incense, air freshners, etc would be a good idea if you haven't already). Some common cat allergens in food are fish, yeast, dairy, grains, soy, beef and chicken. So depending on what Amos is eating and how amenable he is to change, you might consider trying him on a novel protein diet with limited ingredients. Innova Evo 95% venison or duck are good choices for this. It would also mean completely eliminating all remnants of dry food. The other option is to make the food yourself, if you're up for it.

Going with the possibility that you're dealing with allergies, you could add some supplements to Amos' diet. Transfer Factor (http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/tf.htm) or colostrum can help balance an immune system that's outta whack. And if the healing of the scabs is making him itch, some pure aloe vera gel (Lily of the Valley is good) would be cool and soothing.

Does Amos still get vaccinated? That's something I would definitely recommend stopping.

Those are some things that come to mind, but if I think of anything else that might help, I'll let you know.

Love4himies
November 10th, 2009, 06:05 PM
Wahoo for Amos loosing weight :thumbs up :highfive:.

SCM is right Depo should only be used very sparingly. My daughter's vet will only give the shot 3 times in a lifetime. The important matter is to find out what the cause is. LIke SCM stated, this is a psychological issue, not an immune issue so pred or depo may not have any benefit.

I was speaking to my vet just this weekend about Jasper's anxiety and he mentioned a new drug, which he has not used. It is called Anxitane-s (L-Theanine) from Virbac. I have not done any research on it as of yet.

sugarcatmom
November 10th, 2009, 06:15 PM
It is called Anxitane-s (L-Theanine) from Virbac.

Very interesting!! Derived from green tea..... I'm intrigued. Will have to research this as well.

Tundra_Queen
November 10th, 2009, 11:41 PM
First I would really like to thank all of you cat people for giving me information to help better my cats lives. Thankyou Sugarcatmom for all the info on good food and for the many cat links you provided me.

I am so proud to say that Amos has lost a pound and a half in one year!!!! When the vet told me that, I was just kind of happy, then she said "you need to understand, him losing a pound and a half is like a human losing 30 pounds.":highfive:Way to go bigcat!!

He still isn't totally of the kibble, but he gets a very small portion of kibble and then high quality wet.

Now my question. We had to go to the vet's today because Amos' back is a bloody scabby mess. For more than 12 years we have been battling him and his obsessive grooming. His back this time is really bad. So the new vet gave him a good once over. His ears, eyes (one is really goopy) and skin all are nasty and bald. She said he definitley has one hell of a problem. So she gave him a shot of Depo-Medrol, which is what the other vet gave him all the time, but she said it is time to get serious about what was once just him cleaning the hair of his belly, to now him removing it from his face, paws and back. So starting in a week I have to give him a 5mg tablet of Prednisolone daily for two months. She said that if I see an improvement over that time then we can play around with the dosage. First step after that would be one tablet every two days and see if it helps. Or possibly having to up the dosage if he doesn't stop ripping out his hair.

I asked the side effects and she said that cats tolerate this med very well. They may eat more and drink more but that is it. I asked how is it for his kidneys and liver, he is thirteen years old. She said no problems. Has anyone had to use this med? Is there something else I can try for him?

He is a very high anxiety cat. He started ripping his hair out and over grooming when his little mate of one year died from a stroke. He had a really hard time after she died, searching for her, not eating, peeing on everything, howling non stop. I got him another friend (Phoebe) and she took all the other problems away but not the over grooming. He is scared of ceiling fans or low hanging lights, if you move the furniture around he is terrified. Big things like adding a dog and another cat have no reaction to him, he could care less. But turn on the ceiling fan and he goes ballalistic.

:shrug: Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Hi DCH, I'm so sorry to hear about Amos.

Willie has been on Prednisolone for 5 years at least. 1/2 tablet of 5mg every day. He had a blood test last fall and his liver is fine and his sugar levels is fine too.

It has helped his IBS but I am trying to cut him back. He is now on 1/2 pill every 5 days.

But u might not have to Amos on it for as long as Willie has been on it. But it will be great if it works for him!!


Debbie :grouphug:

growler~GateKeeper
November 11th, 2009, 01:54 AM
Yay for Amos loosing some weight :highfive:


Was his Thyroid (T4) level checked?

Love4himies
November 11th, 2009, 07:45 AM
Very interesting!! Derived from green tea..... I'm intrigued. Will have to research this as well.

My vet was quite excited about it because it wasn't as he put it "totally pharmacutical" (sp?). He knows me well :laughing:

catlover2
November 11th, 2009, 12:43 PM
There are as you say "high anxiety cats" and Amos certainly is in that category with his obsessive grooming and fear of ceiling fans and even low hanging lights. Cats vary in their temperament. I have a half-brother half-sister pair (same dam, different sires) of Devon Rex. My girl has a very placid laid-back temperament, my boy has what I call "high startle response". The microwave beeping used to send him flying from the room, the doorbell ringing still does, dropped pots sent him scurrying from the kitchen, the girl isn't bothered by anything. Even kittens from the same litter can show great differences like this. So I think some of it is genetic, but not all. Some cats, like people, just have jangled nerves. Although I have never used homeopathic remedies or flower essences, I think they would be preferable to other medications if they work---certainly worth a try as suggested by SCM. With my "high startle" boy, he eventually got used to the microwave beeping and doesn't react to it anymore or stuff dropped on the floor, tho he still responds to the doorbell. As a kitten he used to come to the door to greet everyone, but around about a year he decided he didn't like the sound of it. This avoidance behavior started when we had renovations done in our house to bathrooms and new floors with workmen coming in and out and making a lot of noise with saws and hammers. He didn't like that and hid out most of the day.

You might try "habituation"---getting Amos used to what he fears---the sound of the ceiling fan---by leaving it running for a few hours each day. The only thing I can suggest about the hanging lamps is to lift him up and let him sniff them, and then praise him and/or give him a treat....and do it several times a day until he no longer reacts to them. As far as overgrooming, that's tough one. I've only had one cat that did that and it was stress-related and not as a result of food allergies. She licked her tummy bare and insides of her hind legs. When I gave up breeding cats and had fewer cats, she was happier and she gave up her obsessive grooming and her coat grew back in. Because this is such a longstanding problem with Amos, it's my guess it's not food or allergy related. Hope something works out for Amos. Let us know how things go.

dogcatharmony
November 12th, 2009, 01:45 PM
I don't think it is food related because over the many years he has been on many many different foods. Both dry and wet, to name a few Science Diet Hairball (vet recommended), performatrin, Whiskas, Friskies etc........and he has always overgroomed or ripped out his hair.

Now he eats Evolve chicken and Evolve Turkey, along with Nature's Variety (many kinds), I get one food that is rabbit can't remember the name, I only see it once in awhile haven't had it in about a month now. He also gets Before Grain wet and dry (those are the few kibbles he gets). He is not a fish eater unless it is real tuna out of the can (always water packed). He may get that once every two months. The only treat he loves is cat nip.

The vet said when he was 8 years old that no more vaccinations were needed. He gets his thyroid checked once a year, just had bloodwork done and all is well.

See my old vet never wanted to put him on a regular medication because he said it would ruin his liver and kidneys. Now the new vet wants it.:shrug:

His mother was an extremely skittish cat, the reflection of the sun on a wall would make her hide for days. But when Amos was young, he showed no signs of being that skittish until his litter mate died. I do know that I cannot go on vacation because he will allow no strangers in the house. He attacks. A few years ago I tried to visit my sister down south, and my cat sitter called me the second day saying Amos would not let her in the house. He was waiting at the door ready to attack.

In the summer I have the ceiling fans going all the time downstairs, and it doesn't matter how many times he sees them he is so scared. And I tried the pick him up and show him thing, now I have a four inch scar down my chest where he dug his back nails in and launched himself because he was so scared.

As for Depo-Medrol, I can't even count how many times he has had that shot. Is that not what the prednisolone is? Just now it is in tablet form?

I don't want to put him on pills, I worry because he is over weight, high anxiety........I want him around for many years still.

sugarcatmom
November 12th, 2009, 02:19 PM
I don't think it is food related because over the many years he has been on many many different foods. Both dry and wet, to name a few Science Diet Hairball (vet recommended), performatrin, Whiskas, Friskies etc........and he has always overgroomed or ripped out his hair.

Not saying it for sure is food related, but it is possible to have sensitivities to many different brands of cat food because they often have similar ingredients. Chicken, for instance, is probably in 90% of the foods out there. And in order to rule that ingredient out as an allergen, it would have to be completely eliminated from the diet for several (like up to 12) weeks.

As for Depo-Medrol, I can't even count how many times he has had that shot. Is that not what the prednisolone is? Just now it is in tablet form?

Yes, Depo-Medrol and prednisolone are both glucocorticoid steroids. When Amos got the shots, did they stop the overgrooming, and if so, for how long? I'm asking because that could be a clue to whether this is strictly pyschogenic or if there is an inflammatory/immune issue at play here.

catlover2
November 12th, 2009, 03:49 PM
I'm sorry to hear he scratched you, hope you disinfected the scratch. :sad:

Now that you say his mom was very skittish, I really think it's genetics. Sometimes this kind of temperament doesn't develop until after a year old or some traumatic event...the death of his catfriend. He's got a schizoid temperament, and nothing you can do to change that. Perhaps some of the homeopathic or flower essences may make a slight change, but doubt they will make much difference. Guess you just have to accept that's the way he is and ignore his craziness. :shrug: Amos certainly makes it difficult to bring in a cat sitter. Is there anyone he likes and will tolerate looking after him if you go on a holiday? He's a tough case!

dogcatharmony
November 12th, 2009, 03:55 PM
The depo usually helps for only a few days, he is really dopey and sleeps alot, so not alot of time for grooming. Even now he hasn't moved off the couch to even come to bed. He ate, used the box and then curled on the couch. He never misses sleeping on the bed at night.

So I am thinking the only reason it stops it is because it zones him right out. I would rather have a nekkid cat than one that shows no interest in doing anything.

And SCM, if I took out all the chicken I don't know what I would feed him. He's not into beef, liver, fish.

Really bums me out.:sad:

Winston
November 12th, 2009, 04:18 PM
Dogcatharmony I just wanted to say that when I went through food issues with my 2 cats they hated everything in canned form no matter the brand, type, flavor however I think SCM mentioned to try something that they had never had before flavor wise and I went and bought the Dick Van Pattens Brand Natural Balance but I only bought vension and green pea and duck and green pea. I knew for sure they had not eaten that flavor ever in any of their foods we had tried. Well they would eat those 2 and they seemed to like them for quite a long tome...I slowly have introduced chicken back in once in a blue moon and they will now eat it?? but I really believe trying those 2 odd flavors did the trick....Good luck!:thumbs up

Oh and they eat way more canned now than they ever would before...I could put out a teaspoon and between the 2 of them they couldnt finish it...now they eat about a 1/2 can between them..they were pretty much kibble cats till I learned how horrible it is!

dogcatharmony
November 17th, 2009, 01:49 PM
I went to a different pet store today and got a bunch of different flavors, like duck and rabbit. A read the labels and can't believe how many say like tuna and salmon but after a few ingrediants there is chicken in there. I will see how he likes the new food and if it helps.

I haven't given him his pills yet, the depo shot really had him out of it for a week. He is just coming around now and moving about. Not a lump on the couch anymore.

I have one question though, will the duck make the poops nasty??? Just looking for a heads up.......