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Advice for difficult cat with IBD

rjesak
September 7th, 2010, 11:18 AM
Well, we had Oscar's ultrasound today (he's been throwing up since July) and the vet says he has "very pronounced" IBD.

They're not sure what to do about it because of Oscar's history. My understanding from them is that they normally put them on Prednisone and a special diet. Well, Oscar does very badly on Pred and he is the most finicky eater I've ever dealt with and the vet doesn't think he'll eat the food they want to prescribe.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

He's currently on Wellness canned food and it took me three months to get him to eat it - he still prefers kibble so much that he'll steal it from the dogs if he thinks they're not looking. I have to take the dog dish up when the dogs are outside so he doesn't eat it. I managed to convince him to eat the Wellness by mixing it with Fancy Feast (which he apparently considers REAL food). :laughing:

growler~GateKeeper
September 9th, 2010, 03:40 AM
Does there seem to be a food/protein/vegetable/grain that you've been able to pinpoint as causing a rise in the symptoms? Perhaps he has a food allergy?

Have you ever attempted a raw diet with Oscar? With a home prepared raw diet you can limit the ingredients to ones you know are safe for him.

Did the vet give you any alternative suggestions to pred?

Is is just predisone that he reacts to or does he also react to predisolone?

From this site: http://www.vetinfo.com/cibd.html lists some alternatives:

methylprednisolone acetate (DepoMedrol Rx) injections instead of oral pred

Antibiotics:
metronidazole (Flagyl Rx)
Tylosin (Tylan Rx)

Nausea suppresant:
famotidine (Pepcid AC tm)

I'm sure there are others that can be tried as well to find a combination that works be for Oscar :fingerscr

Has any of these been used on Oscar before or has he has a bad reaction to any?

:goodvibes: :goodvibes:

rjesak
September 9th, 2010, 07:28 AM
Oscar's had bad reactions to almost any "izone" we've tried. Dexa shots and prednisone both cause him to become super aggressive. The only way we could use them is if we then keep him separated from the other cats and he is so personable... He would really hate that.

You know, I'm kind of an idiot. I didn't really spend much time checking the different flavors of food to see how he responded - I clearly need to do that.

I've considered doing a homemade diet for him but because of his fairly severe asthma, my homeopathic vet doesn't recommend raw for him. That said, what you mention below would still work if I can figure out which foods seem more likely to cause the problem.

I think I've seen some threads here about identifying allergies and this would seem to be a similar prospect. I'll give it a try.

I haven't heard back from the vet yet. They're hoping to consult with a specialist and see if they can figure out some other treatments for him. I was hoping to have some suggestions of my own as well. This vet (his care vet as opposed to the homeopathic vet) is stronly opposed to home feeding since she says most people don't do it right. :rolleyes:

growler~GateKeeper
September 11th, 2010, 02:14 AM
:sorry: I forgot about the asthma, and the medication induced aggression makes thing more difficult :grouphug:

Is Oscar on any Omega3 supplements? If not I would suggest that as something to start, it is thought the digestable fatty acids help to soothe the inflammation. http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+1322&aid=304

What about Slippery Elm Bark? Have you used that with him before? Also good for coating the lining of the stomach & bowels, balancing water absorption in the gut etc.

:goodvibes:

rjesak
September 13th, 2010, 10:01 AM
Thanks so much Growler. I had ordered some slippery elm bark after reading about it a couple of times on this board. I'm hoping it will come in soon.

I'm more than willing to try an Omega3 supplement - it won't hurt anyway.

The vet finally called and we had a long talk. I had stopped most of Oscar's asthma meds because of the problems with his tolerance and also because I was beginning to feel like I wasn't giving him much to live for. He'd gotten to the point where he ran away from me when I approached because I was always stuffing pills down his throat, giving him shots, or worse. Since the treatments for IBD are much the same, it's a hard call. Oscar seems to be a very happy cat though. He obviously doesn't enjoy throwing up but he seems to be very much himself most of the time.

What we decided is that I'll spend a little time with his food - seeing how he responds to the different flavors. I've also spoken to a friend of mine who hunts - he mostly hunts deer but he said it wouldn't be too difficult to pick up a few rabbits and the like as well. I'll have to cook it because Oscar's immunity is low but it should give us an idea of how he tolerates foods if he takes these different meats well or badly. With any luck, we can treat this with diet modification and no pills or shots.

Thanks so much for all of your advice. He's SUCH a problem cat! :cloud9:

growler~GateKeeper
September 14th, 2010, 12:55 AM
Thanks so much Growler. I had ordered some slippery elm bark after reading about it a couple of times on this board. I'm hoping it will come in soon.

Here's a page with great info on SEB http://www.littlebigcat.com/?action=library&act=show&item=slipperyelm

I'm more than willing to try an Omega3 supplement - it won't hurt anyway.

He'll also get a nice shiny coat out of it & if he's had any constipation issues this will help that too ;)

The vet finally called and we had a long talk. I had stopped most of Oscar's asthma meds because of the problems with his tolerance and also because I was beginning to feel like I wasn't giving him much to live for. He'd gotten to the point where he ran away from me when I approached because I was always stuffing pills down his throat, giving him shots, or worse. Since the treatments for IBD are much the same, it's a hard call. Oscar seems to be a very happy cat though. He obviously doesn't enjoy throwing up but he seems to be very much himself most of the time.

I think alot of it comes down to quality of life - it's definately sounds like he feels emotionally/mentally better without the meds even if it's wearing physically. Of course it doesn't help if you can't catch him to pill him & his worrying & running away just adds stress on his asthma anyways :shrug:

How is/are his breathing/lungs physically without the asthma meds? Are you finding a difference in his stress level?

Here's a couple more articles you may or may not have seen yet:
http://www.manhattancats.com/Articles/Feline_Asthma.html
http://www.manhattancats.com/Articles/IBD.htm

What we decided is that I'll spend a little time with his food - seeing how he responds to the different flavors. I've also spoken to a friend of mine who hunts - he mostly hunts deer but he said it wouldn't be too difficult to pick up a few rabbits and the like as well. I'll have to cook it because Oscar's immunity is low but it should give us an idea of how he tolerates foods if he takes these different meats well or badly. With any luck, we can treat this with diet modification and no pills or shots.

Thanks so much for all of your advice. He's SUCH a problem cat! :cloud9:

I think the time frame when ruling out allergies, also when introducing raw, is a minimum of 2 weeks per protein source, so I guess that would be a place to start if Oscar will eat just one flavour/brand for that long & not get too fussy :rolleyes: :laughing:

A good idea is to start a journal - what & when you fed him incl supplements/meds, reactions both physical & emotional w/a timeline through the day to see if you can spot a pattern

I would also suggest, if you aren't already, raising his food dishes up between 2-6 inches off the ground - put them on a planter stand/phone book etc just so long as they don't slip off & scare him/break. It probably won't be much help w/the vomiting unless he's doing immediately before/after eating. Raising the dishes puts his head above his stomach while eating so it keeps any excess stomach acid where it should be, reducing nausea if he has any. Hopefully it will also make it easier on his breathing while he's eating being in a slightly more upright position.

I think we need a picture of said "problem" cat ;) :cloud9:

I just wish there was more concrete advice I could give you :grouphug: :goodvibes:

rjesak
September 16th, 2010, 07:00 AM
I got in long enough to read your post yesterday but by the time I started trying to post a reply, the server was busy.

Anyway, here's what I'd written. :)

Growler, you've been unbelievably helpful already! I can't thank you enough.
:thankyou:

His breathing has been really, really bad the past couple of days and I don't think he's feeling very well although he's not throwing up. I still use the inhaled steroids when needed so he got a few huffs yesterday and he started today with one as well.

I like the idea of the Omega3 supplement - his coat's been in pretty bad shape lately. I've been brushing him to keep it smooth but it's kind of stringy and greasy.

He really is difficult with the quality of life question. Up until yesterday (when he seemed to start feeling sort of crappy again), he's been very happy and relaxed - much different then when he was under daily pill routines! I've had cats that have taken a lot more treatment with a lot less stress than him, but with Oscar, I think he prefers to live sans medicine as much as possible.

He's hilarious about eating. I feed the cats on a table and his favorite way to eat is to stand with his back legs on a chair and eat off the table. We joke that that must be how we look to him when we sit around a table to eat. Needless to say, this means he's pretty upright while he eats! :laughing:

Anyway, here's a picture I took of him when I was working from home and he was impersonating the keyboard. :cloud9:

chico2
September 16th, 2010, 04:45 PM
rjesak,awww Oscar looks like a sweetie,I hope you can get his problems sorted out:pray:

growler~GateKeeper
September 21st, 2010, 12:18 AM
Awww Oscar is an adorable wee thing :lovestruck: :lovestruck:

:laughing: cats & their funny eating habits :D, though I'm sure that helps his breathing while eating too.

It certainly sounds like he feels better mentally/emotionally w/out the meds as much as possible & wonderful news about him not throwing up recently :thumbs up

:goodvibes:

catlover2
September 21st, 2010, 09:43 AM
To freshen his coat and degrease it, wipe it all over with some of those hand wipes for degreasing hands after eating fried chicken, etc. Wipe them all over the coat, then take a hot wrung-out washcloth and wipe all over again to remove any residue. Rub with a towel or blow dry (if tolerated), then when dry fluff up the coat with a steel pet comb. It will certainly make Oscar feel a lot better. Cats don't groom their coats very much if they aren't feeling well.

growler~GateKeeper
October 9th, 2010, 02:12 AM
rjesak how's Oscar doing? :goodvibes: