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Alleric cat

crazycat
December 6th, 2010, 01:05 PM
It's going to be hard to keep this brief, but I will try. I rescued a cat early this year with lots of problems. All problems were resolved quickly except the skin. Diet changed to Before Grain Chicken (grain free). She was originally diagnosed with sarcoptic mange. Underwent many Lyme sulphur dips and retested negative for mange on several occasions. Scabs and skin lesions cleared up with bathing/dipping alone. Scabs returned soon after bathing was discontinued. She was put on oral prednisolone which cleared skin, but came back after stopping. Tested negative on 2 occasions for fungal infections. Allergy vet changed diet to Hills Z/D and gave a long acting cortisone inj. which cleared the skin again. Shot wore off in 5 weeks and scabs returned. Went to see a board certified dermatologist after 6 weeks on Z/D who said to give it 2 more weeks to work. Also started on Atopica daily. Started improving after 2 weeks on Atopica and discontinued z/d at that time due cost of both. I put her back on the Before Grain Chicken. After 3-4 weeks on Atopica, the scabs began returning. Changed diet to Instinct raw rabbit and canned venison. She's been off of chicken since 11/20 with no improvement.
The dermatologist does not think this is pemphigus because it is not localized around her face and feet. She thinks it is allergies, and wants to test her for airborne allergens. She is PUSHING IVD rabbit and pea or venison and pea stating Royal Canin is the only place that processes the special foods in a separate facility. $6/pound here and she hates the rabbit.
I've spent a fortune on this stray cat, but what can you do? Allergy testing is $300 with additional $220 for 6 months of shots. No guarantee that will help. Especially if it's a food allergy.
Advice please? Need more info? I got it! :headslap:
Thanks,
Kathy

P.S. Does anyone know if the cat is allergic to fish, can you still give fish oil? Also, if it's allergic to chicken, can you still have chicken fat in the food? I found a venison diet (Addiction Viva la Venison) that has chicken fat in it. Their claim is that the fat doesn't have the protein in it that causes the allergy. The dermatologist says NO to fish oil or chicken fat. :wall:

sugarcatmom
December 6th, 2010, 02:27 PM
Any possibilty you can make your own raw diet for your cat? That way you would have complete control over all of the ingredients and can keep it very simple: one novelty protein source (with bone and organs from the same animal) and no other plant matter. For instance, the Nature's Variety raw rabbit contains chicken eggs, so if your kitty has issues with chicken, that could have been triggering an allergic response.

As for allergy testing, it's notoriously inaccurate for cats (particularly allergy blood testing - don't waste your money). The skin allergy tests for environmental allergens can sometimes be useful, but it can also be extremely difficult to control those allergens (eg if the allergy is to dust mites). A good place to start is to make sure you are using only unscented natural cleaning and laundry products, that you don't use any room deodorizers or sprays (especially things like Glade plug-ins), and that the cat litter isn't the issue (use only unscented litter - either clay or newspaper pellets).

sugarcatmom
December 6th, 2010, 02:41 PM
P.S. Does anyone know if the cat is allergic to fish, can you still give fish oil? Also, if it's allergic to chicken, can you still have chicken fat in the food? I found a venison diet (Addiction Viva la Venison) that has chicken fat in it. Their claim is that the fat doesn't have the protein in it that causes the allergy. The dermatologist says NO to fish oil or chicken fat. :wall:

Theoretically, it's the protein that causes the allergies, but I agree with the dermatologist in this case that it would be better to stear clear of anything related to the suspected allergen, since you're having so much trouble trying to track down the source. It wouldn't be unheard of for the fat to be contaminated with traces of protein.

It would be a good idea to eliminate all kibble from your cat's diet. No prescription food (especially no prescription food - the ingredients are horrific!), no grain-free kibble, no novel protein kibble. They're not a good choice for any cat, but especially a cat suffering from allergies. The highly processed nature of kibble is more readily treated as a foreign invader by an out-of-whack immune system.

As for that Addiction Viva la Venison, don't believe the hype. I'd like to know, if they're claiming the chicken fat isn't an allergy issue for cats with chicken allergies, how do they then explain the dried egg? Duh. :loser:

crazycat
December 6th, 2010, 03:14 PM
I suppose I could try to find a source for rabbit meat. Not what I really want to be doing, mind you.
The allergy testing she does is the skin tests. And if it is conclusive, I would start the serum injections. We have way too many pollens in central Texas to think that I can remove them from the environment.
Do you think the skin testing and shots would be a good idea? The dermatologist is very highly recommended by other vets here and says that cats respond very well to this treatment.

There doesn't seem to really be a good food option, then. The canned food that I have is Natural Balance venison and green pea. I see it has salmon oil in it. Evo venison has herring oil. What are the chances of her being allergic to fish? My holistic food supplier didn't think fish was a common problem with cats.

Marty11
December 6th, 2010, 04:06 PM
After learning about the raw food here from the folks, I would probably try it. No treats at all. Feed the same food for bout 8 weeks. I think wellness makes 95% protein can, but it's not a whole meal? Missing vitamins and taurine. I have a dog with similar issues and after spending lots $$$$$ at the dermotologist it was inconclusive. :( He also said the shots may not work and that allergies change all the time so it is not that acurate. Skin biopsy will tell certain things if it is on the skin rather that in the system. Not sure if cats are like dogs, but sugarcatmom is steering you in the right direction.

crazycat
December 6th, 2010, 04:24 PM
Unfortunately, Wellness doesn't make any novel protien only source cat food. :(

Love4himies
December 6th, 2010, 05:42 PM
Nature's variety does make a venison version of canned and as far as I can see, no egg. It does have pork liver though. They do not specify what particular venison is in it.

I am with SCM on this one, try making your own homemade raw, controlling the ingredients. You can order online supplements that add the calcium, taurine, etc.