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Skin allergies?

elalu
June 14th, 2012, 04:01 AM
Does anyone have experience with their kitties having skin allergies?

A little while back I posted about having a lethargic kitty (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=80861) and mentioned that he had chronic ear infections and some over-grooming issues. The vet's theory was that Stitch was miserable and obsessing over his itchy skin. He was given a Depo-Medrol shot after doing blood work to rule out any other obvious issues and sent home.

What I didn't mention is that, prior to the shot, Stitch really was obsessive about scratching - there were times it got so violent he would actually yelp when he hurt himself. He's also been covered in small scabs since I got him.

Long story short, the Depo-Medrol shot worked beautifully! No more obsessive itching, no more scabs, and the over-groomed spots were starting to fill back in. But now the effects are starting to wear off, and from what I understood these shots aren't a long term solution.

I'd like to be as educated as possible before heading back to the vet, so if anyone has experience dealing with skin allergies, I'd love to hear from you. :cat:

sugarcatmom
June 14th, 2012, 07:39 AM
Skin issues are often a symptom of a food allergy. Stitch sounds like a good candidate for a raw diet, using novel protein sources like rabbit, venison, ostrich, etc. There are some canned foods like Innova Evo 95% that have simple ingredients and novel proteins, but the options are quite limited compared to what you'll find available in commercial frozen raw products. Some ingredients to definitely eliminate from Stitch's diet would be fish, dairy, yeast, soy, and grains. I would watch beef and chicken as well.

An immune system balancer like Transfer Factor Classic (http://www.4lifetransferfactorstore.com/product/24080) might also help.

Hazmat
June 14th, 2012, 09:41 AM
Also keep his nails trimmed (dull) so when he scratches he does less damage.

elalu
June 14th, 2012, 01:33 PM
Sugarcatmom to the rescue!

I wondered if it might be a food allergy, since I couldn't think of anything else that would be affecting him year round. But since there were no intestinal issues I wasn't convinced.

The good news is, we already seem to be on the right track as far as diet changes go. Since the last post I've cut out dry food except for a couple of crunchy treats in the evening, and I'll see if I can find a better alternative for those. The vast majority of fish is gone too - he gets that maybe once a week.

And now begins the battle to take away this picky eater's precious Fancy Feast once again, since that's the only bloody thing he's agreed to eat after being sick. Thankfully I'm feeling a bit more prepared this time, thanks to the videos you posted in my last thread. :)

The question now is, do I skip the vet visit while switching his foods? I hate to see my poor boy itching, but I'm not sure I'll be able to pin down the problem foods if he's medicated - not to mention, I hate the medication.

And thanks to Hazmat for the suggestion too!