Originally Posted by RGW
I now have two questions I hope you guys can help me with:
1. When should the cat go back to the vet? I know IDB cats need to go on and off the treatment, but he gave us no date for a follow-up visit or any info on starting the treatment again. (Like I said, he didn't act as if he expected the treatment to work.)
How long was the steroid & anti-biotic course?
Basically what steroids do is suppress the immune systems' response to the IBD. Anti-biotics are then used to treat any possible bacterial infections or lower/remove the inflammation.
The bowels are reacting against something (as you've discovered likely corn/grains in the food) that reaction is inflammation - it's the body's defensive way of dealing with "intruders". The white blood cells attack the "intruders", most of the time a healthy immune system can handle such intruders/attacks but sometimes it gets overwhelmed and needs to be helped with treatment (conventionally w steroid & antibiotics or alternatively w homeopathy or herbal remedies)
The steroids pretty much take over & shut the immune system down a bit so they can deal with the attack & inflammatory response.
If your cat is currently off all steroids & anti-biotics and is doing good with the change in diet alone she likely won't need to be in more often than twice a year.
Personally I like to have senior kitties in at least every 6 months for blood & urine tests to keep on top of any changes, it's a good opportunity for a weigh in as well if you don't have a scale at home.
If managing with diet alone isn't working as well as you'd like then a discussion with the vet would be a good idea to possibly re-treat w the same course as before.
If there is any
change in behaviour that resembles the previous condition or she starts losing weight/looking thinner I would have her back to the vet asap for a once over & med discussion.
Originally Posted by RGW
2. Is there any way to harden her stools? She no longer has diarrhea, but her stools often have the consistency of pudding. The pumpkin helps, but is there any way her stools can become hard again? Are loose stools a sign that she'll continue to lose weight?
How much pumpkin is she currently getting per meal/per day?
As Hazelrunpack mentions perhaps the amount of pumpkin needs adjusting. As SCM points out Slippery Elm Bark is also a good alternative to pumpkin to may wish to try instead. Sometimes a bit of trial & error to find what and how much works best is needed.
Loose stool is not necessarily a sign of impending weight loss it really is a symptom that there is excess water &/or the bowel, colon & digestive tract isn't functioning up to normal standards.
What does she currently weigh? Has she gained back some of the weight lost since December?