Cat has allergies, don't know what to do

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andtiggertoo
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Cat has allergies, don't know what to do

Post by andtiggertoo » Wed May 21, 2014 7:26 am

At least, we assume it's allergies - and my apologies because this might be a bit of a long post. Ever since we got Millie last July, she has had problems of one sort or another. One of the most lasting is the frantic itching/grooming/scratching.

She has been having a steroid jab about once every five weeks or so which has so far dampened down the itching. But this time she had a jab about a week and a half ago, and she has started crying and scratching again - and we really don't know what to do. Obviously I will make an appointment to take her back to the vet, but he's pretty mystified as well.

On top of the itching, she also has problems with blocked anal glands, constipation and we have discovered that she is allergic to some flea treatments (those containing fipronil, such as Efipro). I do treat her monthly with Advocat, although she hardly goes out of the door

She has been on Royal Canin Sensitivity wet and dry since about last October, and for the last three months she hasn't had any treats outside that, so I think we can say it's not a food-related thing. I'm just a bit worried to give her anything else in case it makes it worse! We have to give her Lactulose twice a day, otherwise she gets incredibly constipated. We did try giving her some extra-fibre food, but it was wheat based, and that seemed to upset her really badly (this was back in October), and she was quite ill, so we haven't repeated the experiment.

The only thing that has changed recently is that two cats have managed to find their way into the house which has upset her, so I don't know if that has set this off again. I don't think so, because it's never really gone away. We had just got to the point that we had accepted that we might be looking at giving her a jab every five weeks or so, even if it was going to shorten her life a little. She is 13, and we thought quality over quantity. However, obviously we can't do this if she is going to go back to the itching/scratching within 10 days.

We and Millie are a bit desperate, so if anyone has any ideas or suggestions I would be so grateful. Life is pretty miserable for her at the moment, and I hate to see her like this. When she's not itching, she's very purry and friendly, but when she is itching, she gets really quite scratchy and bitey.

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Camdengirl
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Re: Cat has allergies, don't know what to do

Post by Camdengirl » Wed May 21, 2014 9:01 am

Poor Millie :( I do feel for you and her, Clay had terrible skin (and latterly digestive) issues with food, and for months he was scratching and chewing his skin to bits (and he couldn't have regular steroids because he was FIV+).

The first thing to share is that Clay responded terribly to the RC sensitivity wet. He was ok on the dry (although not as good as on James Wellbeloved turkey) but the wet had him ripping at his skin within 48 hours. So don't assume it's not a food thing. Clay couldn't even stomach the hydrolysed protein food that the vet said was the best thing for a sensitive cat, it gave him terrible squits, and we got to the point that the vet wanted to do an intestinal biopsy. I switched Clay to a (very limited) wet-food-only diet and he did really well from then on.

Every cat is different, but my main criteria for foods was ones with as few ingredients as possible, and named meats. Clay couldn't eat fish (the one time I fed him tuna he was ripping at his mouth within 20 minutes) but fish oil didn't seem to affect him, and he couldn't handle wheat, dairy or large amounts of red meat. He did really well on chicken, his diet ended up being a mix of HiLife chicken pouches in jelly, Nature's Menu chicken and turkey, Feline Fayre chicken in jelly and the odd tin of chicken Applaws (these days you can buy Thrive, which would be an even safer option, no rice and it's complete). His skin was never 100%, but it was very much improved, and he stopped having scabs everywhere.

I'm not sure what else you have/haven't tried with Millie, but hopefully there is a solution. Another thing that helped Clay was oil of evening primrose (a few drops on his food), you can buy it from the vet but I imagine it's much cheaper online!

Fusses to Millie.

andtiggertoo
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Re: Cat has allergies, don't know what to do

Post by andtiggertoo » Wed May 21, 2014 9:12 am

Thanks Sarah. We eliminated fish from her diet because that did seem to make her worse. I had her on HiLife chicken pouches for a couple of weeks, but that didn't seem to make much difference. We also had Hills ZD (I think) for a month or so. Same story.

It's horrible to watch, isn't it. She just goes mad. She'll be lying on my lap in the evening, and then all of a sudden she cries, runs off and starts scratching/grooming and goes nuts. Just don't know what to do to help her.

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greenkitty
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Re: Cat has allergies, don't know what to do

Post by greenkitty » Wed May 21, 2014 9:20 am

I think I'd try changing her food to a totally cereal free (and fish) diet and see if that improves things. Don't assume because they're sensitive or prescription diets she won't still be allergic to them.

I know we've spoken about this before but have you tried Piriton? This stopped Hector scratching completely, no sores or itching at all now.

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Re: Cat has allergies, don't know what to do

Post by andtiggertoo » Wed May 21, 2014 12:53 pm

Yes, tried Piriton, but it didn't work! and I think you also sent me some other food that we tried her with. She liked the sample, but when I bought a bag of it, turned her nose up...

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Re: Cat has allergies, don't know what to do

Post by andtiggertoo » Wed May 21, 2014 1:48 pm

So - I think I may try different, grain free food again. She prefers dry to wet, although I prefer to give a mixture of both. I have some Almo which I can start with. I know of HiLife, Bozita and Butchers. Any other ideas anyone? No fish, obviously.

Have just heard that our lovely vet is leaving and am a bit distraught about that. I think we may be looking for a new vet practice. Ours was taken over by a bigger company last year which is just fixated with money and no longer cares a fig for its employees or much for its clients either.

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Camdengirl
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Re: Cat has allergies, don't know what to do

Post by Camdengirl » Wed May 21, 2014 10:19 pm

andtiggertoo wrote:She just goes mad. She'll be lying on my lap in the evening, and then all of a sudden she cries, runs off and starts scratching/grooming and goes nuts. Just don't know what to do to help her.
This doesn't sound so much like a food allergy, has the vet considered hyperesthesia? My Hops has this and it's a neurological/anxiety disorder with various symptoms, including jumping at nothing, crying, over-grooming and self-mutilating. It's not a dangerous condition but it's very distressing to see when they're having a bad episode. I've attached a link with some more details and a YouTube clip of a cat showing some of the signs. Does any of this look familiar?

http://www.vet.cornell.edu/FHC/health_r ... ndrome.cfm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV4WCeEZ2to" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

PS Sorry to hear about your vet, it's so hard when a good one moves on. Presumably yours is moving too far for you to follow? Maybe someone on here can recommend a good vet near you.

KittyKiernan
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Re: Cat has allergies, don't know what to do

Post by KittyKiernan » Thu May 22, 2014 6:41 am

Hello,

I can really relate - my foster (now permanently adopted :)) cat Ted is very allergic and itchy. His issues apparently started with a flea allergy, before he was rescued from his previous awful environment. Apparently he had cuts, scabs and sores all over him when he was rescued :(.

He's now (much) better, though goes through phases and still has a tendency to go for a particular area on his back. For what it's worth, here's his routine!:

- Hills Z/D prescription anti-allergy feline (wet and dry)
- As an addition, varieties of Applaws natural (eg ocean fish, tuna and prawn, chicken). Fish and rice don't seem to be the issue.
- 1/2 a Piriton tablet every evening
- 1mg of Prednisone (steroid) every morning. I've been lowering this dose for the last few weeks, but very gradually. Next step is to go to every other day.
- Yumega oil supplement (1 scoop per day)

The other thing is that Ted periodically wears a 'comfy collar' (http://www.comfycollars.co.uk/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) - for example at night, when he starts licking too vigorously or biting himself, and when I can't keep an eye on him for several hours. They're MUCH better than the traditional 'hard' surgical collars; Ted has got used to his now and it doesn't seem to bother him.

So, I haven't completely cracked it, but seem to be on the right road. One other thing: He goes for himself much less after I've been playing with him and have 'worn him out'...

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Re: Cat has allergies, don't know what to do

Post by andtiggertoo » Thu May 22, 2014 7:30 am

Camdengirl wrote:
andtiggertoo wrote:
PS Sorry to hear about your vet, it's so hard when a good one moves on. Presumably yours is moving too far for you to follow? Maybe someone on here can recommend a good vet near you.
Actually, he doesn't have another job to go to... Practice was taken over by another company who have been pretty grim, so I think we will be looking for another practice to go to. This one is just around the corner for us, so extremely convenient. Real shame.

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