Advice please... Lucy has an allergy - but to what??

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Ducky
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Re: Advice please... Lucy has an allergy - but to what??

Post by Ducky » Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:46 am

Well it's certainly a thought. I'm a (struggling) vegetarian so I don't tend to buy meat for the home although I would happily do so for the kitties. I do buy frozen tuna steaks for Hugo though. He is fussy about wet food and he sometimes comes to join the others for breakfast but doesn't like what I dish up. I know too much isn't good for them (it affects taurine or protein production or something) but his little eyes light up when I show him the tub and he doesn't eat much of it in a sitting anyway. I steam it and it stays nice and soft and easy to chop up.

Lucy had thrown up a load of dry food when I went in to her this morning. Yakh! She seemed okay though and was happy to eat again when I took her collar off. I've left it off for this morning just in case she's sick again (must have been scary with it on) and I'll check her again at lunchtime. She's been washing off all the honey from her temple wound too. FFS! Hoping this powder turns up soon. I have all hopes pinned on it.

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Re: Advice please... Lucy has an allergy - but to what??

Post by Lilith » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:50 am

Oh good luck with the powder - it certainly worked for my feet, and I'm like Lucy, I pick ... :oops:

Nowadays I do flats and bare feet and sod the stilettos :lol:

I can't believe I forgot about that powder for decades, it was Janey who reminded me in the first place. The cat who it was prescribed for had an awful case of 'proud flesh' on a hind leg, but it got her right.

Good luck to Lucy - she needs her health back, bless her.

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Re: Advice please... Lucy has an allergy - but to what??

Post by Ducky » Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:42 am

Well, someone managed to get her collar off last night :o and the mess I found when I went in this morning, you can imagine. The right side of her head and neck is a car crash of open wounds. I sprayed them with colloidal silver and patted them dry. They've had a liberal coating of that Weleda hypercal ointment, a clean bit of tubigrip on and her collar fastened securely. We're looking at an unbroken week of collar time now, just to get these healed.

She doesn't seem to be bothering with the left temple area any more. That looks to have healed quite well, other than the fur growing back. This gives me hope that it's just the healing of the wounds that is making her scratch but I still don't know for sure and may not for some time yet.

I'm still waiting for that Vetzyme powder to arrive (I ordered it over a week ago....grr)... but that's the next weapon of choice.

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Re: Advice please... Lucy has an allergy - but to what??

Post by Lilith » Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:54 am

Ohhhh :o Naughty girl! :shock:

I do hope that powder works - it's a rollercoaster with this sort of case, and cats aren't co-operative patients ...

All paws and tails crossed here for a cure! x

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Re: Advice please... Lucy has an allergy - but to what??

Post by Ducky » Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:57 am

Lucy's powder has finally arrived and she had two doses of it yesterday, using a small make-up brush. I do think the hypercal ointment has helped a bit already, the temple and neck wounds were pretty raw only a few days ago and the redness has subsided significantly. They're not scabbing over which is bizarre but hopefully a good thing... I think I read comments from someone earlier that this ointment is good for that.

It's still collar time, cat the odd ten minutes for her to relax a bit. Supervised of course!

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Re: Advice please... Lucy has an allergy - but to what??

Post by fjm » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:41 am

Sounding good! I have found the HyperCal ointment keeps the skin supple and stops big scabs forming - perhaps it is the lanolin base.

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Re: Advice please... Lucy has an allergy - but to what??

Post by Ducky » Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:20 pm

Ah! Thanks fjm. It must have been you who mentioned it. This is my experience too. No scabs, but fading redness and no weeping. Am so grateful for the recommendations. I could see that what I was doing wasn't going to work long-term. The colloidal silver was keeping that nasties at bay but doing nothing to heal the broken skin. And after the Great Collar Escape at the weekend, well! I was despondent!

She has the run of the upstairs at night at the moment. I couldn't possibly shut her in a room in this heat. The others wouldn't want to come upstairs anyway, it's too hot. She trots in now and then to wake me up and then pootles off back to her spot in front of the fan.

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Re: Advice please... Lucy has an allergy - but to what??

Post by Ducky » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:39 pm

Today is day three of the powder. I'm still using the Weleda balm in between powder doses. I hope this is okay to do.

Every now and then I'll take her collar off and let her roll around a bit. She still attacking that right temple/cheek wound with fierce aplomb. It's often the first thing she'll do, and I end up having to catch her foot to stop her and then put her collar back on. It feels like we've hit a bit of a hill now.

I wonder if I have the best type of collar for this? Amazon is selling a blue soft cone type of collar, fastened around the neck with a drawstring. I imagine she wouldn't be able to see peripherally as well as with the inflatable collar, but she might be able to sleep better, I don't know. Some of the reviewers say their pet has managed to flip it backwards and get at their head wounds, so I don't know if it will be appropriate for this?

I am also thinking about her food again. She has been downstairs a couple of times (supervised) and has made for the food bowls. I know she'd love a bowl of fishy blob! I'm thinking about switching her to a hypo wet food, and I would appreciate any thoughts and any recommendations. She's not eating much of this dry stuff and I know it's probably largely to do with the weather... they're all off their food at the moment, apart from Pedro the Dustbin. It's hard to tell whether it's the food (JW turkey dry) that is still disagreeing with her or whether it's the healing process that is driving her to scratch. She's leaving the left side of her head alone for the most part. It's just the temple?cheek and neck that she keeps attacking when the collar comes off. I'm still dosing her with 2mg Piriton morning and night (and sometimes an in-between dose if I'm planning on taking her collar off, to try and head off the urge to itch).

Is it time to switch foods perhaps? Or do I stay put and keep working on healing these wounds first?

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Re: Advice please... Lucy has an allergy - but to what??

Post by issiandarchie+68 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:13 pm

My Cody used to nibble and scratch at her belly until it became sore, red raw and weeping. The Vet gave her a steroid injection {nobody could ever get a pill down her] which last 6 weeks and was amazing, miraculous results. However, to cut a long story short, it turned out that my wee darling was allergic not to the commercial cat food per se but the different 'binders' that held it all together. She eventually thrived on Morrisons and Asda own brand but we learned the hard way not to give her 'fancy' or anything in gravy. She also loved tuna in spring water for lunch which was useful as, some years later when she was dying, I could disguise a little lactulose in it which stopped her suffering constipation, poor lamb.

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Re: Advice please... Lucy has an allergy - but to what??

Post by Kay » Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:45 pm

I too have recently found out that the binders, or gums, used in a lot of wet food can be a problem, especially cassia gum - it's made from senna plants, which is laxative, and I'm wondering if that is why so many foods seem to go straight through Tiffany these days

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Re: Advice please... Lucy has an allergy - but to what??

Post by jano432 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:14 pm

This allergy thing is terrible. I have a cat who has similar for whatever reasons. Not linked to anything or any time of the year. I am not in the habit of using the spot on treatments as my cats do not have fleas and I do not believe in giving chemicals un necessarily but since I have started using it the incidents have been less and haven't broken out as they have previously. I am aware that these spot on treatments are not only for fleas but for other things too and I am wondering if it is some other kind of mite, maybe that it causing the problem.

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Re: Advice please... Lucy has an allergy - but to what??

Post by Ducky » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:13 am

So, we're one week into trying a new 'novel protein' grain free wet food. They're the JW lamb pouches. She likes it and she's been having half a pouch, twice daily. She still has the JW turkey dry although I did notice that I hadn't bought the grain free version so she's on that now.

I can't be a hundred percent sure, but there seems to be a bit of head shaking going on this week. It's happened before, but either I'm noticing it more this week or its happening more often. She's been scratching at her collar too. This isn't something I've noticed before. We had a couple of really good days last weekend, she had her collar off for most of it and there were few incidences of scratching. I wonder if this new food has triggered anything and I guess the only way to find out would be to stop if for (say) a couple of weeks (?) and see what happens?

I have been reading more in the meantime and apparently, not responding to steroids is a common feature of food intolerances. If so, that would explain why the last jab didn't seem to have worked.

Her wounds are clearing up albeit very very slowly. We're taking two steps forward and one back. it only takes a fraction of a moment without her collar on for her to take a scab off. I'm still using the Weleda balm every day. The antiseptic wound powder seems to make her itch, at least this is something I've noticed a couple of times. She was frantic with it once, shaking her head and trying to scratch, and I had to wipe it off again.

Any thoughts on whether I should stop the wet food for now and see how she goes would be welcome.

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Re: Advice please... Lucy has an allergy - but to what??

Post by fjm » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:20 am

I would stick with one complete food that doesn't seem to cause problems for a month or so, and then very cautiously introduce other proteins one at a time, using small quantities of fresh meat rather than commercial food. There are so many ingredients in commercial foods it is hard to know which is causing the problem, and recipes can change from batch to batch, making it even more difficult. Some animals are fine with fresh chicken, but cannot tolerate highly processed chicken foods, for example. If you buy fresh meat and freeze ice cube size portions, giving her one with each meal, a smallish pack will last for ages - and unless you are a vegetarian you can always eat anything she can't!

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Re: Advice please... Lucy has an allergy - but to what??

Post by Ducky » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:34 am

Ok. I guess the problem is, we've been on the JW turkey dry since 18th June - six weeks or so now - and I don't know if that's made any difference because she's still scratching. Whether she's scratching her healing scabs, or scratching because of her food, I have no idea. I thought I might have seen an easing of the scratching up to last weekend, but it might just have been my imagination. I'll stop the wet for now and stick to the dry.

I have some frozen chicken fillets which I sometimes steam for the others as a treat. Will that be okay to try? I would imagine that would feel like Christmas to her at the moment!

The other thing that concerns me is that once she's all healed and we've found some foods that she can eat, the next step will be to find her a new furever home. I worry that if she's needs a fresh meat diet, she'll be much harder to re-home. It is what it is, and if she cannot tolerate processed foods, then there's no getting around that. But ultimately, it would be helpful to identify at least one or two brands/varieties of ready-made or complete foods which she can eat without problem. If nothing more, as a bit of variety for her and for convenience for whoever eventually takes her home. I'm perhaps thinking a bit too far ahead there but it is something that concerns me.

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Re: Advice please... Lucy has an allergy - but to what??

Post by fjm » Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:09 am

It is possible that just one common ingredient is causing the problem - one of my dogs can't tolerate turkey, for example. Once you have found a few proteins she is ok with, you could move on to limited ingredient foods, but I suspect starting with supermarket foods introduces too many variables at once. If you are not sure about the turkey food I would go straight to a complete frozen mince, like the ones Durham Animal Feeds supply, or a prescription hypoallergenic food. If you are attempting an exclusion diet the fewer the ingredients the easier to identify which is causing the problem. (A complete mince is around 80% muscle meat, 10% ground bone, 10% offal - you can cook it gently with water if you are uneasy about feeding raw).

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Re: Advice please... Lucy has an allergy - but to what??

Post by Ducky » Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:14 pm

I'm not sure if the turkey is helping or not, no. I think I have given it long enough. I just wish she'd stop attacking the same patches all the time so that they'd heal and then I'd know whether it was (a) the food or (b) the healing process that has been irritating her so much.

I think we're looking at a good few more months of strict collar time. Kay did say earlier in the thread that until her itchy bits have healed, changing foods might be futile.

I really thought I'd have made more headway with this by now. This is teaching me a whole new meaning of the word 'patience'!

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