ALternative proteins

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Mollycat
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ALternative proteins

Post by Mollycat » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:11 am

I am still struggling with Molly's digestive system, I spoke to the vet this morning and we really need to get on top of it. One of the options I have read about here is a change of protein source, away from the usual chicken-lamb-beef of the common foods.

Can anyone recommend any alternatives for us please? Duck, game, etc? Not flavoured, but a complete change of protein source. Not sure we can go down the raw or cooked home preparations route as they are calorie dense and Molly can't afford to put lots of weight on and restricting bulk leads to anxiety and aggression with her.

If I can't get her bottom under control we will be looking at treatments involving pills and that is just not possible with this cat so I'm rather keen to sort it out myself - oh and we are just about bankupted from her radioactive iodine and losing our boy after months of the same digestive issues, so a load of testing is also best avoided if at all possible.

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Re: ALternative proteins

Post by alanc » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:00 am

Does Molly like fish? Thrive do an all fish complete food (which Tilly loves). I think duck is a bit fatty, so probably not good for the calorie count.

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Re: ALternative proteins

Post by Mollycat » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:30 am

Good point about duck calories, I kind of assumed that would be taken into account in prepared foods though?

Ok fish scares me. I do know it's not suitable as an only food or single protein because of thiamine deficiency though again manufactured food ought to take care of that. The novel protein is supposed to be fed exclusively for 8 weeks which seems a long time ...?

But also fish flavoured canned foods are one of 3 suspected links to hyperthyroidism - something I don't want and can't afford to go through again with her. She loves fish, still goes crazy over mackerel, but has refused tuna ever since Bobby died. Can't figure out why unless she associates it with illness as they used to get tuna water whenever Bobby was dehydrated, which was often.

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Re: ALternative proteins

Post by alanc » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:05 pm

The Thrive Ocean Fish is fish plus necessary additives to make it complete, so would depend what aspect of "fish flavored" might be linked to hyperthyroidism (the Ocean fish variety does not include Tuna as far as I know). Would want to see what the evidence actually is and how long you need to feed it to cause hyperthyroidism - my Honey went down with hyperthyroid and was not a fish flavored cat food eater.
Feeding one source of protein that differs from the usual pet food for 8 weeks could be tricky as you will have to make sure it is complete with all the things cats need.
I think most of the canned foods with duck are xxxx plus duck, so probably would not be any use to you anyway.

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Re: ALternative proteins

Post by Mollycat » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:32 pm

As far as I know there isn't any solid evidence at this stage, just a possible link, and it wouldn't be the only factor. Much like human MS which was known for years to have a genetic factor plus an unknown activation mechanism and some correlation with childhood ear infections and allergies. It was known for decades, and only recently we have become fairly certain that the activation mechanism is an impaired ability to process ecess histamine, leading to porous blood vessels and allowing white blood cells to breach the blood-brain barrier and attack the nerve sheaths. Feline hyperthyroidism has seen a massive increase in the last 30-40 years and "canned food especially fish varieties" is just one avenue being looked at along with modern fire retardants and one other i don't remember now.

To be completely honest with you Alan I'm in a panic - she shows the same symptoms as Bobby but in a less severe way, she also reacts badly to the same probiotic that he reacted badly to, and we never got to the bottom of his problems before he died. Then we are completely maxed out on every credit we can get so even the 3 day poo test the vet wants is going to be a problem. And then even if we do find the problem and the funds to test and treat it, so many treatment options are simply out of reach because of not being able to give her any medication that she won't take of her own free will on her food. Unless we have her boarded at the vets for the duration of the course of medication. He was 15 and a delicate pedigree, she is 12 and a tough hardy healthy moggy, so the thought of having to cut short her life and rob her of potentially 5 years or more is just horrible.

Current options we can try -
Gradually increasing tiny doses of ProKolin because something might be better than nothing. I was afraid she would get bunged up but vet says no she won't, but at themoment she won't eat food that has it in!!!
The diet protocol
A one-off steroid injection that will help diagnosis if the problem goes and comes back or depending what it is might just solve it
(if it is the same thing Bobby had then it won't, he was on it for life)
3 day poo test - again if it's the same as Bobby that will be "inconclusive"

She does have slightly elevated ALT and her yellow diarrhoea indicates bilirubin or gallbladder, but cause and effect between liver and gut could go either way. At the moment the list of possibilities is endless, all we know is her thyroid has just been fixed and she had a wormer 4 weeks ago.

So we're trying the Pro Kolin first, next step will be diet so I'm researching now, and then we'll go on from there.

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Re: ALternative proteins

Post by booktigger » Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:33 pm

Kattovit do gastro and sensitive foods, which would be kinder on her tummy but also complete and one of the most reasonably priced 'prescription' diets, it comes in both pouches and tins, the tins are a pate type food

https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/can ... ive/481883

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Re: Alternative proteins

Post by Mollycat » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:56 pm

Thanks Booktigger I'm really looking for single-source novel protein if possible to cure the problem rather than manage it and rice wouldn't be part of the plan. Molly has had some Hills sensitive dry but now has less than one meal serving of it every 2 weeks. My plan is the 4-6 week elimination with just one single novel protein then gradually reintroduce other single protein foods every 3 weeks to isolate any problem proteins. Ideally to minimise disruption to her routine it would be rabbit duck or venison that I can also buy fresh so she can still have her real meat treats. However the only ones I have found so far are very expensive, usually horse kangaroo or ostrich which I won't be able to buy fresh, and it looks like stock isn't reliable either.

I thought I read something from someone here who had done this kind of elimination successfully but can't find it again!

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Re: ALternative proteins

Post by alanc » Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:13 pm

Both Hills and Royal Canin do a hypoallergenic cat food which might help. Not sure though whether they are not so bland that most cats would never eat them.

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Re: ALternative proteins

Post by booktigger » Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:39 pm

I think it was Anna who did it, the one I remember bought venison from the butcher. I suggested the kattovit due to your concerns about getting the correct nutrients

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Re: ALternative proteins

Post by Mollycat » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:03 pm

Thank you for the hypoallergenic food suggestions, I really do appreciate yourtime and thought, but I'm asking if anyone can recommend single novel protein foods for an elimination diet, I don't want hypoallergenic or sensitive tummies diets. I want to deal with the problem in a long term way and bring her back to a standard normal diet. I don't want her on special formula foods for the rest of her life, unless absolutely all else fails.

Been doing some more research tonight and discovered the weight loss food she was on for 18 months has more than 17 times the recommended level of vitamin A so we could even be looking at vitamin A toxicity, more questions for the vet!

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Re: ALternative proteins

Post by Mollycat » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:05 pm

booktigger wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:39 pm
I think it was Anna who did it, the one I remember bought venison from the butcher. I suggested the kattovit due to your concerns about getting the correct nutrients
We may be able to source horsemeat and add something like Felini to cover the offal and bone requirements, another option.

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Re: ALternative proteins

Post by booktigger » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:29 pm

I think you are going to struggle, it isn't something that can be fed long term, so not enough market for it. I wasn't suggesting using the gastro long term, just enough for her to settle down and then reintroduce normal food

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Re: ALternative proteins

Post by Mollycat » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:44 am

Ah thank you crossed wires, sorry I probably waffled and didn't explain properly. I managed to get a small enough nugget of Pro Kolin on her food and mix it in well enough last night for her to eat about a third of it after inspecting suspiciously for 10 minutes. I was scared to insist too much in case I sent her the other way because it'snot all the time.

She's had soft to cowpat light brown to yellow output about half of each week for a year now, with normal to hard in between. At first it was a crisis that led to finding she was hyperthyroid so we let it go because it could have been that. Then post treatment it could have been her system still settling. Then I was totally preoccupied with Bobby. So because it's not really runny, it's not constant and it doesn't appear to affect her much, it's been left this long. Now that she is still low on potassium and her thyroid readings are all back to normal except ALT is still raised, it's become top priority.

I'm now keeping a log (forgive the pun) of all her output and the only pattern so far is 3-4 days normal to 1-2 days loose, occasionally randomly really smelly. No change with different food, meat or Dreamies. Hence thinking a complete change of protein and reintroduce foods to see if something made a difference, rather than sensitive tums food which I fear we might not be able to wean her off.

I had a hunch the diet food she was on for 18 months could have caused this so last night I took a closer look at it and the vitamin A being 17 times recommended amount could well be it. Apparently toxicity is very individual and liver/gut issues are not the first obvious symptom but it is on the list, and it's a cumulative thing like vitamin D or ragwort in horses. Bad news is once a toxic level is in the liver you can't shift it, just have to wait for the cat to eventually process it. It certainly won't be helping her anyway.

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Re: ALternative proteins

Post by Kay » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:19 am

check out the ingredients in GranataPet

https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/can ... wet/584450

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Re: ALternative proteins

Post by Mollycat » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:27 am

Kay wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:19 am
check out the ingredients in GranataPet

https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/can ... wet/584450
Yes one single source chicken hidden away among all the other flavours! Thanks

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Re: ALternative proteins

Post by booktigger » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:31 pm

The only way I know to do a true complete protein change is buying meat, even the foods with unusual proteins like Bozita contain other things, as they have to to be complete. The chicken PUR on Kay’s link has salmon oil in it. I’m not sure why you are worried about her being on a sensitive diet for life, if it works, surely it has to be beneficial? That said, I am on the fence about a lot of the ‘prescription diets’, renal and sensitive are the only 2 I would ever use. It will be interesting to see what the vets comments about the Vitamin A are.

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Re: ALternative proteins

Post by Kay » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:47 pm

my Trigger had a lot of the problems Molly has - the only thing that made a huge difference was Metacam, which he had for three months when he had a cancerous growth

it was a huge relief that he could eat anything for those months, as he never lost his appetite

I suppose the Metacam soothed inflammation - is it worth trying?

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Re: ALternative proteins

Post by Mollycat » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:46 pm

Prescription food for life is a bit restrictive for my liking, I will use it as a last resort but my instinct tells me that's not her problem. The log log tells me changing her food or giving a large amount of treats or fresh meat makes no difference at all so grain, junk food, dairy, potato or different meats aren't the trigger. Because her ALT is still raised and soft stools are often yellowy, I suspect liver, and "possible underlying liver issue" is what the vet said when she crashed and is saying again now, backed up by the I-131 team.

Metacam is one thing that hasn't been suggested, possiby because she suspects a liver issue? Molly is also IRIS stage 1 for CKD though readings could have been skewed by having breakfast before the blood test. She has suggested steroids though.

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