6 year old Morty isn't doing so well

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TLDR: Cat has high white blood cells, ALT and bilirubin. Vomiting nonstop/hospitalized.

Hey everyone, I just wanted to start a thread on here about my baby and his new medical journey in hopes to get more information. As a quick back story, he is between 6-7 and has had stomach issues for the past 3 years. He has a fish allergy and an intolerance for any dry food. He both regurgitates and vomits, but the vomit is more common. He also can be spotted occasionally breathing with his mouth open and I have heard recently a few instances of asthma attacks. I've recently replaced his litter with the Dr. Elsey's respiratory relief and tried to move any air fresheners and candles away from areas he's in. He's also gotten into fish a couple times so I've thought that maybe the asthma was related to that. (I don't have a lot of money so I've been giving any leftover fish cat food to our kitten who sleeps in a cage at night. Long story short Morty realized I would feed him by the microwave and a few pieces went underneath. He never jumps on the counter but after some puking I paid more attention I caught him sticking his feet under there one day grabbing the small dropped pieces...)

Anyway, I had gotten him down to throwing up maybe once a week and was transitioning him to raw. He had no problems with this, except he really just wanted poultry and pork, not rabbit or venison. I've been using Homeopet nose drops, digestive, and cough intermittently because I've heard they're really safe so even if the don't work he probably won't have a bad reaction. The nose/cough ones did seem to be working well for his breathing. The digestive ones not so much (and the vet assistant really chewed me out for using it). I just started incorporating digestive Enzymes from Jackson Galaxy but it's a bit too early to tell.

I had previously purchased some dehydrated turkey strips from hare-today. They can be a bit sharp when broken but they're basically like a jerky. The first couple times Morty had some he was sick for about 12-16 hours. Probably three episodes with three vomits each episode. I wasn't entirely sure that this was causing anything as we had been doing a lot of diet changes and he doesn't have a turkey allergy (yet). So 2 days ago I gave him some around 2pm. This is kinda where the story starts. He started throwing up everything he ate as well as bile in between. Probably 8 episodes in about 28 hours. He wouldn't eat anything for 4ish hours, then get hungry, and then throw up again. He seemed a bit more tired than usual but he was still rolling around and appeared happy to me. He would still purr when I pet him and meow at me when he started to get hungry. By the 28 hour mark I became worried though. I was reluctant to take him to the emergency vet because I'm a broke college student and in addition to this, I never seem to get any real answers from vets, but I took him in anyway because this just isn't normal for him.

In the initial documentation I did not say he was on any raw food, I just don't want to go down that route where everything is assumed to be caused by it and other conditions may not be taken seriously. He eats 75% raw and 25% tiki cat right now. I wrote on the paper just canned food of various brands and hare-today treats. I explained the homeopath drops (to the response of "Why are you giving this to him?! Did a vet prescribe it?!) ugh and brought the treats in (to response of "I can't see the brand! What is Hare-today?! Are these actually what he had?!") She was terrible and thank god she wasn't the vet. Anyway, they initially found nothing wrong but he was a tad dehydrated. As mentioned on here by other people, they wanted to do an x-ray of his chest as well as his organs, blood work (even though he had it done last August for his teeth), and nausea/hydration shots. Running total was 1,100...

Okay apologies that this is so long, but this is where it gets bad. The vet called me from the parking lot (covid) and said he had nothing stuck in his throat but that his liver was showing failure symptoms. He had increased white blood cell production. His bilirubin was high as well as his ALT I believe. One of them was supposed to be in the range of .1 to .6 and it was at 2. He told me if I took Morty home he could very well die. This shocked me a lot because he really didn't seem super sick other than the vomiting. And with that the new running total became 3,700-4,200. He told me they needed to do an ultrasound, give him antibiotics, follow up liver testing and he needs to stay 1-2 days. He said it's possible that this could all be connected to IBD (something I've suspected for a while) but we won't know. I've now maxed out my credit card and I'm terrified for him. The vet didn't really translate his diagnosis into non-medical jargon, so what I got from that was a type of bacterial hepatitis potentially caused from his intestines, but they won't officially know until the ultrasound. He said it was rare for this to happen with an indoor cat only.

After this my mind immediately went to the raw food. Everything I've researched online says the opposite of this and that raw food should help a cat with IBD and liver issues so I'm trying not to blame myself. Anyway, I'm waiting for a call right now so I'll give an update when I can. I'm so scared for him. I have another credit card I can put a few more thousand on, and I will if that's what it takes, but I am an unemployed college student living with my boyfriend so it's going to be tough. In addition to this, I know they'll be feeding him something like Science Diet in there, and tell me to change his food permanently to that, which also stresses me out a lot because I'm not comfortable with the carb count. Plus everything I've researched says extra carbs=worse IBD.

Here of some pictures of my sweet boy. He's really intelligent and very loving. He acts more like a human than a cat.

IMG-2645(1).jpg
IMG-5577.JPG

IMG-1840.jpg
 

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Hello, so sorry to hear about your kitty, Morty. Please do not blame yourself for educated decisions you made regarding your cat's diet. it sounds like you made a very good effort to learn about pet nutrition. I too, am a raw food user and began to see its benefits for my dog and 2 cats 14 years ago. In 2006, I adopted Annie, a very happy, but sickly puppy. Initially Annie threw up bile on a regular basis, her food came up half digested, etc. She didn't even really like to eat, it was so sad. Back then there were not nearly as many options for buying commercially prepared raw foods for dogs and cats as there are now. I purchased the book, Dr. Pitcairn's Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. This book became my bible and I began making the recipes and using the homeopathic remedies. Unfortunately, many of the recipes included grains but they were still better than dry or canned food because the meat was raw, the veggies fresh and the grains gently cooked. I stuck with millet and oats and eventually phased them both out. I fasted her a lot in the beginning and continued that periodically throughout her life to give her digestive system a break but what really turned things around for her was eating the raw food. She rarely threw up. The other thing that helped tremendously was going to a homeopathic veterinarian named Dr. Michael Dym, who diagnosed her with gastritis and prescribed various remedies. Annie and my cat, Simon (he had hyperthyroidism), were his clients until he moved to FL. He does phone consultations and I have used him on occasion and wouldn't hesitate to use him again if dealing with a complicated medical diagnosis. I am lucky to have a vet nearby who specializes in both traditional and alternative medicine but her practice is more focused on chiropractic techniques, herbs, accupressure, etc. and I feel strongly that homeopathy often adds healing treatments that other methods cannot. His services aren't cheap ($260 per hour) but he's thorough and gets results. It's never a bad idea to get another opinion. If you're interested, check out his website and perhaps email him (have Morty's latest vet records handy).
http://doctordym.com
Services at Dr. Michael Dym, VMD | Holistic Veterinarian in Royal Palm Beach
Testimonials | Dr. Michael Dym, VMD | Royal Palm Beach Holistic Veterinarian
(561) 860-8578
Email:
[email protected]

Also, you don't have to accept the hospital feeding him Science Diet. I don't know why they wouldn't allow you to bring in his usual food. At the end of Annie's life, she had a brain tumor and seizures. I also maxed out a credit card and then some for emergency/overnight services but they always let me bring in her usual food. I wish you all the best and will watch for updates.
 
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Hello, so sorry to hear about your kitty, Morty. Please do not blame yourself for educated decisions you made regarding your cat's diet. it sounds like you made a very good effort to learn about pet nutrition. I too, am a raw food user and began to see its benefits for my dog and 2 cats 14 years ago. In 2006, I adopted Annie, a very happy, but sickly puppy. Initially Annie threw up bile on a regular basis, her food came up half digested, etc. She didn't even really like to eat, it was so sad. Back then there were not nearly as many options for buying commercially prepared raw foods for dogs and cats as there are now. I purchased the book, Dr. Pitcairn's Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. This book became my bible and I began making the recipes and using the homeopathic remedies. Unfortunately, many of the recipes included grains but they were still better than dry or canned food because the meat was raw, the veggies fresh and the grains gently cooked. I stuck with millet and oats and eventually phased them both out. I fasted her a lot in the beginning and continued that periodically throughout her life to give her digestive system a break but what really turned things around for her was eating the raw food. She rarely threw up. The other thing that helped tremendously was going to a homeopathic veterinarian named Dr. Michael Dym, who diagnosed her with gastritis and prescribed various remedies. Annie and my cat, Simon (he had hyperthyroidism), were his clients until he moved to FL. He does phone consultations and I have used him on occasion and wouldn't hesitate to use him again if dealing with a complicated medical diagnosis. I am lucky to have a vet nearby who specializes in both traditional and alternative medicine but her practice is more focused on chiropractic techniques, herbs, accupressure, etc. and I feel strongly that homeopathy often adds healing treatments that other methods cannot. His services aren't cheap ($260 per hour) but he's thorough and gets results. It's never a bad idea to get another opinion. If you're interested, check out his website and perhaps email him (have Morty's latest vet records handy).
http://doctordym.com
Services at Dr. Michael Dym, VMD | Holistic Veterinarian in Royal Palm Beach
Testimonials | Dr. Michael Dym, VMD | Royal Palm Beach Holistic Veterinarian
(561) 860-8578
Email:
[email protected]

Also, you don't have to accept the hospital feeding him Science Diet. I don't know why they wouldn't allow you to bring in his usual food. At the end of Annie's life, she had a brain tumor and seizures. I also maxed out a credit card and then some for emergency/overnight services but they always let me bring in her usual food. I wish you all the best and will watch for updates.
Thank you for your response. I would love to take him to a holistic vet or schedule a consultation but the current vet bill is still increasing and I just don't think I can do it right now. I just got off the phone with my vet and will post about it below, but I really doubt they would let me feed him raw food there. They seem extremely against even freeze dried, potentially telling me that was the reason for his sickness to begin with.
 
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New Morty Update:

I had two conversations with the vet today that did his ultrasound. In the first one she just asked me various questions about him and I mentioned the homeopet, asthma, allergies etc. She said that in his x-rays his throat/lungs did look a bit inflamed, but that could just be from stress. He really doesn't like vets (maybe he gets this from me) and hyperventilated in the car while we waited for 2 hours. Anyway, I again did not mention his raw diet, but I did bring up the treat again. I said it was dehydrated turkey thigh from hare-today. She didn't understand the company so I said well basically they sell raw food, treats and freeze dried food. Can you guess what she said next? I quote: "Well we really shouldn't be feeding our pets freeze dried or raw food. Us humans have to cook our food in order to eat it, right? So cats need cooked food." In this moment all I could imagine was my cat attempting to turn on the stove to cook his food lol. I don't know where to even begin with this statement....from evolution....to being a completely different species....I just agreed with her because I don't want the confrontation. This is exactly why I didn't mention any raw to begin with because I knew they would jump to conclusions. Which she then did.

She told me that the infection/hepatitis (idk what to call it) in his liver was caused by one of two ways. The treats I gave him could have caused it because "even dehydrated treats can carry bacteria." Like okay and regular cat food doesn't? Then she said the other option, which I think is more likely, that IBD could have caused bacteria from his intestinal track to seep through. I'm paraphrasing this because I don't really cat anatomy or exactly what she was talking about. So she said she will do the ultrasound and call me back.

After the next call I got both some relief as well as a higher vet bill. His ultrasound showed no tumors, a normal pancreas and nothing abnormal with the exception of inflammation and noticeable lymph nodes. She said they were not enlarged, but more noticeable than usual which could be a result of his allergies or small cell lymphoma. She said the latter was unlikely though because of his age and often long term IBD can correlate with lymphoma. She said his intestines look to be the proper size and that she was going to do follow up blood work. This would be a B12, Folic, urine, etc test. I already expected this, but she said ultimately a biopsy of his liver may be necessary to diagnose IBD. If everything else comes back normal, however, I don't think I will do that. If we're relatively certain of the issue I cannot afford to undergo another multi-thousand dollar test.

They're starting him on food right now after fasting him to see if he gets sick and they'll be retesting his liver to see if his levels have gone down. She said she'll give me a call in the next few hours. At this point I guess our best hope is IBD, but I'm endlessly still worried about the diet changes to come. I almost feel that if we could get him back to vomiting once a week (prior to the turkey treat) that would be better than a carb heavy diet with steroids.
 

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Understood, high vet bills are certainly a consideration and unfortunately, there are too many vets who are not knowledgeable about pet nutrition. You could bring in the Tiki Cat food you mentioned. Anything moist is better than dry food. In the meantime, here is another vet, Dr. Karen Becker who often writes about raw food for pets.
Should You Be Feeding Your Pet Raw Food?
I particularly like this statement, "Many vets don’t even know there’s a zero-tolerance policy for pathogens in commercial raw diets: they must be free from salmonella to be sold in the U.S."
 
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Understood, high vet bills are certainly a consideration and unfortunately, there are too many vets who are not knowledgeable about pet nutrition. You could bring in the Tiki Cat food you mentioned. Anything moist is better than dry food. In the meantime, here is another vet, Dr. Karen Becker who often writes about raw food for pets.
Should You Be Feeding Your Pet Raw Food?
I particularly like this statement, "Many vets don’t even know there’s a zero-tolerance policy for pathogens in commercial raw diets: they must be free from salmonella to be sold in the U.S."
They told me they wouldn't give him dry after I let them know he will 100% throw it up no matter what. I told her he eats Tiki Cat but they want to feed him hydrolyzed protein? Idk at this point I figure as long as it's not dry and doesn't have fish he should be okay as long as it's short term.

And I LOVE HER! I have watched that three part series as well as a few others. She gives me a lot of comfort about my decisions. I technically feed him a noncomercial raw. I buy the bone/organ/meat premix from HT and supplement with Alnutrin, but nonetheless I really don't think it could have been contaminated. They are regulated by the FDA as well for things like salmonella and while it's for animals, it is human-grade meat. Many people here feed the same thing and I've never seen any complaints, plus his food was frozen for an extended period of time so that in itself would kill many possible pathogens. I really think the turkey pieces were sharp and rough and they probably agitated something, but idk they seem to think if it's a cat jerky it wouldn't get stuck or cut anything. I feel like they really have a predisposition against raw food and therefore choose to blame it the second they hear about it.
 

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New Morty Update:

I had two conversations with the vet today that did his ultrasound. In the first one she just asked me various questions about him and I mentioned the homeopet, asthma, allergies etc. She said that in his x-rays his throat/lungs did look a bit inflamed, but that could just be from stress. He really doesn't like vets (maybe he gets this from me) and hyperventilated in the car while we waited for 2 hours. Anyway, I again did not mention his raw diet, but I did bring up the treat again. I said it was dehydrated turkey thigh from hare-today. She didn't understand the company so I said well basically they sell raw food, treats and freeze dried food. Can you guess what she said next? I quote: "Well we really shouldn't be feeding our pets freeze dried or raw food. Us humans have to cook our food in order to eat it, right? So cats need cooked food." In this moment all I could imagine was my cat attempting to turn on the stove to cook his food lol. I don't know where to even begin with this statement....from evolution....to being a completely different species....I just agreed with her because I don't want the confrontation. This is exactly why I didn't mention any raw to begin with because I knew they would jump to conclusions. Which she then did.

She told me that the infection/hepatitis (idk what to call it) in his liver was caused by one of two ways. The treats I gave him could have caused it because "even dehydrated treats can carry bacteria." Like okay and regular cat food doesn't? Then she said the other option, which I think is more likely, that IBD could have caused bacteria from his intestinal track to seep through. I'm paraphrasing this because I don't really cat anatomy or exactly what she was talking about. So she said she will do the ultrasound and call me back.

After the next call I got both some relief as well as a higher vet bill. His ultrasound showed no tumors, a normal pancreas and nothing abnormal with the exception of inflammation and noticeable lymph nodes. She said they were not enlarged, but more noticeable than usual which could be a result of his allergies or small cell lymphoma. She said the latter was unlikely though because of his age and often long term IBD can correlate with lymphoma. She said his intestines look to be the proper size and that she was going to do follow up blood work. This would be a B12, Folic, urine, etc test. I already expected this, but she said ultimately a biopsy of his liver may be necessary to diagnose IBD. If everything else comes back normal, however, I don't think I will do that. If we're relatively certain of the issue I cannot afford to undergo another multi-thousand dollar test.

They're starting him on food right now after fasting him to see if he gets sick and they'll be retesting his liver to see if his levels have gone down. She said she'll give me a call in the next few hours. At this point I guess our best hope is IBD, but I'm endlessly still worried about the diet changes to come. I almost feel that if we could get him back to vomiting once a week (prior to the turkey treat) that would be better than a carb heavy diet with steroids.
They told me they wouldn't give him dry after I let them know he will 100% throw it up no matter what. I told her he eats Tiki Cat but they want to feed him hydrolyzed protein? Idk at this point I figure as long as it's not dry and doesn't have fish he should be okay as long as it's short term.

And I LOVE HER! I have watched that three part series as well as a few others. She gives me a lot of comfort about my decisions. I technically feed him a noncomercial raw. I buy the bone/organ/meat premix from HT and supplement with Alnutrin, but nonetheless I really don't think it could have been contaminated. They are regulated by the FDA as well for things like salmonella and while it's for animals, it is human-grade meat. Many people here feed the same thing and I've never seen any complaints, plus his food was frozen for an extended period of time so that in itself would kill many possible pathogens. I really think the turkey pieces were sharp and rough and they probably agitated something, but idk they seem to think if it's a cat jerky it wouldn't get stuck or cut anything. I feel like they really have a predisposition against raw food and therefore choose to blame it the second they hear about it.
Yes, me too! I use some of Mercola supplements for my senior dogs. I have never used a premix but I'm interested to learn more about them. I feed my dogs Stella and Chewy raw food for dinner and for breakfast I feed a homemade stew created by Andi Brown in her book, the Whole Pet Diet because they need supplements that are easier to stir into cooked food. I'm feeding an updated recipe published online called Doc's Stew which includes salmon so pets with allergies would have to eat it made with all turkey/chicken. It might not be a bad option for Morty since Dr. Becker states a gently cooked diet is 2nd best to raw). This is why I love Dr. Dym, I can be honest about what I'm feeding and he will make suggestions for improvement. I hate how these traditional vets make you feel like you're poisoning your pet when clearly you're not.
 

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New Morty Update:

I had two conversations with the vet today that did his ultrasound. In the first one she just asked me various questions about him and I mentioned the homeopet, asthma, allergies etc. She said that in his x-rays his throat/lungs did look a bit inflamed, but that could just be from stress. He really doesn't like vets (maybe he gets this from me) and hyperventilated in the car while we waited for 2 hours. Anyway, I again did not mention his raw diet, but I did bring up the treat again. I said it was dehydrated turkey thigh from hare-today. She didn't understand the company so I said well basically they sell raw food, treats and freeze dried food. Can you guess what she said next? I quote: "Well we really shouldn't be feeding our pets freeze dried or raw food. Us humans have to cook our food in order to eat it, right? So cats need cooked food." In this moment all I could imagine was my cat attempting to turn on the stove to cook his food lol. I don't know where to even begin with this statement....from evolution....to being a completely different species....I just agreed with her because I don't want the confrontation. This is exactly why I didn't mention any raw to begin with because I knew they would jump to conclusions. Which she then did.

She told me that the infection/hepatitis (idk what to call it) in his liver was caused by one of two ways. The treats I gave him could have caused it because "even dehydrated treats can carry bacteria." Like okay and regular cat food doesn't? Then she said the other option, which I think is more likely, that IBD could have caused bacteria from his intestinal track to seep through. I'm paraphrasing this because I don't really cat anatomy or exactly what she was talking about. So she said she will do the ultrasound and call me back.

After the next call I got both some relief as well as a higher vet bill. His ultrasound showed no tumors, a normal pancreas and nothing abnormal with the exception of inflammation and noticeable lymph nodes. She said they were not enlarged, but more noticeable than usual which could be a result of his allergies or small cell lymphoma. She said the latter was unlikely though because of his age and often long term IBD can correlate with lymphoma. She said his intestines look to be the proper size and that she was going to do follow up blood work. This would be a B12, Folic, urine, etc test. I already expected this, but she said ultimately a biopsy of his liver may be necessary to diagnose IBD. If everything else comes back normal, however, I don't think I will do that. If we're relatively certain of the issue I cannot afford to undergo another multi-thousand dollar test.

They're starting him on food right now after fasting him to see if he gets sick and they'll be retesting his liver to see if his levels have gone down. She said she'll give me a call in the next few hours. At this point I guess our best hope is IBD, but I'm endlessly still worried about the diet changes to come. I almost feel that if we could get him back to vomiting once a week (prior to the turkey treat) that would be better than a carb heavy diet with steroids.
I don't blame you and if you can avoid it, don't get the biopsy! The less invasive they can be, the better for Morty. If you are being pressured to change his diet to no longer feed raw, I would consider making his food. Here is the recipe I make that I converted 3 kibble eating kitties to and that I hope to convert my recent rescue cat to:
DOC’S STEW: The healthiest version of my food for dogs & cats – The Whole Pet Diet
My dogs literally bark at me every morning because they cannot wait to eat and it smells good. My cats loved it too and at least you can control what goes in it.
 
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Yes, me too! I use some of Mercola supplements for my senior dogs. I have never used a premix but I'm interested to learn more about them. I feed my dogs Stella and Chewy raw food for dinner and for breakfast I feed a homemade stew created by Andi Brown in her book, the Whole Pet Diet because they need supplements that are easier to stir into cooked food. I'm feeding an updated recipe published online called Doc's Stew which includes salmon so pets with allergies would have to eat it made with all turkey/chicken. It might not be a bad option for Morty since Dr. Becker states a gently cooked diet is 2nd best to raw). This is why I love Dr. Dym, I can be honest about what I'm feeding and he will make suggestions for improvement. I hate how these traditional vets make you feel like you're poisoning your pet when clearly you're not.
Yeah I'm looking into getting Dr. Becker's probiotic. I recently bought the Jackson Galaxy one but I see there's has and extra billion bacteria in there so it may be better. I was also reading the page about IBD in cats and how to start and it looks like she recommends cooked turkey/sweet potato or pumpkin to start so that the diet is very bland. Not sure if I can get Morty to eat that though. Then she recommends moving to a novel protein and then eventually raw. I've also seen recommendations for bone broth to help heal the intestines/stomach but I need to do a lot more research. I'm assuming the cooked meat would 100% need to be supplemented but she doesn't really state with what, so I'm assuming E-Z would probably be okay. I'm also seeing that once he eventually goes back to full raw he may need a none-bone mix. So I definitely need to dedicate many more hours of research to get a better idea of what he will need. It would be great if my vet could do this for me since I'm now paying over 4k but I know they won't.

I will look into that recipe, although I'm unsure that the vegetables in it would be a good idea for a cat especially with IBD (if that's what he has). But yeah I really don't think the biopsy is a good idea. Honestly if it did come back as cancer, there's really not much I could do for him anyway. I feel like assuming it's IBD would be his best option compared to undergoing various other tests to confirm/not confirm something I have no way to treat.
 

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I don't recommend that recipe for cats. The garlic alone raises a red flag. Garlic and onions are two big flashing "don't feed these" foods with cats. But that recipe is also leaning heavily on vegetables for nutrients that cats can't get from vegetables. They aren't omnivores. They are obligate carnivores. They must get their nutrition from meat/animal sources. They lack certain enzymes or they have them in much smaller amounts than humans and dogs for digesting plant matter.

Here are two much better recipes that are appropriate for cats:
StackPath

http://www.catnutrition.org/recipes.html

I recommend leaving him at the hospital with IV fluids where he can also get an antibiotic and any other medication they feel would benefit him right now. Unfortunately, the bill for this adds up. But it's better than anything you can do for him at home right now.

I also recommend a feeding tube. It's not as drastic as it sounds. It's also not a very expensive procedure. You'll pay more for the anesthesia and the X-rays to confirm the placement than you will for the time, materials, or procedure. It will be about on par with X-rays but much cheaper than an ultrasound. You are probably being charged more per day of IV fluids (and whatever drugs they are putting into his line.)

Feeding Tubes For Cats

The benefit of the feeding tube is that it will make it much easier to decide what food to feed him and any medicine in his home recovery period. He won't come back "cured" when you finally bring him home. There will still be more to do at home to get his levels back down. If he doesn't like the hydrolyzed protein, tough. You can inject it into the tube for him like tough love. If that helps him recover, then that's what you should do. DO NOT put raw food into the feeding tube. You just can't clean the inside of the tube well enough to feel comfortable with that.

I recommend taking a break from raw food. Instead, I recommend Rawz canned food. It's human grade like Tiki Cat. But you can get them in a variety of different single protein pates. You can be assured that the turkey only contains turkey ingredients and the rabbit only rabbit. There's no sneaky chicken or fish ingredients. Well, there is one exception here. The duck pate contains salmon oil. Salmon oil is the fat, not the protein. Animals who have fish allergies can still have fish oil.

Where to Buy | RAWZ

Rawz will send you samples if you write them.

Finally, my Krista went through something very similar in January 2019. However, we already knew she had IBD with multiple sensitivities (chicken, eggs, and fish as well as certain gums like carageenan, agar agar, and xanthan gum.) She also had teeth issues and ear issues. Though I am inclined to believe the ear issues were a result of her food sensitivities. You may find something useful in my account of her hospitalization. She was hospitalized for 9 days in early January. I believe it was in early February that her enzyme levels were finally back to normal. Some cats and some conditions take much longer to recover.

Krista's Care

You don't have to read the whole thread. I kept it going for 18 months or so because she had many issues and it helped me sort through them. Maybe January and possibly February would be enough context and possibly provide you with some ideas to discuss with your vet.
 
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I don't recommend that recipe for cats. The garlic alone raises a red flag. Garlic and onions are two big flashing "don't feed these" foods with cats. But that recipe is also leaning heavily on vegetables for nutrients that cats can't get from vegetables. They aren't omnivores. They are obligate carnivores. They must get their nutrition from meat/animal sources. They lack certain enzymes or they have them in much smaller amounts than humans and dogs for digesting plant matter.

Here are two much better recipes that are appropriate for cats:
StackPath

http://www.catnutrition.org/recipes.html

I recommend leaving him at the hospital with IV fluids where he can also get an antibiotic and any other medication they feel would benefit him right now. Unfortunately, the bill for this adds up. But it's better than anything you can do for him at home right now.

I also recommend a feeding tube. It's not as drastic as it sounds. It's also not a very expensive procedure. You'll pay more for the anesthesia and the X-rays to confirm the placement than you will for the time, materials, or procedure. It will be about on par with X-rays but much cheaper than an ultrasound. You are probably being charged more per day of IV fluids (and whatever drugs they are putting into his line.)

Feeding Tubes For Cats

The benefit of the feeding tube is that it will make it much easier to decide what food to feed him and any medicine in his home recovery period. He won't come back "cured" when you finally bring him home. There will still be more to do at home to get his levels back down. If he doesn't like the hydrolyzed protein, tough. You can inject it into the tube for him like tough love. If that helps him recover, then that's what you should do. DO NOT put raw food into the feeding tube. You just can't clean the inside of the tube well enough to feel comfortable with that.

I recommend taking a break from raw food. Instead, I recommend Rawz canned food. It's human grade like Tiki Cat. But you can get them in a variety of different single protein pates. You can be assured that the turkey only contains turkey ingredients and the rabbit only rabbit. There's no sneaky chicken or fish ingredients. Well, there is one exception here. The duck pate contains salmon oil. Salmon oil is the fat, not the protein. Animals who have fish allergies can still have fish oil.

Where to Buy | RAWZ

Rawz will send you samples if you write them.

Finally, my Krista went through something very similar in January 2019. However, we already knew she had IBD with multiple sensitivities (chicken, eggs, and fish as well as certain gums like carageenan, agar agar, and xanthan gum.) She also had teeth issues and ear issues. Though I am inclined to believe the ear issues were a result of her food sensitivities. You may find something useful in my account of her hospitalization. She was hospitalized for 9 days in early January. I believe it was in early February that her enzyme levels were finally back to normal. Some cats and some conditions take much longer to recover.

Krista's Care

You don't have to read the whole thread. I kept it going for 18 months or so because she had many issues and it helped me sort through them. Maybe January and possibly February would be enough context and possibly provide you with some ideas to discuss with your vet.
I was looking through your older posts and was literally just about to DM you. I agree with no vegetables and cutting out the raw for now, at least until his stomach is doing better. They're not really offering a feeding tube at the moment because he's still eating fairly well and he's also overweight (about 12.5 and he should be 11). While he can be picky at times, I've never really had trouble getting him to eat or take any medications. His IV is currently just the antibiotic and probably some fluids. I know he's also been getting the anti-nausea shots as well.

I intend to keep him at the hospital for at least today and tomorrow (what they initially suggested) but after that if his levels don't stabilize I might have to take him home. They need to be paid at the time of care so I just don't know if I can afford 500-1000 a day just for hospitalization. You mentioned the Rawz on another forum of mine and I've been looking into it and will definitely give it a try. Do you have any ideas about the "bland" diet that may be recommended? Or probiotics? For example, I know when they send him home they will want the veterinarian diet from Hills/Royal Canon, which I am okay doing for a short period of time. I don't think such a high carb percentage will be ideal long term though. The "bland" diet of cooked turkey and sweet potato sounds better to me and if it's cooked I don't see how any bacteria would get in. I just have no clue on how long to feed that, when to switch to a novel protein and when to go back to raw. We also don't really know the cause of the bacteria in his liver yet, whether it was a result of raw feeding or because of IBD. I'm very inclined to believe the latter. I have two other cats here eating the same thing with no problems, so it may just have been too much too soon for his problem-prone stomach to handle. I also feel like (though it sounds weird) the dried turkey could have cut something. It's meant for cats and dogs, but it hurt my own hands breaking it apart. As I mentioned above, I would LOVE it my vet would help me, but all they are looking at right now if his tests come back okay is their prescription diet and possibly steroids. Like I mentioned they literally told me that because we eat cooked food cats also eat cooked food...which is weird. I had multiple cats who developed diabetes and died off those diets so I have a lot of feelings about them.
 

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Yeah I'm looking into getting Dr. Becker's probiotic. I recently bought the Jackson Galaxy one but I see there's has and extra billion bacteria in there so it may be better. I was also reading the page about IBD in cats and how to start and it looks like she recommends cooked turkey/sweet potato or pumpkin to start so that the diet is very bland. Not sure if I can get Morty to eat that though. Then she recommends moving to a novel protein and then eventually raw. I've also seen recommendations for bone broth to help heal the intestines/stomach but I need to do a lot more research. I'm assuming the cooked meat would 100% need to be supplemented but she doesn't really state with what, so I'm assuming E-Z would probably be okay. I'm also seeing that once he eventually goes back to full raw he may need a none-bone mix. So I definitely need to dedicate many more hours of research to get a better idea of what he will need. It would be great if my vet could do this for me since I'm now paying over 4k but I know they won't.

I will look into that recipe, although I'm unsure that the vegetables in it would be a good idea for a cat especially with IBD (if that's what he has). But yeah I really don't think the biopsy is a good idea. Honestly if it did come back as cancer, there's really not much I could do for him anyway. I feel like assuming it's IBD would be his best option compared to undergoing various other tests to confirm/not confirm something I have no way to treat.
The trouble with bland diets is that cats don't really like them. I would honestly start with Rawz Turkey and Liver Pate. If he likes it, great. Feed that and only that until he's through all of this. Rabbit would be the other option. If you suspect IBD, I would avoid chicken and fish.

A lot of vets are starting to believe that IBD and lymphoma are different points on the spectrum of the same disease--that IBD can progress to lymphoma. The rule of the thumb that a lot of people use is that if Morty is maintaining his weight when he's eating a normal amount of food, it's probably not (yet) lymphoma. When Krista's IBD progressed to lymphoma, she was hungry all the time. She ate 10 oz of food a day. And she was still losing weight. Lymphoma isn't a death sentence though. With chemotherapy, she enjoyed at least six more months. If I hadn't been disguising her nightly prednisilone inside fish flakes (a known/suspected trigger food of hers), she would have reached remission a lot sooner and might even still be with me today. Ultimately, I believe it was the long-term use of steroids--especially at a higher dose (7.5 mg/day)--that made her more susceptible to infection and too weak to fight it off. 😿

It is possible that the turkey stick caused a laceration that allowed gut bacteria to spill into the bloodstream. I wouldn't feed that one again.

If you buy bone broth, it's likely not concentrated enough to do good. If you make your own though, that's a huge bacteria risk. Krista and I struggled for months with a clostridium infection from an undercooked turkey leg in the slow cooker. I would give raw a rest for now. When you're ready to try again, get a manual grinder from Amazon (about $40) and grind your own turkey thigh meat and liver. Make friends with the butcher and ask him to set aside turkey giblets for you to get turkey liver and turkey heart. You'll also get turkey gizzards which are good on their own for dental health. To the turkey meat and organs, add Alnutrin with eggshell calcium. I would avoid EZ Complete because it has chicken liver in it. If Morty is sensitive to chicken, that's not a good mix for him.

If he's still eating well, then don't worry about the feeding tube.

You don't have to accept the prescription food. Though if he is eating the hydrolyzed protein hockey puck, then you may as well keep him on that for awhile and see if that settles his stomach. It is supposed to be protein rendered unrecognizable from its source. This is actually better than it sounds. That means that if Morty's immune system is incorrectly identifying chicken protein as an allergen, the hydrolyzed protein won't be recognized as chicken by his immune system.

Cut out the dry food if you haven't already. There's just no good argument for dry food, and way too many bad arguments against it.

What else? Probiotics. I never found one that I was confident was working with Krista. But one thing that did help her was Optagest digestive enzymes with a pre-biotic (encourages the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.)

I'm glad you didn't DM me. I'm still struggling with life after Krista and believe my TCS addiction is a maladjustment. But I also feel cornered in DMs and I often don't want to discuss Krista's struggles. It's not how I want to remember her. Some days I look at threads like this and want nothing to do with them. But I didn't like Doc's Stew recipe above and got long-winded about it. 🤦‍♂️😹
 
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The trouble with bland diets is that cats don't really like them. I would honestly start with Rawz Turkey and Liver Pate. If he likes it, great. Feed that and only that until he's through all of this. Rabbit would be the other option. If you suspect IBD, I would avoid chicken and fish.

A lot of vets are starting to believe that IBD and lymphoma are different points on the spectrum of the same disease--that IBD can progress to lymphoma. The rule of the thumb that a lot of people use is that if Morty is maintaining his weight when he's eating a normal amount of food, it's probably not (yet) lymphoma. When Krista's IBD progressed to lymphoma, she was hungry all the time. She ate 10 oz of food a day. And she was still losing weight. Lymphoma isn't a death sentence though. With chemotherapy, she enjoyed at least six more months. If I hadn't been disguising her nightly prednisilone inside fish flakes (a known/suspected trigger food of hers), she would have reached remission a lot sooner and might even still be with me today. Ultimately, I believe it was the long-term use of steroids--especially at a higher dose (7.5 mg/day)--that made her more susceptible to infection and too weak to fight it off. 😿

It is possible that the turkey stick caused a laceration that allowed gut bacteria to spill into the bloodstream. I wouldn't feed that one again.

If you buy bone broth, it's likely not concentrated enough to do good. If you make your own though, that's a huge bacteria risk. Krista and I struggled for months with a clostridium infection from an undercooked turkey leg in the slow cooker. I would give raw a rest for now. When you're ready to try again, get a manual grinder from Amazon (about $40) and grind your own turkey thigh meat and liver. Make friends with the butcher and ask him to set aside turkey giblets for you to get turkey liver and turkey heart. You'll also get turkey gizzards which are good on their own for dental health. To the turkey meat and organs, add Alnutrin with eggshell calcium. I would avoid EZ Complete because it has chicken liver in it. If Morty is sensitive to chicken, that's not a good mix for him.

If he's still eating well, then don't worry about the feeding tube.

You don't have to accept the prescription food. Though if he is eating the hydrolyzed protein hockey puck, then you may as well keep him on that for awhile and see if that settles his stomach. It is supposed to be protein rendered unrecognizable from its source. This is actually better than it sounds. That means that if Morty's immune system is incorrectly identifying chicken protein as an allergen, the hydrolyzed protein won't be recognized as chicken by his immune system.

Cut out the dry food if you haven't already. There's just no good argument for dry food, and way too many bad arguments against it.

What else? Probiotics. I never found one that I was confident was working with Krista. But one thing that did help her was Optagest digestive enzymes with a pre-biotic (encourages the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.)

I'm glad you didn't DM me. I'm still struggling with life after Krista and believe my TCS addiction is a maladjustment. But I also feel cornered in DMs and I often don't want to discuss Krista's struggles. It's not how I want to remember her. Some days I look at threads like this and want nothing to do with them. But I didn't like Doc's Stew recipe above and got long-winded about it. 🤦‍♂️😹
Thank you so much for your input. I'm ordering the turkey right now from a site called heartypet and it looks like 24 cans will only be about 58 dollars and it has free shipping. That's really not that expensive compared to other brands. I don't believe that he is currently having any issues with chicken, but I will leave it out of his diet right now just in case. I would get the rabbit but I seriously doubt he would eat it.

My vet told something quite similar with the lymphoma. I should find out soon about his B12 levels as well so hopefully they are stable. I would really like to avoid the steroids but we'll just have to see. Before the turkey treat we had gotten him down from vomiting multiple times per day to about once a week, so I have faith he can get back to that point. While vomiting that much isn't ideal, from what the vet told me it's manageable. He has zero dry food in his diet with the exception of freeze dried and dehydrated treats, which I will be eliminating. He hasn't been able to eat dry food in years with the exception of a few pieces at a time as a treat so this will not be a problem. Luckily I have two other cats, (one with no issues and one with a beef allergy) that can consume the 60 pounds of raw food in my freezer right now, and hopefully we can get Morty back there some day. Although after the little IBD research I have done we may need to avoid a bone grind.

I know this is likely a question you cannot answer, but I figured I would try asking anyway just to get your opinion. Since my vets aren't much help with the diet, do you have any idea even in the slightest of how long he should be on a bland or Rawz diet? Obviously the vomiting would need to stop (and he's never had any stool issues luckily) but I know there's no way for me to ask the vet this without them immediately saying he needs the Hills diet + steroids forever. As previously mentioned, he only recently got this bad so I'm inclined to believe he can go back to how he was as long as he doesn't consume anything hard.

Was the Optagest digestive enzymes with a pre-biotic something the vet prescribed or something you found online?
 

daftcat75

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Optagest
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002LO2QEG/?tag=thecatsite

I would skip the bland diet. If he eats the Rawz or the prescription food and there's no issues there, then keep feeding that. Cats don't really need variety. Variety breeds pickiness as they learn they can hold out for something else. And if you suspect IBD, then you find what works and stick with that until it stops working.

$58 is a good price. I like Hearty Pet. They're the one in MD, I think. Incredible Pets is in California. They have great prices and very fast shipping.
 

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I don't recommend that recipe for cats. The garlic alone raises a red flag. Garlic and onions are two big flashing "don't feed these" foods with cats. But that recipe is also leaning heavily on vegetables for nutrients that cats can't get from vegetables. They aren't omnivores. They are obligate carnivores. They must get their nutrition from meat/animal sources. They lack certain enzymes or they have them in much smaller amounts than humans and dogs for digesting plant matter.

Here are two much better recipes that are appropriate for cats:
StackPath

http://www.catnutrition.org/recipes.html

I recommend leaving him at the hospital with IV fluids where he can also get an antibiotic and any other medication they feel would benefit him right now. Unfortunately, the bill for this adds up. But it's better than anything you can do for him at home right now.

I also recommend a feeding tube. It's not as drastic as it sounds. It's also not a very expensive procedure. You'll pay more for the anesthesia and the X-rays to confirm the placement than you will for the time, materials, or procedure. It will be about on par with X-rays but much cheaper than an ultrasound. You are probably being charged more per day of IV fluids (and whatever drugs they are putting into his line.)

Feeding Tubes For Cats

The benefit of the feeding tube is that it will make it much easier to decide what food to feed him and any medicine in his home recovery period. He won't come back "cured" when you finally bring him home. There will still be more to do at home to get his levels back down. If he doesn't like the hydrolyzed protein, tough. You can inject it into the tube for him like tough love. If that helps him recover, then that's what you should do. DO NOT put raw food into the feeding tube. You just can't clean the inside of the tube well enough to feel comfortable with that.

I recommend taking a break from raw food. Instead, I recommend Rawz canned food. It's human grade like Tiki Cat. But you can get them in a variety of different single protein pates. You can be assured that the turkey only contains turkey ingredients and the rabbit only rabbit. There's no sneaky chicken or fish ingredients. Well, there is one exception here. The duck pate contains salmon oil. Salmon oil is the fat, not the protein. Animals who have fish allergies can still have fish oil.

Where to Buy | RAWZ

Rawz will send you samples if you write them.

Finally, my Krista went through something very similar in January 2019. However, we already knew she had IBD with multiple sensitivities (chicken, eggs, and fish as well as certain gums like carageenan, agar agar, and xanthan gum.) She also had teeth issues and ear issues. Though I am inclined to believe the ear issues were a result of her food sensitivities. You may find something useful in my account of her hospitalization. She was hospitalized for 9 days in early January. I believe it was in early February that her enzyme levels were finally back to normal. Some cats and some conditions take much longer to recover.

Krista's Care

You don't have to read the whole thread. I kept it going for 18 months or so because she had many issues and it helped me sort through them. Maybe January and possibly February would be enough context and possibly provide you with some ideas to discuss with your vet.
Onions are definite no-no, but sorry to disagree but garlic has immune boosting properties and holistic vets have been recommending it for years (including Dr. Becker). The key is not to overdo it. If you do the research, you will find you would have to feed a ridiculously high amount of garlic to make an animal ill (more than they would be willing to eat). So not only does it provide immune boosting properties, it makes the food taste good, which is important for ailing kitties. The recipe is NOT leaning heavily on veggies; it's actually a pretty small amount in proportion to all of the meat, bones and organs and they are all alkaline vegetables, making them easily digestible. In fact, this recipe is recommended for kitties with IBD/digestive issues. I switched my cat, Pablo from eating canned food to eating this stew because he had horrendous digestive issues; he even had emergency surgery and his symptoms disappeared (it took months but as time went on he greatly improved). He lived until he was 20 years old without needing medication. Ultimately, pet owners need to choose what they feel comfortable feeding.
 

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Onions are definite no-no, but sorry to disagree but garlic has immune boosting properties and holistic vets have been recommending it for years (including Dr. Becker). The key is not to overdo it. If you do the research, you will find you would have to feed a ridiculously high amount of garlic to make an animal ill (more than they would be willing to eat). So not only does it provide immune boosting properties, it makes the food taste good, which is important for ailing kitties. The recipe is NOT leaning heavily on veggies; it's actually a pretty small amount in proportion to all of the meat, bones and organs and they are all alkaline vegetables, making them easily digestible. In fact, this recipe is recommended for kitties with IBD/digestive issues. I switched my cat, Pablo from eating canned food to eating this stew because he had horrendous digestive issues; he even had emergency surgery and his symptoms disappeared (it took months but as time went on he greatly improved). He lived until he was 20 years old without needing medication. Ultimately, pet owners need to choose what they feel comfortable feeding.
I forgot to mention that over the years I have alternated proteins and found both dogs and cats adore the stew when made with turkey, which is often better for pets with allergies to chicken and beef.
 
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Morty Update: (Good news!)

I just got another call from the vet. Looks like Morty is improving more rapidly than they expected. His bilirubin is back down to normal, his ALT is down from 800 to 500, and his blood sugar went down from 200 to 130. They are keeping him another night on the antibiotics, but if he continues to improve he should be home by tomorrow night.

He's eaten a bit of the food they've given him but not much. I'm sure the stress as well as the antibiotics is playing a big role in this. I asked again if we know a definite cause of the infection and it will be unclear without a biopsy, but we're pretty much going to assume he has IBD. She said raw, freeze dried, dehydrated can never, ever be fed again. Of course this isn't something I agree with, but obviously while he's healing I will follow those instructions. She also doesn't think he will need a steroid (YAY!) because his vomiting was originally down to once a week and is confident that food changes can help him. Basically one single hydrolyzed protein and nothing else, which again I have mixed feelings about but I will follow their plan until he heals up before trying something different.

She said she would call me in the morning with an update so hopefully there will be more positive news.
 

NJResident

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Yeah I'm looking into getting Dr. Becker's probiotic. I recently bought the Jackson Galaxy one but I see there's has and extra billion bacteria in there so it may be better. I was also reading the page about IBD in cats and how to start and it looks like she recommends cooked turkey/sweet potato or pumpkin to start so that the diet is very bland. Not sure if I can get Morty to eat that though. Then she recommends moving to a novel protein and then eventually raw. I've also seen recommendations for bone broth to help heal the intestines/stomach but I need to do a lot more research. I'm assuming the cooked meat would 100% need to be supplemented but she doesn't really state with what, so I'm assuming E-Z would probably be okay. I'm also seeing that once he eventually goes back to full raw he may need a none-bone mix. So I definitely need to dedicate many more hours of research to get a better idea of what he will need. It would be great if my vet could do this for me since I'm now paying over 4k but I know they won't.

I will look into that recipe, although I'm unsure that the vegetables in it would be a good idea for a cat especially with IBD (if that's what he has). But yeah I really don't think the biopsy is a good idea. Honestly if it did come back as cancer, there's really not much I could do for him anyway. I feel like assuming it's IBD would be his best option compared to undergoing various other tests to confirm/not confirm something I have no way to treat.
I originally thought the same thing but I did some research and learned the veggies are alkaline and have many other healthful properties, making them much easier to digest than kale or broccoli. The recipe is recommended for cats with all sorts of health problems including digestive issues, diabetes, obesity, kidney and urinary ailments, etc.. I switched my cat, Pablo, successfully to it after he had emergency exploratory surgery because he couldn't hold anything down, including water. It was scary; his entire digestive system was inflamed and he had a lot of gas. I also fed this stew to my dog who had gastritis and although she did better on raw, she tolerated this stew very well and adored it.

I used to use Dr. Becker's probiotic but my current vet recommended VetriScience Vetri Mega Probiotic so I decided to try it; it's for dogs/cats. Apparently some vets in my area carry it but it is available via Amazon. The company is based in VT and they have amazing customer service (I use other products by this company). Another thing I like about Dr. Dym is that he will review pet records and recommend a diet and specialized supplements tailored to your pet's health needs. He prescribed a lot of Standard Process supplements for my dog with gastritis. I knew the company made supplements for people but didn't know they also made them for pets. It's nice to have a competent professional with many years of experience provide a plan that doesn't involve more expensive tests and surgery. The homeopathic meds he prescribes are also very reasonably priced.
 

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Morty Update: (Good news!)

I just got another call from the vet. Looks like Morty is improving more rapidly than they expected. His bilirubin is back down to normal, his ALT is down from 800 to 500, and his blood sugar went down from 200 to 130. They are keeping him another night on the antibiotics, but if he continues to improve he should be home by tomorrow night.

He's eaten a bit of the food they've given him but not much. I'm sure the stress as well as the antibiotics is playing a big role in this. I asked again if we know a definite cause of the infection and it will be unclear without a biopsy, but we're pretty much going to assume he has IBD. She said raw, freeze dried, dehydrated can never, ever be fed again. Of course this isn't something I agree with, but obviously while he's healing I will follow those instructions. She also doesn't think he will need a steroid (YAY!) because his vomiting was originally down to once a week and is confident that food changes can help him. Basically one single hydrolyzed protein and nothing else, which again I have mixed feelings about but I will follow their plan until he heals up before trying something different.

She said she would call me in the morning with an update so hopefully there will be more positive news.
This is great news! I don't agree with her either. Maybe it's time to find a different vet...
 
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This is great news! I don't agree with her either. Maybe it's time to find a different vet...
Thanks for the supplement recommendation, I will look into it. And yes, luckily she is not our main vet but instead the vet at the emergency hospital. I was think about what you mentioned earlier about Becker mentioning cooked food is second best to raw and I think I may give it a chance at some point. If the vet is correct that bacteria from raw food caused this (which really doesn't make sense to me) then cooked food may be a better option. The only caveat would be the digestibility of it and how much he likes it. I'm not comfortable with introducing veggies into his diet (even if it does work well for some cats) so I would probably try something like cooked turkey with alnutrin, no bone. But first I'm just going to give him what they recommend as long as it helps him heal. When he gets discharged (hopefully tomorrow) I'll ask them about cooking food for him, but I expect an immediate response like "You may not cook it well enough...or Hills is formulated for this." Once we can get a bit more money saved up I plan to do a consultation with a holistic vet because no matter how many hours I research, I definitely don't have a degree in the subject so I do expect I will need some help.

Another reason I'm hoping we can get back to at least cooked is because of the price. Maybe a little selfish of me, but I expect whatever food they give will probably be like 4 dollars a can and long term that's really difficult for me to afford. Especially knowing that it could lead to more long term effects like diabetes. I'm definitely keeping my other two boys on raw however as I've found no good reason to take them off, even if my vet doesn't agree. It really makes me wonder how she thinks commercial raw is available to be sold here, like you mentioned before.
 
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