Can a protein still be considered novel even if they’ve technically had it before?

moxiewild

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My former feral DC has had some sort of allergy issue since I took him in several years ago. He’s about ~12-13 years old.

He has some minor allergy issues. His skin is red and has periods of being VERY red and hot to the touch. He scratches and causes tiny sores around his face, ears and neck - usually 2-3 small scabs at any given time, but no more. He also has mild chin acne (he has only ever eaten from ceramic or stainless steel bowls), looks like black heads.

The initial vet I took him to about this also suspected food allergies, but she wanted to focus on his dental health first at the time. We never revisited it and I do not see that vet anymore due to a bad experience with another cat.

Our current vet continues to insist it is flea allergy dermatitis, but I do not agree at all and have no idea why she thinks that. The area he develops irritation in has always been isolated to the head area, and it is consistent year round. We are also diligent about flea control since our home is a revolving door of fosters and ferals and I work at a wildlife rescue.

So i’ve taken to testing potential food allergies on my own for now, while saving for an environmental allergy test for him.

Problem with the food trial is, I can’t find a truly novel protein for DC - he’s had pork, alligator, buffalo, kangaroo, quail, duck, rabbit, venison. boar, lamb, guineafowl. He’s not had these often by any means, but he’s had each at least twice before in the last several years.

I have found some foods with Brushtail which he has not had, but I either can’t find much information on the brands, they are not single protein, or are not limited ingredient (lots of fruits, veggies, starches, etc), and I can’t figure out how to even source a couple of them anyway.

I just did a semi-food trial with Evanger’s rabbit and quail as a potential starting point until I had more time to research. (I did it for 16 weeks because I suspect my boyfriend did not quite grasp the concept of “this is the only thing he can eat” at first and may have slipped him some treats).

I think he improved, but it’s hard to tell... he currently has no new sores, and one scab that appears to be healing, which is better overall. However, I did see his skin get super red just a few days ago, so I’m not sure how to interpret his results - or where to go from here.

Is there any hope that this food trial might have worked even though it wasn’t truly “novel”?

Do I try one of the hydrolyzed prescription formulas (not thrilled about the ingredients, but short term it should be okay)?

Do I start the reintroduction process of the most common proteins he usually eats?

Is there another novel, single protein food I didn’t list that anyone knows of?
 

maggie101

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I assume you slowly switch foods- mixing in a little bit more and more. Small portions. Could it be some other allergin he cannot eat like fish,agar agar, tapioca,egg,green mussles,peas,flax seed, and many more
 

DreamerRose

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Your food trial may have worked. When you tried it before, the novel proteins weren't exclusive because you were feeding him other things too. I would keep on the rabbit and quail for a while to see if he continues to flare up. If he does, try feeding him another novel protein exclusively and see what happens the second time.
 

mizzely

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My girl Jasmine was chicken, turkey, and fish intolerant. She did well on rabbit, lamb and beef, and she definitely had been exposed to all of those proteins prior to having so many issues. So I think it can definitely work, especially if those proteins haven't been given often.
 

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