Coughing cat and vet thinks its IBD

njariesgirly

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My cat is 10. He was a tnr I rescued and is very nervous around anyone but me. We just lost his brother from cancer and adopted a new kitten. All of these things happening, he dropped weight and started this gagging, throwing up, coughing and swallowing all the time. The vet prescribed stomach suspension for 2 weeks. That was extremely stressful trying to give him medicine. He would scratch and run all over the house. The vet put him on a hypoallergenic diet. He improved quite a bit now. My issue is they want us to do an ultrasound for $600. Do we really need that? My other issue is I can't find a food he likes🙄. Any suggestions? Supposedly no chicken or beef?
 

Furballsmom

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Hi!
I can't help regarding the ultrasound, but are you looking for other hypoallergenic foods, or just regular canned food without chicken or beef?
 

FeebysOwner

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Given the events going on recently, I would be inclined to stay the course with hypoallergenic food and see if things turn around for him. Not to say he can't have IBD, but it would seem to be a bit of a leap considering all the circumstances in play. Is he doing OK with the new kitten? That unto itself, despite the loss of his brother, could be enough to have upset his system. Was he having any issues before?

What protein is in his current hypoallergenic food, and is it wet or dry? That can help in terms of making food recommendations. If there is one specific protein in this food, you might want to check with the vet about adding other proteins at the same time, as long as they are not chicken or beef.
 
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njariesgirly

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I need a hypoallergenic food but the prescription he tried he would not eat. He's picky! He throws up dry food about 5 minutes after eating at least 2 to 3 times a week. Any suggestions without beef or chicken?
 
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njariesgirly

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Hi!
I can't help regarding the ultrasound, but are you looking for other hypoallergenic foods, or just regular canned food without chicken or beef?
Canned food I'm looking for without chicken or beef. He likes gravy over pate.
 

Furballsmom

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There's this one
12 PK Minced Salmon & Cod in Fish Broth Gravy

Some others might be Weruva brands which have lots of different consistencies, Forza10 has a lamb variety except I believe theirs is only pate, Koha has a duck although I don't know if that's too close to poultry like probably turkey is? but they also have a rabbit variety, there's Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers but take a close look at the ingredient list since chicken might be in there even if the overall variety description doesn't indicate it, Ziwi Peak has a venison variety that is inbetween a pate and chunky so he might accept it :), Wellness has some varieties that might work - I had to scroll down on the page to get past the pate varieties, and Nature's Variety Instinct Wet might have something that works for him.

Merrick Backcountry has a pouch rabbit variety, Feline Natural has a pouch lamb and salmon variety, and last but maybe not least, there is a brand called Mouser that has one variety of mouse and duck and one that's mouse and rabbit. The only reference I can find as to the consistency of this one is someone mentioned it has more moisture than Rawz, and if this is something you're interested in you could try adding a little warm water to it, or any food.

Speaking of Rawz, since there's the specter of IBD, you could consider commercial raw, possibly?
 
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FeebysOwner

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Your best bet is probably to go with a novel protein - lamb, rabbit, venison, or duck (which I don't think is considered a poultry), or fish as mentioned above. Your problem will be finding ones that don't contain chicken or some sort of poultry-by-products. You will also have another issue in trying to get novel protein pates that have gravy included, and a lot of the add-on gravy toppers are chicken based, and even many of the fish-based ones seem to have chicken in them.
Here are some different foods to consider (not all of them are canned, so you will have to skip over those, but it is a place to start anyway).
9 Best Hydrolyzed Protein Cat Food in 2022 (petsumer.com)
The 7 Best Hypoallergenic Cat Foods For 2022 - All About Cats
 
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treeclimber

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I also have a cat with mystery digestive issues. We did the ultrasound, it came out perfectly normal (no thickening of intestinal walls or other signs of inflammation that would normally be seen with IBD), but the vet wanted to follow up with an endoscopic biopsy in the $1000-$2000 price range to check for IBD that way. I couldn’t afford it, so now we’re trial-treating to see if he responds to IBD treatments (even though there was no sign of IBD on the ultrasound).

If the ultrasound had shown signs of thickening/inflammation, we still would have needed the expensive biopsy to tell if it was IBD or lymphoma.

So the ultrasound doesn’t seem or be able to rule IBD out or in - since I couldn’t afford the biopsy, we’re still trial-treating anyway, just like we would have without the ultrasound.

I’m still glad we did the ultrasound - it told us there were no big tumors in there or anything, and knowing that my cat does NOT have thickened/inflamed intestines is making me keep an eye out for other explanations in case what’s going on with him isn’t IBD. But when it comes to what treatments he’s getting, the ultrasound didn’t make any difference at all, we’d still have wound up trial-treating with or without it.
 
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