Egg yolk, egg yolk powder and egg yolk lecithin

tdonline

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Are they interchangeable and you only need to use of the three? Or do they offer slightly different benefits and uses?

I've been away from the forum for many years. I remember using egg yolk lecithin for awhile--without noticeable improvement with my cats and their hairball problems. Well it used to be one cats' problem but now it's an issue for both my 13 year old seniors. I have an appointment for them in late June. I'm afraid their GI systems may not working as well as they used to. In any case, I'm considering giving egg yolks another shot.

We have this strange quandary where the more I brush them, the more hairballs they get. If I don't brush them, they have fewer but much bigger hairballs. This goes back to the time I adopted them over 12 years ago. I brush them and a few hours/next morning, hairball. When I read advice to brush daily, it's really frustrating. And I'm sure it's more so for my cats. They get brushed and then they suffer.
 

daftcat75

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Egg yolk and egg yolk powder are interchangeable with the powder being much easier to store and use than fresh yolk.

Egg yolk lecithin is a subset, an extract, of egg yolk (and egg yolk powder.) It is one of the two "active" ingredients in egg yolk for hairball prevention and relief. The other is choline. Hairballs are balls of hair and fat. The lecithin helps dissolve the fat making it easier to pass in the stool. Choline stimulates the peristaltic contractions that move food (and hair) along the digestive tract. Lecithin extract is thought to be the more powerful of the two. I would start with the egg yolk powder to get both the choline and the lecithin. If that's still not enough, you can consider adding lecithin extract to the egg yolk powder. However, too much egg yolk and especially too much lecithin can have a laxative effect. Start low (dose) and slow. The litter box will tell you when they're getting too much.

Cats should be able to pass ingested hair in their stool. Often hairballs are the early indicators of a developing gut inflammation and/or motility issue. Hairballs may be your first signs of IBD. I recommend an ultrasound for each of your hairballing seniors. In the meantime, if they are still eating dry food, reducing or eliminating dry food from their diet can help greatly. Dry food can be extremely dehydrating and inflammatory. Moving both cats to a mostly or completely wet food diet will be the best first step. Reducing or eliminating their fish intake can be another positive step in reducing gut inflammation.

My guess is that brushing them more frequently is loosening more hair. Brushing you cats doesn't reduce their own grooming. It just means whatever hair you loosened that didn't get pulled away by the brush is now going to be ingested more easily. Maybe a nylon stocking or a grooming wipe after you have brushed them will pick up more hair than brushing alone.

One more thing that might help senior cats is to feed them smaller meals more often. If they have been eating twice a day all their life, perhaps breaking breakfast and dinner into two smaller meals spread out by a few hours will help them more completely empty their stomach between meals including the hair. I did 6am, 9am, 6pm, and 10pm with my angel Krista in her senior years. Breaking up their meals means less food (and less fat to bind hair) in her stomach at any given meal. A little hunger is actually good for cats as it is the hunger contractions that help move things along--something else to think about if they're currently being free-fed and another good reason to switch them to scheduled wet meals.
 

rubysmama

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I've been away from the forum for many years.
I can't help with your question, but did want to say "welcome back" :wave2:
We have this strange quandary where the more I brush them, the more hairballs they get. If I don't brush them, they have fewer but much bigger hairballs. This goes back to the time I adopted them over 12 years ago. I brush them and a few hours/next morning, hairball. When I read advice to brush daily, it's really frustrating. And I'm sure it's more so for my cats. They get brushed and then they suffer.
Tagging artiemom artiemom , as she has posted about having the same issue with brushing and hairballs with her boy Geoffrey.
 

artiemom

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We have this strange quandary where the more I brush them, the more hairballs they get. If I don't brush them, they have fewer but much bigger hairballs. This goes back to the time I adopted them over 12 years ago. I brush them and a few hours/next morning, hairball. When I read advice to brush daily, it's really frustrating. And I'm sure it's more so for my cats. They get brushed and then they suffer.
I am having the same problem with Geoffrey. It is maddening. It happens year round, but is much much worse when the weather becomes warmer.
I have the exact same theory as you do: the more I brush, the more furballs. Geoffrey is terrible to brush. He hates it. I can never get off enough fur. He ingests the loose fur, and then vomiting happens a day or 2 later. Sometimes it is just fuzzy fur, other times it is a log.

Sorry, but I do not have an answer to this.

I am inclined to agree with daftcat75 daftcat75 : I, and G's new vet are seriously thinking allergy/IBD.
He was on a hairball dry food, which contains chicken. I was reluctant to give him this, due to past history with Artie, but I did...
The new vet, who has 2 IBD cats; insisted on stopping that and giving pepcid twice a day..
This is to no avail.

Since the New Vet is on vacation, until Wednesday; I jumped the gun and scheduled an appointment with Specialist and scheduled an Ultrasound for the same day. Yes, it comes in handy when you have an Internal Med Vet, in your past. He is going to freak out when he sees us on the schedule. He knew what I went through with Artie.

As far as egg yolk, I am hesitant to use it, due to it being chicken. We do not know if this could be related to a chicken allergy.
In the meantime, Geoffrey is eating Rabbit food--novel protein.., Still hairballs.. had 2 episodes of Vomiting this week~~ consisting of 2 vomits each episode.. he got one of my sandals, also..

I wish you luck.. If I find anything else out, I will let you know...
OH, BTW, Geoffrey is around 5 years old... is a very anxious cat.. I think IBD is more common in orange cats; gut feeling.

Artie had a biopsy when he was 10 years old. I adopted him at 8 years old; supposedly no history of any abnormal vomiting. He had a chicken allergy.. and then IBD and Megacolon~~ actually not quite Megacolon, but a lack of nerve/muscle contractility, not being able to get the stool out. Treated same way as Megacolon.

If I can be of anymore help, I will be around.
I think Daftcat has a lot of experience, also.... tons of good advice!

Good Luck...
 
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tdonline

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Thank you all for the advice and insights.

Quick context: they eat wet food in the morning and late night. They get kibble snacks in the afternoon and early evening so no free feeding. Banning kibble altogether is difficult as they both love it and for one, I have to incentivize or bribe her to eat wet food. I add water to their wet food, almost 2 to 1 ratio so their food is quite soupy.

Since my first post, I've only brushed them once. Starting a weekly only brushing routine. This includes a furminator. Almost daily, I do a gentle damp hands wipe. I should be doing it daily but they're not thrilled with it. For one, it's extraordinary how much hair even a gentle wipe picks up. That's a lot of hair going through the GI system--or failing to. Also give them a small pea-sized dab of vaseline 2-3x weekly. I also started giving them a capsule of Swanson's Egg Yolk Lecithin daily. In the past week, I've seen one hairball event and found a dried one under the dining table (must have been overnight). Not great, but an improvement over the nearly daily events. Not sure if it's mainly down to only brushing once a week or if it's the EYL or the combination of all of the above.

We have a vet appointment at the end of the month and it's going to be something to discuss.
 
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