Elimination diet

Twinkster

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Our cat is still scratching , the vet is really no help. I am trying to take things out of her diet and I think I'm doing it wrong. Is chicken or fish a higher allergen? Or maybe I should start somewhere else.
I scoured and came up with a list of foods that are fish free, NOT easy. I have been keeping a food journal. She is still scratching and some fur is lost on her legs again.
I am wondering if I should have taken chicken out first. She is on wet only. Should I eliminate all poultry?
I am going crazy, wet cat food is so expensive, I just need something to work . The vet gave us Atopica which she wanted nothing to do with. I guess we will have to hold her down and give it to her. When I put it in her food she wont eat.
I gave her nulo turkey and duck last night and she threw up. So that is off the list.

Should I just pick 1 food/1flavor and keep her on that for a few weeks. Or is a variety ok if 1 ingredient is taken out
 

FeebysOwner

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I don't know how long you've been experimenting with food changes, or how often you've changed out the food, but sometimes it can take several weeks after a food change is made before any results are seen, So, maybe you are expecting the results to be quicker than it might actually take. It seems chicken and fish are both on the top of the list of potential food allergens, but a lot of fillers can cause allergic reactions too. Logging, in detail, all the 'main' ingredients, including fillers, in each of the foods might help to identify other possible allergens. Most of the posts I have read on this site try a novel single-protein diet to test for protein allergies - duck, rabbit, lamb, venison are examples. Numerous food changes in a short period of time could also impact her digestive tract which could have contributed to her throwing up. If any of the novel proteins resolve the issue, other proteins can always be added in later to see if they provoke a reaction. If none of this works, then you will need to focus on fillers.

Atopica can be prescribed in capsule form, but I don't know if that would help with administration any. This med could also be compounded so that is flavored differently. A compounding pharmacy would need to get involved, and of course this route is more expensive. You might try the 'juice' from a can of tuna in water and see if that would better mask the taste. I'd also ask the vet if there is something else to try since it seems she can taste this med in her food. it is always best to try to give a cat meds without forcing them to take it, but I know that is not always possible.

Food isn't the only source of allergens - litter, dust, and other environmental elements can cause allergies too. There are tests that can be run focusing on certain items, like dust, pollen, grass, chicken, and fish, etc. so you might ask the vet how you could go about getting some testing of this sort done. It might have to involve a vet who specialized in dermatology.
 

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Totally agree with the above. For an elimination diet, you should pick one protein, NOT chicken, any type of fish, or beef. Basically you want a limited ingredient food. Merrick makes those. Instinct does too. As does Koha. And there are prescription hyrodrolyzed protein diets that are out there when all else fails. But elimination diets are tricky. You should not feed anything else, not one single treat. Nothing but the one limited ingredient food you pick, for 8 to 12 weeks to really see if there is a change.

When you say your Vet is not much help, what have they done or not done so far? If they have done nothing except prescribe Atopica as the first thing, I would say it's time for a new Vet.
 
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I don't know how long you've been experimenting with food changes, or how often you've changed out the food, but sometimes it can take several weeks after a food change is made before any results are seen, So, maybe you are expecting the results to be quicker than it might actually take. It seems chicken and fish are both on the top of the list of potential food allergens, but a lot of fillers can cause allergic reactions too. Logging, in detail, all the 'main' ingredients, including fillers, in each of the foods might help to identify other possible allergens. Most of the posts I have read on this site try a novel single-protein diet to test for protein allergies - duck, rabbit, lamb, venison are examples. Numerous food changes in a short period of time could also impact her digestive tract which could have contributed to her throwing up. If any of the novel proteins resolve the issue, other proteins can always be added in later to see if they provoke a reaction. If none of this works, then you will need to focus on fillers.

Atopica can be prescribed in capsule form, but I don't know if that would help with administration any. This med could also be compounded so that is flavored differently. A compounding pharmacy would need to get involved, and of course this route is more expensive. You might try the 'juice' from a can of tuna in water and see if that would better mask the taste. I'd also ask the vet if there is something else to try since it seems she can taste this med in her food. it is always best to try to give a cat meds without forcing them to take it, but I know that is not always possible.

Food isn't the only source of allergens - litter, dust, and other environmental elements can cause allergies too. There are tests that can be run focusing on certain items, like dust, pollen, grass, chicken, and fish, etc. so you might ask the vet how you could go about getting some testing of this sort done. It might have to involve a vet who specialized in dermatology.
Thank you,
I think I need to pick one food and only feed her that. I thought just taking out one thing would help I will look more into a limited ingredient diet. I am still not ruling out stress. She is a very complicated cat who is not even 2 yet
 
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Twinkster

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Totally agree with the above. For an elimination diet, you should pick one protein, NOT chicken, any type of fish, or beef. Basically you want a limited ingredient food. Merrick makes those. Instinct does too. As does Koha. And there are prescription hyrodrolyzed protein diets that are out there when all else fails. But elimination diets are tricky. You should not feed anything else, not one single treat. Nothing but the one limited ingredient food you pick, for 8 to 12 weeks to really see if there is a change.

When you say your Vet is not much help, what have they done or not done so far? If they have done nothing except prescribe Atopica as the first thing, I would say it's time for a new Vet.
Our vet took a swab of the area, determined its not mites and that she does not have fleas. The first few times he gave her antibiotics and steroid shots. He gave her the Atopica to see if it would help. He said to give her cbd for her anxiety and watch her diet, to take something out like fish and see if it improves. I was worried the FIP was back but he said that was rare. I was hoping he would do a blood panel or something but he said it was not nessesary.

I will pick a limited ingredient diet and start there, I feel terrible I thought taking out a allergen was enough
 

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I feel terrible I thought taking out a allergen was enough
The problem is that you don't really know what the allergen is. So, starting with a novel protein with limited ingredients is kind of like fast-pacing the elimination diet, for as much as an elimination diet can be expedited. If it goes well, then you have started to narrow down the things she may or may not be able to eat. You can always expand from there.

You can also always give her different foods/brands with that novel protein just to mix things up a bit for her.

Now knowing she has anxiety issues, the food may not be the problem.
 
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Twinkster

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The problem is that you don't really know what the allergen is. So, starting with a novel protein with limited ingredients is kind of like fast-pacing the elimination diet, for as much as an elimination diet can be expedited. If it goes well, then you have started to narrow down the things she may or may not be able to eat. You can always expand from there.

You can also always give her different foods/brands with that novel protein just to mix things up a bit for her.

Now knowing she has anxiety issues, the food may not be the problem.
I had tried some otc calming things for her to help the anxiety. Not much has help, the only thing i didn't try was rescue remedy because I couldn't find it in a store. She has been on CBD for about a month.
I will make a appt with a different vet, I really don't want to make this worse.
 

FeebysOwner

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If Atopica is an issue for her, ask about an antihistamine in lieu of that. I don't know if there is any issue between that and the CBD oil, but you can ask. A lot of human beings routinely take antihistamines to help with all sorts of allergies, food and environmental.
 
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The CBD is for pets.
Her anxiety started after her fip treatment . She started pooping outside the box (Nov 2022) and the scratching started Jan 2023. We do have another cat the same age, that is always jumping on her wanting to play , she most times plays, she just doesn't like the rough play.[/QUOTE][/QUOTE]
 
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Well the limited ingredient diet seemed to make her symptoms worse now her whole back is red, loosing fur and if I touch it she pulls away. I know it has only been a few weeks, but I do not want to wait. We have a appointment Monday, with a different vet in the same office. Sounds like this vet specializes in dermatology. They did not give her any blood tests last time, I am going to insist for them to do a blood panel.
 
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Here we are weeks later, the vet put her on Apoquel, that gave her very loose stools all day long so we stopped that. We started the Atopica back up , still scratching. She is on a restricted diet of no chicken/fish. I'm about to throw in the towel and try raw. The thought grosses me out but I'm spending so much on food I'm going broke seriously. Maybe I could try a home made cooked food diet first? I researched this before, I think I would need something called a completer to make is nutritionally complete for them, at least i would know 100'/' whats in their food . This is really more of a rant/vent, I am believe this is all behavioral, the scratching, the pooping on the floor and not the box. The vet wants to keep her on the Atopica for at least a month before discussing anxiety meds.
The blood panel she did showed nothing wrong with her.... PS yes I am reading the saved Raw cooked food threads that are saved, and I did read the featured raw/cook food thread that TCS does not approve. I wouldn't switch without talking to the our vet
 
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mrsgreenjeens

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I don't know why a home cooked diet wouldn't work out fine since you are squeamish about feeding a raw diet. I fed juicy raw for years, spending lots of time cutting up meats probably once a month and freezing it in daily servicing size packages, then using a pre-mix to make it 100% nutritionally complete. That was when I had several cats eating raw. Now that I am down to just one who eats raw, I switched over to feeding freeze dried raw, which doesn't have nearly the "yuck" factor, but you still must wash up well after prepping and serving.

I'm not sure which thread you are talking about the says TCS does not approve. Many folks here feed raw and/or homecooked.
 

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Hi. There are prescription canned hydrolyzed protein diets available that might be worth a try. With a diet trial, you have to give it for a couple of months to see if it works.

Do the steroids help?

I had a cat with very bad skin and hair loss. He was miserable. I went to a veterinary dermatologist and we did some testing to determine that he was allergic to some very common things like dust mites. I did the allergy injections and they did help.

I had also tried the apoquel with poor long lasting results.

My advice would be to go to a board certified veterinary dermatologist. It was the best thing I did.
 
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