Food Allergy + IBD Symptom Relief

__caitlin

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Oct 28, 2021
Messages
60
Purraise
27
Hey everyone -- for anyone that has dealt with either food allergies (i.e., itchy skin) or IBD, I'm wondering if you all can share your experiences of how long it took your cats' symptoms to resolve after finally finding a food that didn't trigger them?

My 13-year-old was diagnosed with IBD earlier this year based on chronic diarrhea (despite normal blood panel), ultrasound, and endoscopy. I switched him to Royal Canin's rabbit food, and while the soft stools never fully resolved, he did seem to do better and started regaining weight / muscle mass. He then had a major flareup earlier this month (stole fried fish off the table!!) and it has been pretty awful since then! The diarrhea got much worse, of course, and he started throwing up more regularly. But I am still sticking with rabbit-only novel protein foods (combination of Royal Canin + Instinct Limited Ingredient) in the hopes that starting a new food trial with him will help clear this up.

His sister, also 13 years old, just recently started a bout of overgrooming. After testing for a LOT of possible triggers, I've come to believe that she's developed a food allergy, but I don't know exactly to what. Beef seems to be the major trigger, but as I'm told it can take itchy skin a long time to resolve even after removing the allergen, I took her off everything -- and she is also now on the rabbit novel protein trial along with him. Her itching has gotten 80% better but she still bites at her skin; it feels like she'll be doing good for a day or so but undo all of the hair growth in the 1 day she decides to re-groom the area.

At this point, it's been about 3 weeks. My food allergy cat still itches every few days (but seems generally comfortable), and my IBD cat still has diarrhea every time he uses the litter box. Do I really need to watch them do this for potentially 8 weeks before trying a new strategy? Worried about the IBD cat losing weight and being malnourished for that amount of time :(
 

MissClouseau

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 20, 2019
Messages
1,702
Purraise
2,064
Location
Istanbul, Turkey
My 13-year-old was diagnosed with IBD earlier this year based on chronic diarrhea (despite normal blood panel), ultrasound, and endoscopy.
I would ask them how is IBD diagnosed and if they outruled everything else that causes chronic diarrhea. Like did they test for all bacteria? Was the stool tested for worms? IBS is also possible and not the same as IBD. I will leave the two here:

Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost
Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

At this point, it's been about 3 weeks. My food allergy cat still itches every few days (but seems generally comfortable), and my IBD cat still has diarrhea every time he uses the litter box.
Have you tried hypoallergenic or gastrointestinal foods? I would give them a go, starting with the most basic formulas. (Out of Hill's, Royal Canin, and ProPlan prescription diets, I think ProPlan has the most simple formulas.)

It might also be a good idea to put the kitty on probiotics. Even after a disease that healed or a food intolerance, the good bacteria sometimes takes time and a little help to go back to normal.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4

__caitlin

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Oct 28, 2021
Messages
60
Purraise
27
Take a look at these web sites if you haven't already:

IBDKitties – Helping Save Lives…One Paw at a Time
Feline IBD

Both have lots of good info.

daftcat75 daftcat75 might also have suggestions.

Is your IBD cat taking any medication such as steroids?
Thank you! And no, he isn't taking any steroids at the moment. I wanted to leave steroids as a last resort since (besides all the side effects) they don't help me in the core goal of figuring out what his triggers actually are.

The main thing I'm wondering is how long a food trial should last when you don't see any improvement. Is everyone really just watching their cat have diarrhea / vomiting for 8 weeks straight before deciding to switch to another protein? :(
 

LTS3

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
16,645
Purraise
15,762
Location
USA
Food trials are typically done for at least 13 weeks or so.

I was lucky with my IBD cat. One chicken flavored Pill Pocket gave him diarrhea so that's how I knew he could no longer eat chicken. Fortunately my cat is a walking trash can and eats anything so switching to a novel protein was easy.

Lots of things in commercial food can trigger flare ups: gums, starches, peas, certain types of oils, etc. Feeding a brand that has few fillers is ideal. Rawz is one such brand available in canned and dry. I feed my cat a commercial raw diet.
 

daftcat75

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
8,565
Purraise
15,508
To answer your question about food trials, inflammation doesn't disappear overnight. Though certainly if you find a food that stops or greatly reduces the gut and butt symptoms, then keep feeding it. You may still get some episodes over the next 13 weeks as the inflammation doesn't subside immediately. But if whatever you are trialing doesn't make matters worse, stick with it. On the flip side, if the new food does make matters worse, there's no reason to keep feeding it hoping it will get better. It likely won't.

I would highly recommend Rawz rabbit over Instinct. Instinct has some funky ingredients in their so-called, "Limited Ingredient Diet" food. Peas, clay, and cranberries, if I remember correctly. Krista had two or three cranberry-featuring barfs and we called it done on that one. It made matters worse. I saw no reason to continue. Rawz rabbit can be hard to find. Rawz rabbit with pumpkin can be easier to find. It would be best to feed both so that your cat doesn't get stuck on one when all you can find is the other. 🤦‍♂️

Where to Buy | RAWZ

Incredible Pets, one of their online resellers, sells it by the can making it a lot easier to try without a whole case committment.
RAWZ 96% Rabbit Cat Can

Steroids can be helpful sometimes in the short-term. But a lot of vets over-rely on them in an approach I call, "pred and pray." Often if they fail to yield the desired result, those vets will simply increase the dosage. What many of them don't understand is that no amount of pred will put out the fire if trigger foods keep re-igniting it.

Pick up a baby scale and monitor the IBD kitty's weight. Weigh him no more than once a week for both of your sanity's sake--preferably the same time and place each week. As long as he's able to maintain or gain weight, it's probably still IBD. When he starts losing weight despite enough or more than enough food, that's a hallmark of intestinal lymphoma. Often you can't tell the difference between the two without endoscopy (has its limitations) or surgical biopsy. And to make matters worse, an IBD diagnosis today can become lymphoma further down the road. So just because his endoscopy was clear this time, that doesn't mean he's not in the clear for the future. Cancer has a tendency to show up wherever there is uncontrolled inflammation.

For the one with allergies, I have seen kitty onesies (I'm sure you can find these on Amazon, maybe Chewy, and certainly Etsy) that greatly reduce the cat's ability to scratch and bite. They have cut-outs in the right places so you don't have to worry about bathroom time. It's something to consider while you are looking for her triggers.

Finally, you may want to consider a homemade diet for the both of them. It doesn't have to be raw. But it does have to be nutritionally balanced and complete. You don't want to trade one problem for a much trickier one. I recommend starting with a vitamin pre-mix that you add to meat and liver.
A Guide To A Balanced, Homemade Cat Food - Alnutrin Supplements

These two sites have more information on IBD and homemade diets. Sometimes the trigger is not the protein but a starch or gum or some other added ingredient that isn't needed. A homemade will let you toss all the nonsense and feed only what's necessary. If your cats like turkey and that hasn't proved to be a trigger yet, I recommend trying homemade with turkey. There's a good chance that one or both of them will react to chicken and rabbit is prohibitively expensive for homemade.

Please excuse the link names. These are legit sites. They just don't preview right here. They are probably the best sites to consult for IBD and homemade diets.

So much good stuff about IBD and feline health as well as homemade diets:
StackPath

Recipes for homemade diets. Use a premix like Alnutrin or add in your own supplements. But do not feed an ad hoc diet of just meat or chicken and rice. That's a temporary diet and will cause many (and tricky to solve) long-term problems if fed regularly.
Home
 

daftcat75

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
8,565
Purraise
15,508
Also, if you didn't realize this, even their treats need to be consistent with the food trial. If you are trialing them both on rabbit, pick up some freeze-dried rabbit treats. Vital Essentials makes one. I learned the hard way that even a small amount of treats can keep the inflammation fires smoldering. I wrapped Krista's nightly pred pill inside fish flakes, calling it our "devil's bargain" because it was the only way I could get her to take her medicine every night. She didn't care for the liquid and our nightly wrestling matches trying to pill her wasn't working for either of us. I only wish I had considered transdermal sooner. When we finally did go to transdermal pred, that's when she finally achieved remission. I'll likely always kick myself for the months of grief we wasted on the "devil's bargain". But I take solace that she did spend her last month in remission. You can find single ingredient freeze dried meat treats usually in the dog training section of a pet food store.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8

__caitlin

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Oct 28, 2021
Messages
60
Purraise
27
To answer your question about food trials, inflammation doesn't disappear overnight. Though certainly if you find a food that stops or greatly reduces the gut and butt symptoms, then keep feeding it. You may still get some episodes over the next 13 weeks as the inflammation doesn't subside immediately. But if whatever you are trialing doesn't make matters worse, stick with it. On the flip side, if the new food does make matters worse, there's no reason to keep feeding it hoping it will get better. It likely won't.

I would highly recommend Rawz rabbit over Instinct. Instinct has some funky ingredients in their so-called, "Limited Ingredient Diet" food. Peas, clay, and cranberries, if I remember correctly. Krista had two or three cranberry-featuring barfs and we called it done on that one. It made matters worse. I saw no reason to continue. Rawz rabbit can be hard to find. Rawz rabbit with pumpkin can be easier to find. It would be best to feed both so that your cat doesn't get stuck on one when all you can find is the other. 🤦‍♂️

Where to Buy | RAWZ

Incredible Pets, one of their online resellers, sells it by the can making it a lot easier to try without a whole case committment.
RAWZ 96% Rabbit Cat Can

Steroids can be helpful sometimes in the short-term. But a lot of vets over-rely on them in an approach I call, "pred and pray." Often if they fail to yield the desired result, those vets will simply increase the dosage. What many of them don't understand is that no amount of pred will put out the fire if trigger foods keep re-igniting it.

Pick up a baby scale and monitor the IBD kitty's weight. Weigh him no more than once a week for both of your sanity's sake--preferably the same time and place each week. As long as he's able to maintain or gain weight, it's probably still IBD. When he starts losing weight despite enough or more than enough food, that's a hallmark of intestinal lymphoma. Often you can't tell the difference between the two without endoscopy (has its limitations) or surgical biopsy. And to make matters worse, an IBD diagnosis today can become lymphoma further down the road. So just because his endoscopy was clear this time, that doesn't mean he's not in the clear for the future. Cancer has a tendency to show up wherever there is uncontrolled inflammation.

For the one with allergies, I have seen kitty onesies (I'm sure you can find these on Amazon, maybe Chewy, and certainly Etsy) that greatly reduce the cat's ability to scratch and bite. They have cut-outs in the right places so you don't have to worry about bathroom time. It's something to consider while you are looking for her triggers.

Finally, you may want to consider a homemade diet for the both of them. It doesn't have to be raw. But it does have to be nutritionally balanced and complete. You don't want to trade one problem for a much trickier one. I recommend starting with a vitamin pre-mix that you add to meat and liver.
A Guide To A Balanced, Homemade Cat Food - Alnutrin Supplements

These two sites have more information on IBD and homemade diets. Sometimes the trigger is not the protein but a starch or gum or some other added ingredient that isn't needed. A homemade will let you toss all the nonsense and feed only what's necessary. If your cats like turkey and that hasn't proved to be a trigger yet, I recommend trying homemade with turkey. There's a good chance that one or both of them will react to chicken and rabbit is prohibitively expensive for homemade.

Please excuse the link names. These are legit sites. They just don't preview right here. They are probably the best sites to consult for IBD and homemade diets.

So much good stuff about IBD and feline health as well as homemade diets:
StackPath

Recipes for homemade diets. Use a premix like Alnutrin or add in your own supplements. But do not feed an ad hoc diet of just meat or chicken and rice. That's a temporary diet and will cause many (and tricky to solve) long-term problems if fed regularly.
Home
Thank you so much! This is incredibly helpful. I'm trying to get some RAWZ rabbit food now -- but kind of worried that I'll go through all the trouble only to find out that they are actually allergic to rabbit now too.

Have you ever experienced a pet that didn't seem to be losing weight on the scale, but was noticeably getting skinnier? My IBD cat is most definitely getting skinnier -- but in the past, when this has happened, the vets would tell me he still weighs the same. It didn't matter much to me because you can still feel his hips and spine, so something was obviously wrong, but just found it strange. He did get a biopsy back in the spring, which was negative, but to your point -- that doesn't stop the concern about lymphoma now months later. I'm picking up a baby scale early next week.

And my allergies cat does have a onesie! I'm just concerned about the root cause, and can't really wrap my head around how long itchy skin is supposed to take to fade. But the sense I'm getting is that it's depressingly similar to IBD in that the symptoms can linger for quite a while.

Thank you for the homemade diet links! I have been hesitant about homemade diets because I don't feel confident in my ability to make them properly... but it's clearly something I need to start looking into. :(
 

daftcat75

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
8,565
Purraise
15,508
Thank you so much! This is incredibly helpful. I'm trying to get some RAWZ rabbit food now -- but kind of worried that I'll go through all the trouble only to find out that they are actually allergic to rabbit now too.

Have you ever experienced a pet that didn't seem to be losing weight on the scale, but was noticeably getting skinnier? My IBD cat is most definitely getting skinnier -- but in the past, when this has happened, the vets would tell me he still weighs the same. It didn't matter much to me because you can still feel his hips and spine, so something was obviously wrong, but just found it strange. He did get a biopsy back in the spring, which was negative, but to your point -- that doesn't stop the concern about lymphoma now months later. I'm picking up a baby scale early next week.

And my allergies cat does have a onesie! I'm just concerned about the root cause, and can't really wrap my head around how long itchy skin is supposed to take to fade. But the sense I'm getting is that it's depressingly similar to IBD in that the symptoms can linger for quite a while.

Thank you for the homemade diet links! I have been hesitant about homemade diets because I don't feel confident in my ability to make them properly... but it's clearly something I need to start looking into. :(
My tips for homemade:

1. Start with Alnutrin. It's a meat-agnostic powder. The only one simpler than Alnutrin is EZ Complete. But EZ has chicken liver, pork pancreas, and green lipped mussels. Any of those could be triggers in one way or another. The only potential trigger in Alnutrin (besides your choice of meat and liver) is egg yolk. Unfortunately, I don't have a good answer for replacing this.

2. Whether you are going with raw or cooked, you'll likely want to freeze the meat and the liver first before grinding. You can use a food processor if you don't want to buy a grinder. But you want to pulse/chop/whatever setting works best with meat and liver that is as cold as you can get it and still run it through the food processor. Trying to grind/pulse/chop thawed meat, especially raw meat, produces undesirable results.

3. Keep canned in their diet even while feeding homemade until you are absolutely certain the homemade is working out for you and for them. And if you find a canned they like that doesn't make their symptoms worse, keep that in their diet even after you've decided homemade is working out. It will help you ride out any production or supply issues you might have with homemade e.g. you forget to make a batch, you can't get the powder, or you can't get the meat or liver. It also makes it easier for someone else (e.g. vet or pet sitter) to feed your cats when you can't be around to feed them.
 

daftcat75

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
8,565
Purraise
15,508
I looked up the Royal Canin Selected Protein with Pea and Rabbit and I would say discontinue this food immediately. Yesterday if possible!

1. It has pea protein which could be an allergen or a trigger.
2. It has natural flavors which can literally be anything as long as it began its journey from a natural source. This could even be a chicken or fish ingredient which are two common triggers. You just don't know and that's too difficult for a food trial.

But the most important reason to discontinue this Royal Canin food is the inclusion of carrageenan. Carrageenan is a known irritant. Whether it rises to the level of an allergen is irrelevant. Carrageenan can cause GI distress in even healthy cats (and healthy humans for that matter.)

I would prefer they ate only Rawz rabbit and Rawz rabbit with pumpkin to keep the food trials simple. But if you need another food, even with the cranberries, clay, and pea protein, Instinct tops RC because it doesn't include carrageenan.

That still leaves peas, though. They can certainly be both a cause for the itchies and the IBD. This is why I refer to Rawz as the gold standard for food trials. There just aren't any of those suspect ingredients in their single protein pates.

And all of this madness is why you may need homemade eventually.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11

__caitlin

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Oct 28, 2021
Messages
60
Purraise
27
I looked up the Royal Canin Selected Protein with Pea and Rabbit and I would say discontinue this food immediately. Yesterday if possible!

1. It has pea protein which could be an allergen or a trigger.
2. It has natural flavors which can literally be anything as long as it began its journey from a natural source. This could even be a chicken or fish ingredient which are two common triggers. You just don't know and that's too difficult for a food trial.

But the most important reason to discontinue this Royal Canin food is the inclusion of carrageenan. Carrageenan is a known irritant. Whether it rises to the level of an allergen is irrelevant. Carrageenan can cause GI distress in even healthy cats (and healthy humans for that matter.)

I would prefer they ate only Rawz rabbit and Rawz rabbit with pumpkin to keep the food trials simple. But if you need another food, even with the cranberries, clay, and pea protein, Instinct tops RC because it doesn't include carrageenan.

That still leaves peas, though. They can certainly be both a cause for the itchies and the IBD. This is why I refer to Rawz as the gold standard for food trials. There just aren't any of those suspect ingredients in their single protein pates.

And all of this madness is why you may need homemade eventually.
Yes, I came to the same conclusion and found a place where I can pick up some RAWZ tomorrow. Hopefully they eat it.

In the case that they are actually allergic to rabbit protein -- do you have any recommendations for what other protein I could / should try next (whether homemade or through another RAWZ flavor)? My hesitation is that they've already had every other protein that RAWZ sells -- duck, turkey, chicken (obviously), salmon, whitefish, and tuna. They used to eat many Weruva pate flavors. So I feel like most of these proteins are all candidates for possible allergies and not sure what would be best to reach for next for a food trial with active symptoms going on.

In the event rabbit doesn't work, would you recommend I try one of the proteins they've already had (like turkey) and hope they're not allergic? Or do you have a recommendation for good commercial venison? I think that's the only other one they haven't had that I commonly see in the US.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12

__caitlin

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Oct 28, 2021
Messages
60
Purraise
27
Also, thank you everyone for your replies and for talking me through this. Here are some pics of in case you want to put a face to things :)

13373F20-66F0-4B3D-84E1-0229933A5F28.jpeg

F7F51BF7-4F19-4552-B44D-A90683565CFF.jpeg

Max, the IBD cat :)

30F40A0B-EEF4-4BDC-8CB6-AB2D3E786F3F.jpeg

And Cephas, the itchy cat.

I worry about them so much every day 💔 thank you everyone for your help!
 

daftcat75

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
8,565
Purraise
15,508
Yes, I came to the same conclusion and found a place where I can pick up some RAWZ tomorrow. Hopefully they eat it.

In the case that they are actually allergic to rabbit protein -- do you have any recommendations for what other protein I could / should try next (whether homemade or through another RAWZ flavor)? My hesitation is that they've already had every other protein that RAWZ sells -- duck, turkey, chicken (obviously), salmon, whitefish, and tuna. They used to eat many Weruva pate flavors. So I feel like most of these proteins are all candidates for possible allergies and not sure what would be best to reach for next for a food trial with active symptoms going on.

In the event rabbit doesn't work, would you recommend I try one of the proteins they've already had (like turkey) and hope they're not allergic? Or do you have a recommendation for good commercial venison? I think that's the only other one they haven't had that I commonly see in the US.
It’s possible that it’s not even the protein that is causing them both grief. The carrageenan or the peas could be the problem. I would start with the Rawz rabbit (and rabbit with pumpkin) and give it a chance. Rabbit isn’t commonly an allergen. But if the Rawz rabbit doesn’t work out, try the turkey or the duck. If the turkey or duck flavors of the foods you have fed before also had peas, grains, starches, or some gum that didn’t agree with them, then it may not have ever been the protein in the food. This is common. A non-protein ingredient like a grain, starch, or gum causes the inflammation, and the protein gets the immune system’s blame for it. The longer the immune system has been fired up, the more reactive it becomes. This is why it’s often recommended to eliminate chicken and fish first. These are the two most common protein sources. But you also have to eliminate those non-protein inflammation triggers. This is why I like and recommend Rawz as an IBD/food allergies gold standard. It doesn’t have any non-protein nonsense that could be triggers. Give the rabbit and rabbit with pumpkin a chance first. You can mix in some fish or salmon oil if your cats give you any grief about it. Fish oil is the fat, not the protein. Fat is non-reactive. The Rawz duck pate will probably be popular because it already has salmon oil in it. But I would try turkey first after rabbit because turkey is easier to find when Rawz becomes harder to find.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14

__caitlin

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Oct 28, 2021
Messages
60
Purraise
27
It’s possible that it’s not even the protein that is causing them both grief. The carrageenan or the peas could be the problem. I would start with the Rawz rabbit (and rabbit with pumpkin) and give it a chance. Rabbit isn’t commonly an allergen. But if the Rawz rabbit doesn’t work out, try the turkey or the duck. If the turkey or duck flavors of the foods you have fed before also had peas, grains, starches, or some gum that didn’t agree with them, then it may not have ever been the protein in the food. This is common. A non-protein ingredient like a grain, starch, or gum causes the inflammation, and the protein gets the immune system’s blame for it. The longer the immune system has been fired up, the more reactive it becomes. This is why it’s often recommended to eliminate chicken and fish first. These are the two most common protein sources. But you also have to eliminate those non-protein inflammation triggers. This is why I like and recommend Rawz as an IBD/food allergies gold standard. It doesn’t have any non-protein nonsense that could be triggers. Give the rabbit and rabbit with pumpkin a chance first. You can mix in some fish or salmon oil if your cats give you any grief about it. Fish oil is the fat, not the protein. Fat is non-reactive. The Rawz duck pate will probably be popular because it already has salmon oil in it. But I would try turkey first after rabbit because turkey is easier to find when Rawz becomes harder to find.
Thank you so much for all your help. I just tried a couple days of feeding them the Rawz rabbit food -- so far it doesn't seem to have changed anything (he still has diarrhea and struggles with nausea) -- but it also doesn't seem to have made things worse, so we'll see.

Quick question: isn't pumpkin another potential allergen? Is it okay to combo feed them the rabbit along with rabbit + pumpkin?
 

LTS3

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
16,645
Purraise
15,762
Location
USA
A few days on a new novel food likely won't have much of an effect yet, if any. Give it time.

I'd talk to the vet about anti nausea medicine and possibly other medicines to help your cat while you try to figure out the food triggers. Your cat probably feels miserable right now. A short course of pred is really helpful. Steroid use doesn't have to be long term, more like as needed. My IBD cats occasionally needs a short course of pred when symptoms start to show up but he's never on it for more than a few weeks at a time.
 

daftcat75

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
8,565
Purraise
15,508
Thank you so much for all your help. I just tried a couple days of feeding them the Rawz rabbit food -- so far it doesn't seem to have changed anything (he still has diarrhea and struggles with nausea) -- but it also doesn't seem to have made things worse, so we'll see.

Quick question: isn't pumpkin another potential allergen? Is it okay to combo feed them the rabbit along with rabbit + pumpkin?
As long as it isn't making matters worse, keep with it. A few days is far too soon to see any meaningful results. Simply getting the carrageenan out of their diet, whether you are noticing it yet or not, is a big win for both of them and a huge step in the right direction.

I haven't heard of any cats having an allergic or inflammatory reaction to pumpkin. It's considered a safe and potentially helpful ingredient. I would absolutely combo feed rabbit with rabbit with pumpkin. Or feed them in rotation. The reason being that Rawz rabbit can be hard to find. But for some reason, when Rawz rabbit is hard to find, many times the rabbit with pumpkin can still be found. For that reason, it's a good idea to have them eating both in case you have a long stretch where you can't find one or the other.

Have you tried saccharomyces boulardii for the diarrhea? It's a yeast-based probiotic. If he's taking any antibiotics (vets have a baffling tendency for prescribing an antibiotic for diarrhea), then traditional probiotics is a losing proposition. The antibiotics don't discriminate between good bacteria and bad. That's where s. boulardii can be extremely helpful. It is yeast-based. It is not affected by antibiotics. Even with humans, it is often used for antibiotic-induced diarrhea. Even if he's not taking antibiotics, s. boulardii might still be helpful. Many cats like the taste too making it very easy to add to their food.

More on s. boulardii here:
My Cat Has Diarrhea - What Do I Do?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17

__caitlin

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Oct 28, 2021
Messages
60
Purraise
27
Got it, thank you both! I'll try both the rabbit and rabbit with pumpkin.

And about the nausea and probiotics -- I've been giving him slippery elm powder syrup for nausea. I've pinpointed that he should ideally be eating every 4-5 hours, and that if he doesn't do that, then after 7 hours of not eating, he will vomit. So I've started giving him the slippery elm about 1-2 times per day, or whenever he seems to have some nausea coming on, and it seems to help.

I did try giving him Jarrow's S. Boulardii + MOS the other week (before starting RAWZ), but I must've given him too much because he had a bad reaction to it (much worse diarrhea). So I'm giving him a break and wanted to try getting him back on a regular eating cycle with the new food before trying the Jarrow's again at a lower, more frequent dose.

And finally... re: steroids -- the reason I have been avoiding a vet visit is because
  1. the specialist he sees is extremely expensive ($800 minimum for a baseline checkup visit), and I don't have a ton of money right now (just moved recently) so I feel like I need to be strategic about the next time I bring him.
  2. going to the vet really stresses and tires him out and I think absolutely does interfere with his healing, so if I went back to them, I would want it to be an occasion where I would just request the entire host of tests -- full blood panel, T4, and GI panel to rule out EPI; possible redoing the ultrasound if the vet recommends it; and then possibly requesting the steroid shot at that point. This is as opposed to bringing him there for partial testing, stressing him out and potentially interfering with his healing process, only to potentially have to bring him back again later if things get worse which will be both stressful on him and my wallet.
    1. I didn't mention this, but he does also have hyperthyroidism -- but his thyroid levels had been well managed and within normal range for years; at the time he was diagnosed with IBD, his T4 levels were consistently normal.
    2. He also does get Vitamin B12 shots once per month; I'm a bit worried the vet is going to hold the prescription hostage if I have to wait longer before being able to afford to bring him back.
However, please push me on the vet thing! I've really been going back and forth on it and am open to being wrong. Thank you both so much for all your help!
 

daftcat75

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
8,565
Purraise
15,508
You can do the B-12 shots yourself. Ask the vet if he'll sell you a bottle and set you up with some syringes, needles, and the Sharps disposal box. The vet or a vet tech can show you how to give the shot. Otherwise, you can watch how it's done on YouTube.

Did you pick up a baby scale for the IBD boy? I would weigh him no more than once a week, preferably same place and time each week. As long as he is maintaining or even gaining weight, that bodes well in the question of IBD vs lymphoma. The weight loss for lymphoma is dramatic and unrelenting. You're not likely to miss it. But the earlier you catch it, the better his chances for a recovery.

Other than administering his B-12 shot on schedule and monitoring his weight, if nothing else is changing, I don't see a reason to take him to the vet ahead of scheduled monitoring or check-ups.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19

__caitlin

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Oct 28, 2021
Messages
60
Purraise
27
Oh, sorry for not clarifying! I do give him the B12 shots myself. The issue I'm running into is that this month was supposed to be his next scheduled check-up (he was just there 3 mos ago) -- but I can't really afford to bring him this month, and since he only recently started having another flareup, wanted to give him a little more time to try the food trial and regain some strength -- and then only bring him back for the full host of tests once both him and my wallet have recovered a bit. I just hope that the clinic will be willing to extend his B12 prescription understanding that I may have to delay the next check-up for a bit.

Quick question: if he won't eat the Jarrow's probiotic in his food, is it okay to dissolve in water and syringe it into his mouth? If so, what ratio of water to probiotic would you recommend (I tried once and it all coagulated together, so not sure if I didn't use enough water)? Also, do you think it's okay to mix the Jarrow's with slippery elm?

His eating is pretty hit or miss -- sometimes he doesn't want to eat; he's also bad at eating and a lot of it falls out of his mouth -- and historically he has never liked to eat probiotics in his food, so I'm hesitant to rely on that if there's another option.
 

daftcat75

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
8,565
Purraise
15,508
Have you tried it and he doesn't like it? Many cats do like the taste making it an easy one to give.

Slippery elm supposedly coats the intestinal lining. It's soothing. But it also interferes with nutrient and medicine absorption. Slippery elm should give given apart from meals and other medications. I would assume probiotics (traditional or s. boulardii) should also be given apart from slippery elm.

I don't like syringing anything into a cat's mouth. It's stressful for both cat and parent. S. boulardii is tacky when wet like dough. You might be able to use a tiny amount of food to create "dough balls" out of the s. boulardii and see if he will eat one of those. S. boulardii is something you want to give regularly to see a result. As such, you want it to be voluntary. If he's not taking an antibiotic, you could also try a traditional probiotic like Proviable. Your vet should be able to sell you some of this. Proviable has always been an easy sell with Krista. She never turned away from food with it mixed in.
 
Top