IBD and possible lymphoma, my cat is crashing

Ocean Planet

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Hello all,

I needed a supportive place again to air out my situation with my current kitty. He is a 7 year old bengal. I've had two other bengals who lived long lives and one had IBD as well. Apparently the breed is very well known for the issue. I never knew this! Over the course of 2022 he battled back and forth with diarrhea. It became more frequent towards the end of the year and sometimes had a drop of blood at the end at times. Growing concerned I started taking him in for tests. Simple ones at first. For example, took a stool sample to rule out parasites. Xrays to make sure nothing was in there that shouldn't be. Next came an ultrasound which show some thickening of his GI tract and enlarged lymph nodes. So IBD and possible lymphoma. Great.

To find out definitely I took him to get an endoscopy to get some biopsies taken. The procedure went very well and the Dr. saw no red flags like ulcers or tumors. Well, just got some results back Wednesday and they 100% confirm IBD and lymphoma is possibly in the early stages. They are going to run a stain on his sample to confirm for sure and should know in a couple weeks.

That is the background. But the issue is the Drs wanted me to try to move him to a high protein diet. He doesn't like wet food so he was on Royal Canin dry food gastrointestinal. They recommended I move him over to the Hydrolyzed high protein version. OK, so I started adding the new food a little bit this past Friday and got it up to about 70% new and 30% old. He liked the new food. The problem is on Monday, his stool got loose and by that evening and Tuesday it was total liquid. He tried to go 5-6 times each day. Wednesday I had a panic attack. That morning he went to the litter box 15 times within a couple hours! It was all just a drop or two at that point. So I took him to the place where he had the endoscopy and they gave him fluids, a cerenia injection for upset stomach and since we knew the results of the biopsy, a prednisolone injection. He came home and ate/drank great until 10am Thursday. Now he has stopped eating and drinking again and has gone to the litter box about 8 times today. His stool is still pure liquid and drops.

I'm legit scared that he keeps crashing. He is laying in my closet lifeless again. I don't know if it's this damn food or what! I know the food takes weeks to know if it works but I'm wondering if this is the cause of him want to go to the bathroom constantly?? I'll probably have to go back to the hospital Friday if he doesn't eat or drink by morning... I'm gonna try to get some sleep first.

Should I nix the food? Two different vets think I should stay on track with it. He has had two days of prednisolone but these problems started before that. The food is the only thing different.

Thanks for reading, I'm so tired and terrified. A fella shouldn't cry as much as I have the last 2 weeks :(
 

maggie101

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May I ask why he disapproves of wet food? Odd since diaheria will cause dehydration. I assume he is a specialist? It may be his hiding because he is in pain so I agree,take him back asap. Even tonight if possible
 
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daftcat75

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maggie101 maggie101 I think it's the cat, not the doctor, that doesn't like wet food.

That's going to be a problem. Dry food and IBD are pretty much incompatible. Aside from Dr Elsey's Clean Protein, there aren't many dry foods that are also low carb. It's the carbs that disrupt the gut and the proteins that get the blame from an inappropriate immune response. You'll want to focus more on low carb than hydrolyzed or novel protein. That said, steroid therapy to suppress the immune response would be a very good idea. I can understand waiting to start it while going through the diagnostics. But now that a biopsy sample has been retrieved via endo, he should be on a daily oral steroid rather than spot injections.

Dump that food he's eating now. It won't get any better. That's not a typical or appropriate reaction to a new food.

A couple of foods to consider instead and I know you said he doesn't like wet food, but try them anyway. Incredible Pets sells by the can so you can simply buy a can of a few different flavors rather than committing to cases.

The first food I recommend is Rawz in the pates: turkey, rabbit, or duck.
Search: 51 results found for "rawz" - Incredible Pets

The other food I would recommend is Mouser in the non-chicken or fish flavors: turkey, rabbit, or duck
Search: 8 results found for "mouser" - Incredible Pets

You could try chicken. Not every IBD cat has a food intolerance. My Betty doesn't seem to be especially sensitive to any one food or another. But without steroids, she has a weekly hairball that tears her up for half a day. She's doing well on a lower dose. When we finally get her dental appointment that we've been trying to do for a year later this month, I will revisit her food choices. Currently, all she really wants to eat is Hills I/D chicken and vegetable stew. It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't low protein and high carb. She enjoys it and she's stable on it. We can do better. But not until after her dental.
 

daftcat75

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I would also recommend twice daily dosing of saccharomyces boulardii. About 1/4 capsule at a time. If you're lucky, he'll like the taste and you may even be able to use it to brighten up wet food for him. That was the case with my last cat, Krista. Betty, however, doesn't like the taste. But she will happily take any meds I can pack in a capsule and coat in her kitty crack Hills A/D. That's a recovery food she only gets at meds time to coat her pills and sometimes to get her to take a few bites of food with her meds. For Betty, I bought a capsule filling machine (size 4) off Etsy and size 4 capsules off Amazon. Once a month, I turn 12 human sized s. boulardii capsules into 50 cat-sized capsules. I can't link to the Etsy product because the redirects don't resolve. Simply search for the MYHERBAR seller.

This is the brand of s. boulardii I recommend because it's the only one that has both s. boulardii and MOS. The two of them work together to soothe the gut while acting like a decoy gut for any pathogenic strains in his gut. There usually are in an IBD-imbalanced gut. S. boulardii and MOS do not colonize in the gut. They should be given twice daily (one size four capsule or 1/4 of the human capsule for each dose.) I would recommend this over traditional probiotic products until he's stable again and having solid poops. This may go a long way to helping him achieve solid poops again. It won't fix that bad food. But it will help the gut heal.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0056GCLVO/?tag=thecatsite
 
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Ocean Planet

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Thanks for the replies. It's a lot to take in. I just woke up in the middle of the night to check and with the weekend, if I did order new food it might be a few days before I can try anything. I don't know if to just go to the local grocery store and try something different until then... ugh.... he is still trying to go to the litter box now. I don't understand why two doctors would tell me to keep going on this food if this is doing this. So confused :( However, the interesting thing is his younger sibling (a regular domestic short hair) has no problems with the new food. Then again, he doesn't have IBD....

(He is on a daily steroid since Wednesday)

Oh, and to clarify, yes, it is the cat who doesn't like wet food. The most he has done is lick the gravy off the top and that is all. I've tried so many brands and flavors from the pet store. Sometimes he would get a few bites in, but he just won't do it on the regular. I can't depend he'll eat enough wet food to survive really
 
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Margot Lane

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maggie101 maggie101 I think it's the cat, not the doctor, that doesn't like wet food.

That's going to be a problem. Dry food and IBD are pretty much incompatible. Aside from Dr Elsey's Clean Protein, there aren't many dry foods that are also low carb. It's the carbs that disrupt the gut and the proteins that get the blame from an inappropriate immune response. You'll want to focus more on low carb than hydrolyzed or novel protein. That said, steroid therapy to suppress the immune response would be a very good idea. I can understand waiting to start it while going through the diagnostics. But now that a biopsy sample has been retrieved via endo, he should be on a daily oral steroid rather than spot injections.

Dump that food he's eating now. It won't get any better. That's not a typical or appropriate reaction to a new food.

A couple of foods to consider instead and I know you said he doesn't like wet food, but try them anyway. Incredible Pets sells by the can so you can simply buy a can of a few different flavors rather than committing to cases.

The first food I recommend is Rawz in the pates: turkey, rabbit, or duck.
Search: 51 results found for "rawz" - Incredible Pets

The other food I would recommend is Mouser in the non-chicken or fish flavors: turkey, rabbit, or duck
Search: 8 results found for "mouser" - Incredible Pets

You could try chicken. Not every IBD cat has a food intolerance. My Betty doesn't seem to be especially sensitive to any one food or another. But without steroids, she has a weekly hairball that tears her up for half a day. She's doing well on a lower dose. When we finally get her dental appointment that we've been trying to do for a year later this month, I will revisit her food choices. Currently, all she really wants to eat is Hills I/D chicken and vegetable stew. It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't low protein and high carb. She enjoys it and she's stable on it. We can do better. But not until after her dental.
Agree 100% here! Dump that food!
 

Margot Lane

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But also, the pred can take awhile to show results at the other end. Wednesday isn’t a lot of time. Took my cat a week and a bit to get on track with it. Did they recommend B12 shots at all? (My cat is 16 so maybe you don’t need this).
 
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Ocean Planet

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But also, the pred can take awhile to show results at the other end. Wednesday isn’t a lot of time. Took my cat a week and a bit to get on track with it. Did they recommend B12 shots at all? (My cat is 16 so maybe you don’t need this).
I believe when they did his GI blood work the B12 levels still looked good. All of his GI levels looked good, but this was 3 months ago.

I'm waiting a couple more hours until the Internal Medicine department opens up and I'm taking him in to the hospital shortly. Get fluids and nausea medicine.

I'm going to throw this food in the trash... it HAS to be the problem and I hate to switch him back cold turkey but this is extreame. Thankfully he was only on it 6 days. Something at the grocery store would be better than this....
 

Margot Lane

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My vet said try always to get wet food w/ limited ingredients. Agree w/ Daftcat about rabbit, turkey or mouse. Haven’t tried duck, but Daftcat is pretty on top of this subject. My go to has been N&D’s pumpkin and quail, but every cat is different.
 

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Fancy Feast Classic pate in the Turkey and Giblets flavor (the only one that doesn't have fish later in the ingredients) could be a grocery store choice that he might like. I know. I know. You said he doesn't like wet food. Show me a cat that doesn't like Fancy Feast. You can start him off with tiny morsels on a plate, maybe with some dry crumbled on top of it. It doesn't have to replace his food right away. Also, cats a lot of times will conduct their own slow food trials of new foods. "What is this? Better just have a bite or two now and see how it treats me." My philosophy is that anything a cat takes more than a bite of is something to offer again. You might find that as the pred kicks in, he'll be less picky. Pred, especially at the starting dose most cats get, tends to give them the munchies. He may not need to be on the high dose forever. But while he is, use that to your advantage to keep trying wet foods with him. They really will get you further with IBD than dry food.

Margot Lane Margot Lane I wouldn't say I'm necessarily on top of IBD as much as I've had far too much time in the hole with two cats now.
 
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Ocean Planet

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Thanks for all of the advice daftcat75 daftcat75 ! I just hope I get him over this hurdle to try new things.

I'm at the ER now as I type this. He was licking his lips a lot this morning which signals nausea. He also has a fever. They are doing a blood panel to look for anything else just in case and we'll go from there. Waiting on that for now. Not sure where the fever came from...
 
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Ocean Planet

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His bloodwork shows his body is fighting something whether it be the inflammation or an infection on top. The couple DRs working with him here are going to consult and will probably do a 24 hour hold to stabilize him. They may need to pause the steroids to clear the infection first (it had only been 2 days anyway.) Man... I'm shaking. One month it's all good and the next month you don't know what happened.
 
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Ocean Planet

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The ER called with an evening update and he is still stable, not worse, but not better yet. When he went in he had a 104.x temperature, after a bit it went up to 105.4 but they got it back down to 104.5 now. They are having a pathologist look at his blood panel in the morning to get their opinion. Is the temperature swings some sort of lymphoma talking? They have him on 3 wide spectrum antibiotics to cover everything there and knock any possibilities out.

He still hasn't eaten but they said I can bring some food from here to try to see if he'll take that. Otherwise they mentioned tomorrow they'll have to feed him via other methods.

There are so many things wrong. I don't know where all of this came from. Sounds like maybe it wasn't the food. If it is lymphoma I thought it was slow-going for kitties. I'm hoping for a miracle but with so much wrong I have to question how much time I'll have with him if it's the worst. I'm in total disbelief.... I can' even think for now.
 

Margot Lane

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Deep breaths. Big hugs. Sleep, if you can, breathe, drink some comforting tea! The ‘what ifs” can do you in, and the waiting is the hardest part. Sounds as if you have good vets there, doing all they can! Sending positive chi your way!
 
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Ocean Planet

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Deep breaths. Big hugs. Sleep, if you can, breathe, drink some comforting tea! The ‘what ifs” can do you in, and the waiting is the hardest part. Sounds as if you have good vets there, doing all they can! Sending positive chi your way!
I super appreciate it. I'm desperate for sleep. Could definitely use the tea too honestly. I will say I've always been happy with both the primary vet and ER vet here that I use. They both tell me I'm a fantastic cat dad. To me it sounds like they are doing all that they know to do and can do. So there is comfort in that. Thanks for reading. I'm definitely scared now. Fingers crossed for no phone calls in the middle of the night.
 
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Ocean Planet

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I took some food from home and they let me sit in a room with him for 30 minutes. At first he was curious to explore the room but then reverted back to his 'down' self. Still wouldn't eat with me there. Tomorrow they will have to use a feeding tube. And he keeps trying to have stool movements. Something is really wrong and I don't know how much longer I can watch him almost.... suffer really. He is better to be there than here so he can be monitored. Because if he was here he would just lay lifeless under my bed. You know that feeling where your eyes are just out of tears? Yeah....
 
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