IBD Kitty and picky eater

Bbwebb110

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Hello!

I’m new here and hoping maybe you can help me. My baby (or really full grown lady) has been recently diagnosed with IBD. A little backstory on my struggle:
I moved to a new area a little over a year ago. Not far from where I was, but there was definitely a lot going on with the move - my kitty had to go to my aunts for a bit before we got settled in and could take her back and get her situated. I have been to a couple vets in my new area before finding one I liked and I felt took my concerns seriously - though she is also very busy and sometimes it’s difficult maintaining communication. My little bean also HATES car rides and vet visits and gets thoroughly stressed, and I think with I think all the upheaval this past year and a half or so she’s been struggling and idk what’s helping or hurting at this point.

So basically - I have a 10 y/o domestic shorthair who I love more than the world. I rescued her when she was 6 months old and she is, and has always been, a tiny cat. She has stayed around the size she was when I got her at 6 mos. I was younger then, and didn’t feed her wet food (bc I was young and dumb) but free fed her dry food. She isn’t, and has never been, a big eater. Once I learned the benefits of wet food I started feeding her half a can of wet food 2x daily. I eventually dropped that down to 1/3 can bc I was tired of throwing food out, but I still free feed her dry food always.

While she was at my aunts, she started throwing up bile. It seemed as if she was constipated and having trouble passing food. Her anus was protruding before she had to poop, and we took her to a vet, has a “tight sphincter” - suggested pumpkin with her wet food and dietary change. We changed the diet and noticed the throwing up decreased but didn’t go away, but the constipation seemed to have gotten better. Also moved into new place and cat returned, and we noticed the throwing up increased and though her stool seemed more normal. At first we thought this was good, but after a bit we noticed wetter stool, litter box aversion for pooping, and she started coughing. Brought her to a vet near us and diagnosed prednisone for the cough and stomach. Got better during the course of the prednisone, but once that finished got worse again - though different. Now her stool was soft and stringy and noodley almost. At first we thought this was good - she was passing food easier - but the vomiting has continued and the coughing started up again. This doctor also never took x-rays or blood tests, just a fecal and found nothing unusual. Also had us change food. He can wanted to keep prescribing prednisone and I would rather that be a last option bc a lot of this seems like dietary issues and almost all my vets agree that this is most likely food sensitivities but I just cannot figure out WHAT she is sensitive to.
Vet #3 did a full work up, X-rays, blood and fecal. The coughing was diagnosed as asthma and she was diagnosed with ibd and she said often these issues are related bc inflammation in cats can effect multiple organs. We got her an inhaler which has worked very well with the coughing and she wanted to try out a limited ingredient diet for the ibd. New cat food again - currently on limited ingredient rabbit food from nature’s valley.
So here’s my problem. I’ve changed her food now several times throughout the past year or so. I know ibd is often stress related, and these frequent vet visits as well as the move and changing diet I know are absolutely stressing her. For the first bit on this new diet was a struggle, but then it seemed like her stomach settled out for a bit and we werent having problems. But for the past week, her bowel has been straight diarrhea and she will not go in the litter box to poop. Peeing is not a problem, but will absolutely not poop in the box and I’m very concerned about the diarrhea. I contacted the vet and left a message but they haven’t called me back. I called again today to make an appointment and am waiting to hear back again. I know obviously this food isn’t working but Im also nervous about changing her diet AGAIN. This will be the 3-4th time we’ve completely changed her diet in a little over a year and it just seems to be moving from one extreme to the other. I don’t mind buying the food but I know stress is a huge factor in IBD and I worry these constant vet visits/diet changes are just compounding issues. She also will not eat human food, and never has (though I’ve coerced her into canned tuna once or twice). I tried boiled rice and she won’t touch it. I was hoping maybe someone here might have some advise or something in terms of some dietary structure I can get her on or at least alleviate my fears that constantly changing her diet is not just making things worse - bc that’s how it feels right now. Idk. Sorry for the long thread I’m just worried about my baby and am not sure what to do :-(. Thank you for any advice you may have!
 

t c c

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There are 2 great FB groups I recommend you check out. And I know FB's search function is terrible, but you can still find some really helpful info in the groups, as well. The 2 groups: "Cats With IBD" and "Raw Feeding for IBD Cats."
 

neely

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There are several TCS members who have a lot of background and informations with IBD health issues so I hope they will read your thread and reply LTS3 LTS3 daftcat75 daftcat75 artiemom artiemom
In the meantime here is one of their posts with two good websites for your reference: IBD
 
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daftcat75

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IBS = Irritable bowel syndrome is stress-related.
IBD = Inflammatory bowel disease is not. It is an inappropriate immune response to food proteins which are leaking out of the gut due to inflammation generally caused by non-protein ingredients. Grains, starches, gums, thickeners, and other nonsense ingredients bust open the barn door and the protein is the only one that gets rounded up by the immune cops.

Diarrhea is extremely dehydrating. You need to stop that as quickly as you can.
My Cat Has Diarrhea - What Do I Do?

Pick up some saccharomyces boulardii and give her about a half capsule twice to four times a day. Many cats like the taste and it can be mixed with food. It also survives antibiotics to remain effective against antibiotic-induced diarrhea. The first thing most vets will do with diarrhea is prescribe metronidazole assuming it's an infection. Sometimes metro works. But more often, it works for a day or two and then back to mush. The s. boulardii can help against this.

If that rabbit food was previously working for her and now it's not, that could be either an infection or a worsening of her condition. I would try the SB for a couple of days. If that doesn't get you anywhere, consider another food change. You're not sparing her any stress by keeping her on a food that isn't working out for her. I recommend trying different flavors of the single protein pates from Rawz. Even if the Nature Valley rabbit isn't working for her, try the Rawz rabbit. There is likely some nonsense ingredient in the nature valley food that doesn't belong in cat food and isn't agreeing with her. It's more often not the protein that initially causes the problem. I recommend Incredible Pets, an online reseller, who sells by both the can and the case. This makes it more affordable to try a few different flavors without committing to whole cases. Try the Rawz rabbit as well as the Rawz rabbit with pumpkin. You may also consider turkey, beef, or duck.
Search: 10 results found for "rawz cat"

You may have to search the other online resellers to find rabbit or other flavors. Rawz is the gold standard for IBD and food allergy diets. It's worth the effort to locate it. When you find a flavor that works, stock up.
Where to Buy | RAWZ

If she's still eating dry, that needs to stop. Dry food and IBD are incompatible. Period. There's just far too many nonsense ingredients in dry food that are doing a number on her gut even before we consider the preponderance of chicken and fish ingredients in dry food that's probably off her list by now.
 

daftcat75

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I want to make a new post for this point.

It is possible that her IBD has progressed to GI lymphoma. Cancer tends to grow where there is uncontrolled inflammation (like IBD.) When food that was previously working for Krista was coming out as liquid no matter what I tried, that was my first sign. When old methods weren't working anymore, we had entered new territory.

Has she had an ultrasound? I recommend that first to rule out any growths on other organs as well as potentially rule out large cell lymphoma. If you're left with the recommendation for a biopsy to determine whether it's IBD or small cell lymphoma, I do not recommend the biopsy. Negotiate with your vet that you will try to treat as IBD with steroids first, and if that doesn't help, that s/he will add chemotherapy to her treatment. You don't need to cut your cat open and subject her to a recovery period just to answer whether pred alone will be enough. Whether you biopsy or not, you won't miss it if her IBD becomes lymphoma. It's only a matter of how long will you try (and fail) to treat it like IBD before you add in chemo.

In the meantime, I recommend using a baby scale to monitor her weight. When she's losing weight and there's nothing you can do to stop it, that's another hallmark of lymphoma. With Krista, she lost nearly half her weight in just a few months before I was finally able to convince her vets that steroids alone weren't working. Within a dose or two of chemo, her poops firmed up and her weight loss stabilized. If I wasn't making a nightly mistake wrapping her pred pill in a trigger food (fish flakes) to get her to pill herself, that may have been the beginning of a happy ending. But that's a different point here. Still relevant though. Even steroids and chemo cannot completely put out the fire as long as you're still feeding it with trigger foods. So it always comes back to food and figuring out those darn triggers no matter how many times you have to switch her diet. But that also switching foods alone may not get her back to good.

This is the baby scale I bought:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QHK99CC/?tag=thecatsite

I left it in her environment so it wasn't foreign to her on weigh-in days. I simply had to put a treat on the platform and herd her butt into basket for a second or two. I recommend weighing no more than once a week for everyone's sanity. I also recommend weighing the same time and place each week like a Monday morning weigh-in. Use a baby scale. Bathroom scales are notoriously and wildly inaccurate and you won't get consistent enough readings to know whether differences are the cat or the scale. Weight loss associated with GI lymphoma is relentless and dramatic. Even without a baby scale, you won't miss it. But the scale will help you confirm it sooner and also whether treatment is helping.
 

artiemom

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Yes, daftcat75 daftcat75 and fionasmom fionasmom had great suggestions.

Is there an internal Med vet near you?? If so, I would make an appointment. Seriously.

Vomiting and diarrhea are connected to IBD.

Did any of the vets do extensive blood tests? This is the first step, also to rule out pancreatitis. Lots of local vets do know routinely order these or are aware of them.

An ultrasound will be the next step—- but, I would make sure it was done by professionals. Not just a local vet.
That is why I am suggesting an internal medicine vet. They have all the resources to do all of this.

You are doing all you can for your baby. Trust your gut.

Artie desperately hated the carrier and car rides— he howled!! But you are doing this for their own good! Be strong— be tuff.
I say I am a “Bad mama”. I learned from Artie. Oh so much.

Natures Variety is a pretty good brand, but there may be something in it which she is allergic to.

You did the right thing by switching. Took many changes can disrupt her system. Stay with one for now. And you know about no treats.

***Get her records from the other vets.

Yes, I agree the SB is a good treatment, temporarily. Until you see the specialist.

I would not give any more prednisone, unless the specialist prescribe it. It is best to undergo testing before starting treatment.

Artie had diarrhea and vomiting— without any furballs. I guess that is a big difference??? At least according to my IM vet.

Geoffrey has a ton of vomiting. All have loose fur or furballs— no diarrhea. I still have him on prescription food— my choice. I think he; as well as Artie had a chicken allergy. He is on rabbit

Personally, I think Geoffrey has gastric reflux.

So , what I would advise;
*Look for an Internal Medicine Vet, preferably one at a Vet Hospital. They will order a ton of specialized blood tests and an ultrasound. And possibly a biopsy— the only way to fully diagnose IBD

*Keep your local vet, until you have the appointment.

*Do not begin steroids, unless ordered by internal Med vet— after testing. They can skew the test results.

*Keep on the novel protein diet

*Try the SB

*Read the link. Tons of information . There is also a Facebook group — private, great advice

*** be good to yourself. You are doing the best you can. Asking for help is a huge step.

Remember, it is one step at a time!! Do not beat yourself up. You fed dry—/ so what!!!

We are all here for you!
I hope I helped a bit.

((((Hugs))))
 
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artiemom

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Oh, forgot to add: If a biopsy is suggested, Artie had the endoscopic biopsy— through the mouth. He did not have the real surgical, open biopsy.

The endoscopy biopsy can be limited, but, I do not think I would have had him go through the full surgical one.

Just my opinion. The endoscopic one is easier.

But, that is jumping way ahead of ourselves.

One step at a time.

I would also get a calendar and start recording food intake, symptoms: vomiting and diarrhea. Sometimes pictures help..

Just my thoughts.
 
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