Need advice! Limited ingredient suggestions

lisahe

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Oh no lisahe lisahe I hope Edwina is okay!! Did she have an endoscopy or biopsy? Neither one has a fun recovery. And I hope her diagnosis is something very manageable. I'd be curious to hear your vet's recommendations simple, homemade food. Good luck next week! Sending hugs to you and Edwina!
:touched::touched:
❤ Thank you for your concern, A Astragal14 , Edwina has been recovering pretty well! Sometimes it feels slow -- like the two or three days when she wasn't eating much at all -- but she's getting back to her sassy self. The short version (since I don't want to hijack this thread!) is that Edwina had an ultrasound, after which we chose exploratory surgery rather an endoscopy since we (and the vet) were pretty sure there'd be something to remove. Thank goodness that was our choice! For better or worse, there's no real diagnosis since nobody can positively id the source of the inflammation in her stomach. That despite biopsies of the stomach pieces, her spleen (which apparently hemorrhaged), and a couple of lymph nodes. The ultrasound and biopsy reports both mentioned the possibility of ingestion of a foreign body as well as parasites, so she'll be dewormed for good measure.

As for the diet -- and here maybe something will be helpful for the OP! -- I'll keep making cooked food with Alnutrin (which the cats like and which is about as simple as a supplement could be) and likely branch out into a recipe or two for variety since I'm also going to stop feeding raw food. The cats love raw food (in general) but the vet's not into raw food, Ireland doesn't do well with bone and lots of the foods have bone, and I'd aleady been feeling unsure about the mishmash of raw foods I'd been feeding: they include ingredients like pumpkin, psyllium husk, various probiotics, fish oil, and all sorts of other theoretically good things that may well have been fighting each other or adding up to too much (or maybe not enough?) of a good thing! It had gotten confusing for me to try to figure all that out, plus the cats were starting to get bored with some of those foods anyway. So I need to figure out a new menu. 😱🙀

Our vet already told me she's happy with balanced vet-written cooked food recipes. The cats and I are probably pickier than she is about that since there are so many things I refuse to feed! But I have a million question for her, with an eye on reducing inflammation. Things like how much of those theoretically good ingredients (particularly fish oil, probiotics, egg yolk, and maybe pumpkin or psyllium) to put in a day's menu. I also want to discuss a few herbal remedies, like slippery elm and marshmallow root, and Vet's Best anti-hairball tablets. And ask how to deal with Edwina's smaller stomach as well as her life-long propensity for generating stomach acid. I may need to keep getting up in the night to feed her, which is fine (I usually get up anyway!), but she also needs to lose weight!

One thing I'll mention right now, Jaylin A Jaylin A , since you mentioned testing for parasites, is that tests apparently don't always identify certain parasites, particularly if there aren't many living in the cat. Parasites weer mentioned in our ultrasound report because of all the inflammation in Edwina's stomach. I tend to think it was from a combination of factors but parasites are relevant because she loves eating bugs, including the camel crickets in our basement, which can apparently carry a nasty parasite! Who knew!? 🤷‍♀️ I'll also add that the recommendation about carbs in the Animal Biome article that A Astragal14 linked to is really key. Getting rid of carby stuff -- particularly legumes like peas, chickpeas, or lentils -- is (IMHO) good for any cat but especially for a cat who has diarrhea. Or vomiting. Although Edwina's symptoms have always been vomiting rather than diarrhea, as I mentioned in my earlier post, we've had to eliminate lots of thickeners and gums from her diet, ingredients from potato to agar-agar. It can take a long time to figure those things out but the fewer ingredients in the foods, the more likely we've been to figure out what's causing problems. Until, that is, we hit on major inflammation, which the ultrasound was the first to identify.

Sorry that's so much!
 

LadyLondonderry

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Thank you for posting this, A Astragal14 ! Edwina, whom I mentioned above, had surgery last week to remove a few things, including two very inflamed little pieces of her stomach. She also has some thickening of her intestine. Most likely a lot of things (though we'll never know what, exactly, put her over the edge) contributed to the inflammation over her nine years but now I clearly need to focus on a simpler diet with more homecooked food containing more fish oil and some probiotics... I'm looking forward to getting more ideas from our vet next week!
Seconding the good wishes for Edwina and the hugs for both of you!
 

Astragal14

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Getting rid of carby stuff -- particularly legumes like peas, chickpeas, or lentils -- is (IMHO) good for any cat but especially for a cat who has diarrhea. Or vomiting.
This is the hardest part of feline nutrition, it seems like everything has too many carbs!! And these three ingredients (peas, chickpeas and lentils) are the current trendy ingredients used by most high end, healthier foods. The only canned foods I've found that don't use these are Rawz and Dr. Elsey's (and Identity pet foods but they're so new, and they also have coconut oil and agar agar).


For better or worse, there's no real diagnosis since nobody can positively id the source of the inflammation in her stomach.
Oh wow, that's both good and bad. I'm so glad it's nothing like lymphoma, but at the same time... how well can you treat it when you don't know what's causing it?? I guess the silver lining is that managing inflammation is probably the single best thing we can do for our cats overall health (in my opinion).
 

lisahe

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This is the hardest part of feline nutrition, it seems like everything has too many carbs!! And these three ingredients (peas, chickpeas and lentils) are the current trendy ingredients used by most high end, healthier foods. The only canned foods I've found that don't use these are Rawz and Dr. Elsey's (and Identity pet foods but they're so new, and they also have coconut oil and agar agar).
I so agree! I'm glad our cats like Chewy's American Journey shredded chicken foods (though this one, the plain one, is out of stock!) because they're very basic recipes with no thickeners. Unfortunately, the cats don't like Tiki's shreds nearly as much... and those would give them lots more variety. They've never consistently liked Rawz (and the company is in my state!) but I'm going to try that out of them again... Agar-agar is a definite no for both cats. All these matters of taste and sensitivity were a huge part of what brought me to the variety of commercial raw foods in the first place. Unfortunately, canned foods haven't changed much (for our better!) in the last year or two. Things almost look worse since legumes and agar-agar seem to have become even more common.

Oh wow, that's both good and bad. I'm so glad it's nothing like lymphoma, but at the same time... how well can you treat it when you don't know what's causing it?? I guess the silver lining is that managing inflammation is probably the single best thing we can do for our cats overall health (in my opinion).
I so agree here, too! On all points. Although I'm glad I won't be beating myself up about something (Like: Why did I let her eat those crickets... Or: Why didn't I take X problem more seriously), it would be nice to know if there are mistakes I shouldn't repeat. The surgeon was particularly vocal in saying it's hard to infer much from all the reports. Our regular vet seems to think parasites are a prime culprit (particularly given raw food), though our other cat is fine, which makes me even less likely to blame raw food, where I've always been pretty careful. But Edwina's the one who eats insects and spiders; I'm pretty sure Ireland abstains. Lots of potential causes came up in the ultrasound and biopsy reports and I tend to think there was probably some weird confluence of events...

To get back to you, Jaylin A Jaylin A ! If you're able to get an ultrasound that might at least give you some hints as Edwina's did. Even if we'll never know the root causes, at least we knew immediately that there was something inflammatory going on in her stomach that needed to be taken care of. And we now know she has some thickening in her intestines. Ultrasounds can sometimes be affordable: I may have mentioned before that our vet brings in a specialist to do a bunch at a time and they're (relatively speaking anyway) affordable, under $300. Maybe your vet (or another in your area) does something similar?
 
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