Raw Spots And Possible Chicken Allergy

Jojothepogo

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My husband and I adopted a 10 year old cat a couple of months ago. She was in bad shape when we adopted her; most concerning are the big quarter sized raw wounds - 3 of them on her body, raw tips on her ears, and raw corner of one of her eyes. The shelter ruled out ringworm and other parasites. I took her to a vet after adopting her, they thought it might be an allergy or self-mutilation caused by stress. She doesn't have fleas (not really a thing in Colorado). The vet gave her a couple of antibiotic shots over 2 weeks and prescribed a steroid cream. I did a bit of research and read that chicken is the #2 allergen in cats behind fleas (according to Cornell), so I removed all chicken from her diet.

After 3 weeks, she seemed to be doing much better and the wounds healed very nicely...but now the round of steroid cream is out and the wounds are coming back. :( I will admit that while the majority of her diet is chicken free, she loves the Greenie treats the shelter gave us and they have helped us motivate her to be okay with our dogs. We will stop giving these to her. I found a duck liver treat that she likes (not quit as much though).

Anyways, I would like your opinion on what you think this might be. Does this sound like an allergy or something else?
 

Mamanyt1953

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It does sound suspiciously like a food allergy, but it could be environmental, as well. Or possibly some skin disorder that might take a feline dermatologist to diagnose.

This is my thought, just to give her some relief...head to the store, and buy a box of plain chamomile tea, no blends, from the coffee/tea aisle. While you're there, if you don't have one, grab a medicine dropper. Brew a cup of tea, and chill it in the fridge. Divide into two containers. Use one as a wash. Dip a cotton ball or soft cloth into the chilled tea, and swab onto the affected areas. It is antibacterial, anti fungal, and wonderfully soothing to all sorts of skin "ouchies." That should give her some relief. Now, the second container...draw up 1-3 teaspoonfuls of the tea into the medicine dropper and administer orally up to 3 times a day. Chamomile tea is gently soothing without being sedating, so if this is from stress, it should help her considerably.

DO USE THE COMMERCIALLY PREPARED TEA BAGS! Those are all made from German chamomile, which is medicinally active and safe for cats. The English variety, which grows in many gardens, is useless medicinally and actually toxic to cats. They look very much alike when growing, and that's a mistake you don't want to make.
 
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Jojothepogo

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It does sound suspiciously like a food allergy, but it could be environmental, as well. Or possibly some skin disorder that might take a feline dermatologist to diagnose.

This is my thought, just to give her some relief...head to the store, and buy a box of plain chamomile tea, no blends, from the coffee/tea aisle. While you're there, if you don't have one, grab a medicine dropper. Brew a cup of tea, and chill it in the fridge. Divide into two containers. Use one as a wash. Dip a cotton ball or soft cloth into the chilled tea, and swab onto the affected areas. It is antibacterial, anti fungal, and wonderfully soothing to all sorts of skin "ouchies." That should give her some relief. Now, the second container...draw up 1-3 teaspoonfuls of the tea into the medicine dropper and administer orally up to 3 times a day. Chamomile tea is gently soothing without being sedating, so if this is from stress, it should help her considerably.

DO USE THE COMMERCIALLY PREPARED TEA BAGS! Those are all made from German chamomile, which is medicinally active and safe for cats. The English variety, which grows in many gardens, is useless medicinally and actually toxic to cats. They look very much alike when growing, and that's a mistake you don't want to make.
 
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Jojothepogo

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That's a good idea. We have chamomile tea here at home. We'll give that a try. I'm going to try removing all chicken, give it a week to see if there's improvement, and then, if not, take her to a dermatologist.
 

Mamanyt1953

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Let us know how she does! Once you've posted here, in some small way, your cat becomes our cat, as well. And we fret about our cats.
 

LTS3

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A food trial / elimination diet takes about 13 weeks or so for any effect to be seen. So have patience :)

Some cats have a sensitivity to all poultry: chicken, duck, turkey, etc. If eliminating all forms of chicken (meat, by product, liver, etc) and doesn't help, try eliminating all forms of poultry, even vaguely labeled "meat by products" or "animal liver" and the like. Then look at eliminating other possible ingredients from the diet: grains, gums, seafood, etc.

It may be helpful to feed a limited ingredient diet to start with. Rabbit is a good choice if you want to avoid poultry. Here are some brands:

BLUE Basics® Limited Ingredient Cat Food | Blue Buffalo
Limited Ingredient Diet - Grain Free Cat | Merrick Pet Care
Cat Food - Limited Ingredient Diet - Kohapet
Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet | Instinct Pet Food
RAWZ | 100% Rendered Free Cat Food

A raw or home cooked diet are also options.
 

MissClouseau

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My husband and I adopted a 10 year old cat a couple of months ago. She was in bad shape when we adopted her; most concerning are the big quarter sized raw wounds - 3 of them on her body, raw tips on her ears, and raw corner of one of her eyes. The shelter ruled out ringworm and other parasites. I took her to a vet after adopting her, they thought it might be an allergy or self-mutilation caused by stress. She doesn't have fleas (not really a thing in Colorado). The vet gave her a couple of antibiotic shots over 2 weeks and prescribed a steroid cream. I did a bit of research and read that chicken is the #2 allergen in cats behind fleas (according to Cornell), so I removed all chicken from her diet.

After 3 weeks, she seemed to be doing much better and the wounds healed very nicely...but now the round of steroid cream is out and the wounds are coming back. :( I will admit that while the majority of her diet is chicken free, she loves the Greenie treats the shelter gave us and they have helped us motivate her to be okay with our dogs. We will stop giving these to her. I found a duck liver treat that she likes (not quit as much though).

Anyways, I would like your opinion on what you think this might be. Does this sound like an allergy or something else?
Chicken is just named more because most cat foods contain chicken. Have you ever given him some boiled chicken? What was he like afterward? I cannot say this with scientific info but only based on personal experience, if a cat does not get itchy, does not vomit, does not develop a rash or alike inside mouth within the next 8 hours of eating chicken, it means they are not allergic to chicken. Chicken-based dry food contains less chicken than, well, chicken. You can do the same with other meats.

Grains are also suspect. I'm trying to find out the allergies of my cat as well and I couldn't really figure out which one but #1 suspect is a grain. (She has no problem with grain-free chicken food but gets issues with grainy chicken food. Not to promote a grain-free diet, just to say if one food has wheat, make the next one gluten-free/wheat-free.)

Cats can be allergic to pretty much everything humans can be allergic to including pollen, dust mite, some detergents, insect bites. Summer is awful to try to figure out the allergen because of this unfortunately.

ALSO, it takes only one bite to give an allergic reaction to fleas if he's allergic to fleas, or any other insect including mosquito. No treatment can prevent that unfortunately.
 
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Jojothepogo

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Update: It's been 2 years now. She is allergic to all poultry, shell fish, and beef. She is eating Primal Raw Pork and Instinct Limited Ingredient Rabbit. She also has some environmental allergies. And her allergies always get worse with stress (example - when we go on vacation and leave her with the cat sitter). So...we ended up putting her on Atopica and it is working very well. Since she was so destructive to herself - we had to go with a quick fix (prednisone followed by Atopica) instead of immunotherapy, which takes too long to resolve the problem - especially with a kitty who was 10 years.
 

fionasmom

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Thank you so much for coming back to update. New members often look to older posts to see if there had ever been a conclusion posted. It is good to hear that you have been able to resolve the problem.
 
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