What Food Allergy Reaction Can Look Like

Alldara

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I'm about to delete some old photos but I wanted to post these before in case they're able to help someone.

Magnus also had itchy ears and didn't eat much and has some minor constipation. He didn't throw up, but had some nausea. His energy slowly depleted.

His main symptom was swollen nail beds with discharge. It was initially treated as an infection with antibiotics and steroids. It helped but didn't completely solve (now thought to be secondary infection). We did swabs that showed nothing. He had a biopsy with regular and rare slides done. Nothing came up except signs of allergens.

His nail beds were swollen, sometimes red, always flaky skin. He had combinations of yellow, clear and sometimes black discharge.

Final diagnosis was beef allergy.
 

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vsvpflex

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Did he ever have any issues with his paw pads ? I have a cat who is currently dealing with paw pads that get extremely dry and need to be balmed every other day to maintain. We are currently on week 3 of a hydrolyzed protein diet change to see if food allergy is the culprit
 
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Alldara

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If he did have issues with the pads, we didn't notice in comparison to the nail beds.

Mainly, Magnus wouldn't eat well and his skin was dry. He would scratch his ears a lot and had the nail bed issues. We thought the digestive issue was part of his heart murmur.
 

vsvpflex

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If he did have issues with the pads, we didn't notice in comparison to the nail beds.

Mainly, Magnus wouldn't eat well and his skin was dry. He would scratch his ears a lot and had the nail bed issues. We thought the digestive issue was part of his heart murmur.
This is what my little guys paws look like if I don’t balm them regularly. How long into the food trial did you start to see resolution of skin issues? I’m 3 weeks in and we’ve seen his gastrointestinal issues totally clear up
 

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Alldara

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Wow very dry!

It took longer for the toes to clear up as we were accidentally using wipes with milk product in it to wipe his feet when he came inside. We discovered later he was also allergic to by-products like milk and cheese.

I would recommend stopping the balm, as there could be something inside he's allergic to also and that can continue the issue. In a pinch, we have used some pure coconut oil as a balm for pads, but it can cause soft poos if they lick it.

Putting the balm on might cause your cat to lick more and dry their feet out.


Does he stay fully inside?
 

treeclimber

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Yipes!! I’m glad you figured out what was causing it!

What is the thing on the paper towel in the second picture, a chunk of skin that came off?
 
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Alldara

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Yipes!! I’m glad you figured out what was causing it!

What is the thing on the paper towel in the second picture, a chunk of skin that came off?
That was discharge from his toe nail bed. He had quite a bit and did get a secondary bacterial infection while he had the allergy flare. Originally we (us and the vet) thought it just an infection. But it wouldn't clear. The discharge was always yellow though, even with the infection gone.

It was painful for him. He stopped using his feet to do things including communication with his AAC buttons (like Bunny and Stella the 'talking' dogs).
 
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Alldara

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At least you got to the bottom of the mystery I guess?
Yes exactly. We are mostly just glad that it was something fixable and that we had pet insurance to help cover the tests he needed to find out.
 
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