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Talking to vet about switching food to control "allergies"

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your cat's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your kitty!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster's choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.

  
Ninja

teenage mutant- ninja kitty
 
 
Purred: Mon Nov 12, '12 8:42am PST 
So my cat has been on Hills Prescription z/d for a few years now. Every few months, he seems to be riddled with vomiting, loose stools, and gas while on this food. To treat it, we are currently getting him a steroid shot and that seems to calm his system down, but it's never permanent.

I want to talk to my vet about treating these issues with a diet change, to something higher quality and grain free (along the lines of Merrick, Blue Basics, Wysong, etc) and 100% wet/canned if needed. I brought it up before but it wasn't considered to be a worthwhile treatment since "he's already on the hypoallergenic food".

I want to add that my cat has already been tested for worms and other possible parasites. He's had a complete blood workup, including a GI blood test to rule out more severe issues with his pancreas. He acts completely normal when he exhibits these GI symptoms - still has an appetite, energy level the same, uses the litter box without incident, etc. He can tend to get one watery eye occasionally, which I think is important in connection to his GI distress, but I'm not sure how.

I need to figure this out now, before he begins to get older and the long term effects of these symptoms make him worse.

What I'd like to know is how to work with my vet on this and what would the top three brands to consider for this type of food change? I really don't want to go through changing vets, because I do like them.

ETA: is it better to just go for higher quality foods with different grains in them (oatmeal, rice, etc) or go completely grain free?

Edited by author Mon Nov 12, '12 9:27am PST

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Brownie

I'm the Alpha- cat!
 
 
Purred: Mon Nov 12, '12 1:14pm PST 
So I looked at the ingredient in the feline z/d low Allergen - dry food. Wow that is a lot of liver. The cellulose is wood. Some pets have issues with chicken too.

Prescription Diet® z/d® Feline Low Allergen: Brewers Rice, Hydrolyzed Chicken Liver, Hydrolyzed Chicken, Soybean Oil (preserved with BHA, propyl gallate and citric acid), Powdered Cellulose, Lactic Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Sulfate, Glyceryl Monostearate, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Taurine, Iodized Salt, Dicalcium Phosphate, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), preserved with Mixed Tocopherols & Citric Acid, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract.

Most of the forum members will say, if you can go 100% wet* then that is the best route. Even a raw diet is great route too. Now will Ninja go for it is another story. A back up plan is needed. So a grain free kibble and one without chicken, rice of cellulose to see if that is a problem. Other brands to look at Royal Canine Hypoallergenic Select (duck, venison, & rabbit varieties!! I know it's pricy even if you can use while going to a wet diet.), Natural Balance(wet), Nature's Variety(wet) or Stella & Chewy just add water or feed dry. A must have item is something like Eagle Pack Holistic Transition (edit to add EP to post).

* Now to sell a 100% wet diet to the vet is easy. The vet will go for it if you talk about the kidney health with the fact cats natural diet is not wood or rice. Cats are obligate carnivore.

Edited by author Mon Nov 12, '12 1:24pm PST

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Brownie

I'm the Alpha- cat!
 
 
Purred: Mon Nov 12, '12 11:21pm PST 
I forgot Canine Caviar. They have a venison and a buffalo one for cats. We tried the Wysong Nurture with TNT pheasant. My crew only liked the TNT pieces of pheasant and I had to give away the kibble. But they had a great offer to try some of their products for $10. I signed up for a recommendation form at Wysong.net and 4 days later an email was sent for the $10 offer including shipping. They do love the pheasant Dream Treats.
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Ninja

teenage mutant- ninja kitty
 
 
Purred: Tue Nov 13, '12 6:51am PST 
Thanks for your help.

I know if I do want to switch food, it definitely must be done very gradually. I think I tried it before but his stomach did not agree. For how long do i try the new food until it's obvious one tiny change is wrecking his system? Do you wait a little to see if he gets used to the small change then try more?
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Stella

Stella- Felinis--Queen- of All Kitties!
 
 
Purred: Tue Nov 13, '12 9:37am PST 
It's Stella. The difficult thing may be that your cat will not want to eat the exotic dry foods with duck and things like that, and you will have to struggle to get him to eat at all. Cats who eat dry from kittenhood seem to get addicted to something in the food--it's probably flavor enhancers--and don't want to switch.

I had the exact problem that you are having, and my person eneded up switching everyone in the household first to grain-free, and then to wet cat food. We are all doing much better, even poor Delyte who is over 17 and has major health problems. We use our former dry food as kitty treats--we each get one poece a day if we are good. Good luck! Purrs from all of us ... wave
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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Tue Nov 13, '12 1:40pm PST 
I would eliminate the dry food and stay away from grains. The fewer ingredients in the food, the better. If you can go raw, that would be the best but it's not for everyone. Try to stick to foods that are not much more than a protein and vitamins, like Evo or Instinct 95%. That gives fewer things for him to react to. Good luck!
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Ninja

teenage mutant- ninja kitty
 
 
Purred: Wed Nov 14, '12 6:10am PST 
Well, so far so good. Picked up some Natural Balance limited ingredient duck and green pea dry and Merrick B.G. canned to see what he'd like. He immediately loved the NB dry - I gave him a few pieces of kibble to sniff and he gobbled them up like treats! This morning, I mixed about a teaspoon of the new wet into his normal wet food (about 1 oz) and that got eaten too. He got a small ratio of old vs. new dry in his dish for the day, so I'll what his litter box looks like when I get home from work today.

I am staying away from anything chicken flavored. I have a feeling that might have been one of the culprits. But I'm really happy with the initial results here. I just hope it's the right path.
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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Wed Nov 14, '12 4:03pm PST 
When BK was diagnosed with allergies and refused to eat the prescription food we had very good luck with the NB (he preferred the venison). A true elimination diet is a single novel protein but if he's doing ok with a couple non-chicken flavors then go for it! Best of luck.
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Amber

Georgian Blue
 
 
Purred: Sun Dec 2, '12 4:19pm PST 
Science Diet makes very poor quality food. Your cats are basically eating floor sweepings. I would stay away from steroid shots, as they have been linked to meningitis. You should ONLY be feeding a canned cat food, homemade diet or raw. The food your vet is giving your cat is very low quality and what I would consider dangerous! I’m sure the vomiting is because he just can’t digest the garbage that is in that diet. Whatever you do, stay away from dry food! It keeps cats constantly dehydrated. Gimborn makes eye-cleansing pads, which I recommend for his watery eyes. They also make sterile eye wash, which could help. You can try Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hypoallergenic Selected Protein Adult PR Canned Cat Food. I’m sure your vet will give you a prescription for it. You do not need to go grain-free, but you do need a cat food that is high in moisture.
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Alex (sweet- angel girl)

Angel on a- mission!
 
 
Purred: Sun Dec 2, '12 6:09pm PST 
Amber those steroid shots are NOT the kind that are given to pets. I've been on top of this subject with people in my newsletter and I've been reading lots of medical information. This is not the same thing at all as the meningitis scare and not all shots cause meningitis. It was narrowed down to 2 pharmacies in Mass. and that's it. But they did not make anything for pets injections.
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