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Help! Red itchy flaky skin -sorry it's long

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by ChrisCatLady, Aug 31, 2018.


  1. ChrisCatLady

    ChrisCatLady PetForums Newbie

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    Hi Everyone, i hope you can help me

    I have a two year old British Shorthair who seems to suffer from allergies. He was moved to a single protein, high quality wet food which has helped, but come spring he always gets very itchy and scratches his ears til they bleed. We take him for a jab at the vets to stop the itch.

    Last week I noticed him licking the back of his neck a lot and he'd caused a red scabby bald spot. I put a cone on him until it healed, which it did. However, he has bright red bald spots under his armpits with large flakes of skin. He hadn't been able to lick these bits or scratch them, so it's not an overgrooming hotspot. I'm taking him to the vets Tuesday but wondered if anyone had had anything like this on their pet? What could it be?

    He's flead, wormed, has acces to running water at all times, I add extra water to his food, he has an omega 3 oil supplement daily from Yumega. I haven't changed the cleaning products i use (all pet safe), I was his bedding regularly, haven't changed his litter. I'm at my wit's end because so far the vet just gives him the steroid anti Inflammatory and sends him on his way.

    Are there any tests you would recommend I can ask for?
    I'm so sorry this is so long but I'm very worried

    Thanks x
     
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  2. ChrisCatLady

    ChrisCatLady PetForums Newbie

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    Here are the latest spots
     

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  3. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hello @ChrisCatLady and welcome :)

    He is a beautiful cat! :)

    I am sorry to hear about his skin problems. Can you tell me which single protein food he is on?

    Single protein foods in themselves are a good thing, but one first has to make sure the right single protein food is being given. e.g. it will not control the allergies to feed single protein chicken, or single protein fish, if the cat is allergic to fish or chicken.

    So first one needs to conduct an "elimination diet" using a novel protein food (meaning a protein the cat has never eaten before in their life) for 8 weeks to calm the immune response. Then reintroduce each protein after that one every 3 weeks.

    In the UK "novel proteins" are kangaroo, reindeer, goat, horse, pheasant, and possibly venison (if you're certain he's never had venison).

    Foods also need to be grain free, and preferably contain no soya protein. Dry food can't be used for an elimination diet, and personally I would never feed any dry food to a cat with skin problems.

    Is he having long-acting steroid injections or steroid tablets given orally? I would avoid long term use of the former, as there is a risk of diabetes developing in time.

    Very itchy ears, scabs on head and neck are typical of food allergies.

    It's good you have removed any potential allergens from the home - are you using a non-bio laundry liquid? I go one step further and use a scent free, non-bio for all my cats bedding and my bedding, as I have a cat with controlled feline dermatitis myself.

    I can give you details of where to buy the novel protein foods if you would like to do the elimination diet. :)
     
    #3 chillminx, Sep 1, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
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  4. ChrisCatLady

    ChrisCatLady PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for the reply

    He's on thrive wet food at the moment, but it is chicken and I know a lot of cats have trouble with that. He's on nature's balance at the moment which is pheasant and duck which he hasn't had before.

    I'd really appreciate any sources of good quality single protein food you know of, I'm guessing elimination is the way to go next.

    I don't like dry food, even though the vet keeps recommending it for their teeth...

    I use non bio laundry detergent, I wash once with that, then a second wash with just water to rinse any product off well.

    He's only had one steroid injection in the past, it seemed to work well, but I didn't realize it can cause diabetes

    Is your cat ok now you found the right food and cleaning products?
     
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  5. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hi Chris, yes my cat is fine now thanks.

    He has no beef, chicken or fish in his diet, and is on a rotated diet of the following proteins: turkey, lamb, rabbit, duck, kangaroo, venison, and pork.

    To keep track of the protein rotation I have a wall chart with the order in which he is fed the different proteins. This means he has each protein on only one day a week, to prevent him developing new allergies.

    Here are some sources of single protein foods:

    From Zooplus.co.uk

    Granatapet Pure veal
    Granatapet Pure Chicken

    https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats...1_rr&slot=1&exprienceid=7326&strategyid=98625

    Macs Sensitive pure turkey
    Macs Sensitive pure lamb

    https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/canned_cat_food_pouches/macs/cans/680988

    Animonda Vom Feinsten for neutered cats Pure turkey

    https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/canned_cat_food_pouches/animonda/trays/14008

    Wild Freedom Pure Chicken

    https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats...ild_freedom_wet/wild_freedom_adult_wet/656916

    From Zoo-bio.co.uk

    Catz Finefood Purrrr range pure Kangaroo

    https://www.zoo-bio.co.uk/catz-finefood/14440-purrrr-no-107-kangaroo-canned

    or Pure Pork

    https://www.zoo-bio.co.uk/catz-finefood/14441-purrrr-no-109-pork

    or Pure lamb

    https://www.zoo-bio.co.uk/catz-finefood/14442-purrrr-no-111-lamb-can

    Mjamjam

    Horse meat and pumpkin

    https://www.zoo-bio.co.uk/mjamjam/61387-tasty-horse-with-steamed-pumpkin

    Terra Faelis Rabbit

    https://www.zoo-bio.co.uk/terra-faelis/10248-can-rabbit-with-broccoli-catnip


    If you plan to carry out a proper elimination diet you will need to feed a novel protein and strictly nothing else except water for 8 weeks. Kangaroo tends to be well liked and is easy to buy from Zoo-bio.

    After the 8 weeks you reintroduce one protein at a time every 3 weeks, and these must be single protein foods for an accurate result. Maybe start with turkey, then lamb, pork, rabbit, venison, and leave beef, chicken and fish to last (as they are the most common feline food allergens). Keep a daily log of signs and symptoms.

    I highly recommend the elimination diet as the best way forward when the skin condition is chronic. Just swapping around different single proteins it is too ad hoc a method and will not give you a reliable result. And also you want relief for your cat a.s.a.p, as the itching must be driving her crazy!

    When I started my cat on the 8 week diet of kangaroo he stopped scratching within about 10 days and his skin had all cleared up by about week 5 on the diet.

    If yours has only had one steroid injection there's no need to worry about diabetes risks, It's only when steroids are given long term and especially the type given as a long acting injection.

    Please let me know if you need any more help with advice about the diet. :)
     
  6. hayleyhitchcock

    hayleyhitchcock PetForums Member

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    This is really interesting as my cat has chronic itching which has been going on for years. She started on oral steroids, and was on them for ages. They worked but we had to stop them because of the risks. She's been for all sorts of test with a dermatologists and everything was negative. She's had anti histamines with no effect, supplementary oils of all sorts, and now she's on Atopica. It works a little bit, but she's constantly itching and bleeding.
    I would be very interested to try the elimination diet. I just have one question: if I try giving her the kangaroo food, for example, and she still itches - where do I go from there?
    Thanks
     
  7. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @hayleyhitchcock - if she still itched when fed a novel protein (e.g. kangaroo or one of the other novel proteins) you would conclude that the itching is not due to a food allergy and is instead due to something else such as e.g. an autoimmune skin condition. At least you would know that diet is probably not the cause of her condition. That'd be worth knowing I think.

    Have you ruled out any potential environmental allergens such as chemical cleaners, laundry liquids etc. ?
     
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  8. ChrisCatLady

    ChrisCatLady PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you so much for all the options you have found! I really appreciate it and have bookmarked a lot of them he's not had before .I think I'll go with a veal one I found, purely because the others come in cans and my previous foray into canned was....well, total failure refused to eat! He's a swine lol

    I like the idea of a wall chart, I'll try that as I reintroduce everything later on. I'm guessing it's best to stop supplements of the Yumega fish oil as well so it doesn't interfere with the results?

    It gives me hope that your cat is fine now, I hope little Percy follows in that pattern.

    My only issue now is whether the king of the house takes to the new food or if I'll have to feed them separately lol
     

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  9. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Yes, I'd stop the Yumega fish oil as some cats are allergic to the oil as well as the fish. Introduce new foods slowly, one teaspoonful at a time, alongside his normal food. Increase gradually if he likes it.

    You could feed all the cats the same foods if it makes life easier.
     
  10. ChrisCatLady

    ChrisCatLady PetForums Newbie

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    Just thought I'd update after the vet visit - I've had a full allergy sxrens done and the results will be back in about 10 days. It'll rule out any pollen allergens etc so I can focus on food. The vet did advise that he may be an itchy cat, in rare cases cats have bouts of itching without a cause, but unless the allergy screen comes back completely clear it's unlikely. I'm hoping it will simply be an elimination diet solution but we will see
     
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  11. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Blood tests will show up allergens (though results are not always accurate) but won't reveal food intolerances, which are what can cause the skin complaints, vomiting, or diarrhoea. That would need the elimination diet as you say. :)
     
  12. ChrisCatLady

    ChrisCatLady PetForums Newbie

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    The blood tests my vet is doing will show any sensitivity to all local tree pollens, grass pollens, chemicals found in the home (laundry and cleaning etc), chemicals found in flea and worm treatments, as well as any issues with poultry, beef, pork, rabbit, salmon, tuna, trout, grains, rice potaoes....the test shoes a number scale of sensitivity so we can at least know where to start if it's food. Should speed things along, but good grief vet tests are expensive lol
     
  13. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Yes, you are right the blood tests are very expensive, and as I mentioned they are not an accurate way of detecting food allergies in particular.

    Please do not rely on it with regards to food allergies (food intolerances).
     
  14. hayleyhitchcock

    hayleyhitchcock PetForums Member

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    Nahla had all these tests done and yes they were expensive. Thank goodness she’s insured. Unfortunately they all came back negative so we’re none the wiser. She’s been on atopica for a couple of years, it worked a little bit but not much and she hates having it. I’ve started introducing the veal food today and she’s eating it, so in the next few days we’ll start the elimination diet so fingers crossed.
    I hope you find something to soothe your cats itching. I know how stressful it is.
     
  15. hayleyhitchcock

    hayleyhitchcock PetForums Member

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    This was her neck two years ago.
     

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  16. sandy-cat

    sandy-cat PetForums Senior

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    Oh gosh that looks sore! I can empathise as my boy suffers from allergies too. I've managed to get his diet pretty well sorted but he still seems to suffer more when the pollen count is high and/or when he goes nosing around in dusty corners (which, being a cat, is more often than I'd like!). Good luck with the tests and the diet, look forward to hearing about the results.
     
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