My 14 year old male cat is having severe digestive issues. Five years ago he was having similar problems and after weeks of tests (all normal results), I discovered that he had an intolerance to chicken. I simplified his diet -dry only – Hills adult ocean fish. He has done very well on this diet, as chicken is not the main ingredient. However, several months ago he began having loose stools. Eight months and two conventional vets later – his condition is worse. He has had numerous fecal tests. No worms or giardia. We have tried antibiotics & prednisone – both of which made his condition worse.
His vet said it could be a malabsorption problem & started him on Hills Z/D. His vet thought he would be able to tolerate the Z/D even though it is chicken based because the protein is broken down and easy to digest. After only one day on the Z/D (added only a small amount to his regular food), he has had diarrhea for the past 2 days.
He is a picky eater and does not tolerate antibiotics. I have tried to change his diet to eliminate the regular Hills but he refuses to eat the hypoallergenic foods I have tried. He will eat Wellness salmon/rice/turkey so we are currently transitioning to that. He does not tolerate canned food very well and often vomits after eating any canned food. I’m afraid that the Z/D has upset his digestive tract so severely that the diarrhea will not improve. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
Thank you! Theresa
Since your cat’s issues have been narrowed down to food intolerance, the diet is crucial. Wellness is a great diet, but I recommend the no grain formulas. There are other formulas you may try: EVO 95% venison, duck or beef, Halo and even some raw diets. Honest kitchen, Wysong and Natures Variety are excellent raw prepared diets that you can find without chicken. If you suspect a chicken allergy, it should not be in the ingredients at all. Some animals also appear to have an allergenic response even to Z/D, their immune systems still react to the chicken proteins.
Food allergies can also respond favorably to immune and digestion support. Gastriplex by Thorne has probiotics which help restore healthy gut flora, and herbs to reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms of IBD.
A holistic veterinarian may be able to give you additional dietary suggestions, Chinese herbs and be able to follow-up with future issues. Best of luck.
Colleen Smith DVM, CVA