Devon Rex cat with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

longshadows

New member
Joined
Aug 19, 2017
Our eight-year old Devon Rex male, "Cadbury," began frequent vomiting (preceded by terrible groans) about three years ago. The vet diagnosed as IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) with intolerance to all chicken protein. Cadbury has been on Hill's Rx z/d and prednisolone (daily to once every three days, depending on how he's doing). He hates the z/d and often refuses to eat it, and I'm very concerned of this prolonged (>3 years) use of the prednisolone.

We found some alternative "chicken-free" premium cat foods, which he can eat, but recently, his vomiting has returned, even with daily prednisolone. He vomits any food he eats, even several hours after a meal and often continues to vomit clear stomach liquids when he has nothing left to vomit. He desperately seeks plant materials to eat, which cause him to vomit further. So, we've have to plant-proof the house.

We've taken him to two "holistic" vets to get 2nd opinions. One told us to try "raw diet," but that has its own issues and is difficult to come by here (our regular vet is strongly opposed to raw diets, as well). The 2nd holistic vet started him on "Chinese herbs" which we mix in his food. That's when the most recent vomiting started. Our regular vet just say, "give him more prednisolone." Cadbury is otherwise chipper and alert and loving. We're at the end of our options. Any thoughts? Thank you very much!

cadbury.jpg
 

CatMom1994

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Welcome to the forum! Cadbury is a very cute little boy.

I am sorry your regular vet did not help Cadbury. You are correct about the dangers of long-term predisone use. No offense to your regular vet, but holistic vets are right about raw diets being healthier. I would never consider feeding a Hill's prescription diet to any cat whose life does not depend on it.

You don't have to go completely raw. If the problem is an allergy to chicken, simply switching to a "limited ingredient" diet (which has only one source of protein) should do the trick. So if you have tried it already with poor results, it may be a misdiagnosis. Talk to your favorite holistic vet about trying various LID recipes to confirm or rule out food allergies. Nature's Variety Instinct is based on the raw diet, so I would start with that brand. (Petsmart and Petco sell it. Look for the words Limited Ingredient on the can - other recipes labeled "turkey" also have chicken.) Let us know what your vet thinks of that.
 

Alpha1

Pack Leader and Lover
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Location
USA
Cadbury is a beautiful cat, sorry to hear he's suffering with IBD. I understand that you have to be careful even if you chose to feed raw with this condition, so maybe homecooked food is a possibility. I have no experience with this in my cat or dog, but here's an article that offers some information. http://www.littlebigcat.com/health/ibd/

Vets are good at writing drug prescriptions and increasing doses, sometime that's the only route to go, but drugs like prednisone have their own bad side effects and should only be used for a limited time in the lowest dose possible, in my opinion. I think probiotics is beneficial for any health condition as recommended in this article.

Holistic treatment options also start with diet, usually a homemade one. However, raw meat diets are risky in IBD cats, because the inflamed gut lining impairs the body’s defenses against the foreign bacteria that we know are in virtually all meat. Two ways around this:


(1) Lightly cook the meat when first introducing a homemade diet. As the gut heals, cook the meat less and less until you can feed it raw, if desired.
(2) Do a VERY gradual introduction, starting with mixing a tiny amount of raw meat in with the cat’s regular food. Ratchet up slowly until the cat is fully converted (if that’s your preferred endpoint.)


Feeding in timed meals, rather than leaving food out all the time, also allows the gut to rest and heal between meals. It is not natural for a cat to eat constantly, as many dry-food munchers do.
Eliminating dry food from the diet is sometimes the only necessary step in milder cases of IBD.


The most comprehensive holistic modalities for treatment of IBD are homeopathy, homotoxicology, acupuncture, NAET, and herbal medicine; although other therapies may be beneficial in any particular case. To find a practitioner near you, see the directory by state at www.holisticvetlist.com.


Adding digestive supplements will help the cat digest the food, and repopulate some of the “good” natural bacteria.


Probiotics (beneficial or “friendly” bacteria) are gaining acceptance for the prevention and treatment of IBD in humans, and research suggests similar uses in animals. They are thought to work by out-competing pathogenic bacteria, helping heal the gut lining, and modulating the immune system’s activity. They also have anti-inflammatory properties. Choose a probiotic supplement with several strains of bacteria, as different strain has different effects.


Digestive enzymes can also be very helpful for IBD. An insufficiency of natural digestive enzymes, which are produced in the pancreas, can both cause and mimic IBD. Animals studies suggest that digestive enzymes can help reduce colon inflammation. Since food allergies are usually involved in IBD, assisting the gut in breaking down potentially allergenic proteins may also have a positive effect.

In addition, becaue IBD is often accompanied by liver and/or pancreas inflammation, providing digestive enzymes reduces the “workload” on the pancreas and helps relieve symptoms. Proteolytic enzymes from fruits such as pineapple and papaya are especially important. A good plant- or yeast-based combination of protease, lipase, amylase, and cellulase is ideal.


Prebiotics, such as inulin, are special types of soluble/fermentable fiber that maintain a healthy gut environment and nourish intestinal lining cells.
For temporary relief, the herbs slippery elm and marshmallow root, which are very safe and non-toxic, can help soothe the gut lining and reduce discomfort and diarrhea. About ⅛ to ¼ tsp. of powdered herb, mixed with a little cool water, can be added to each meal.
 

Esme

New member
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Location
PA USA
Cadbury is very handsome! I'm sorry that I have nothing to add except adding some "sensitive stomach" dry cat food to his Hills.
 

CatMom1994

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Cadbury is very handsome! I'm sorry that I have nothing to add except adding some "sensitive stomach" dry cat food to his Hills.
Actually a sensitive stomach diet would replace the Hill's prescription.
 

Deeslaw

New member
Joined
Feb 29, 2020
How is Cadbury? I found this post when I Googled Devons and IBD. I have 2 Devons with IBD. Maggie is18 yrs old and was 1st diagnosed at 5 yrs old. She takes prednisolone when symptoms flare but this was a long road AFTER transitioning her to raw. It saved her life. Literally. Absolutely, hands down, done. She eats raw lamb and has for years. She was losing weight and required a feeding tube. She ate Hills z/d and that was not what I wanted for a pet I love. She LOVES the raw. I prepare a batch for the week and we are set. Done. Lily is my 14 year old Devon and she has IBD. She is also allergic to chicken. We have tried everything for her, even raw. She hated it. Vomiting and no relief. She gets chronic pancreatitis and is miserable some days. Prednisolone every day and I hate that but she needs it. She currently eats alligator kibble but I have to change her food about every 4 weeks due to intolerance. No food has worked 100%. I say all this to say try raw. It was life changing and life saving for Maggie. The best decision ever.
 


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