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Posts Tagged ‘IBD’

In my attempts to lose weight last year, I discovered it was FAT that aggravated my digestive disorders.  So, I need to stick to a low-fat diet or I suffer the consequences.  It was my birthday recently – and as cheesecake is one of the things I miss a LOT – I decided to try to come up with a low-fat version I could eat without getting ill.

Inspired partly by my friend Mary’s “chocolate eclair cake” and partly by Keebler’s “double chocolate pudding pie”, here’s what I did.

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Feline triaditis is actually three conditions occurring simultaneously:  pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), cholongiohepatitis (inflammation of the liver), and inflammatory bowel disease or IBD (inflammation of the intestines).

There may be no known “cure” for triaditis, though I would argue that proper nutrition is the absolute BEST method of treatment and prevention.  By proper nutrition, I mean a raw diet or a canned diet – and most definitely no dry food/kibble of any kind.

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This post has actually been a work-in-progress for some time, but a phone call today pushed me to try and finish it. That phone call took place with the internal medicine specialist treating Studley. The specialist has diagnosed Studley with pancreatitis and IBD, based on an ultrasound performed Tuesday. Today he got back the results of Studley’s GI lab, and expressed some confusion that while he KNOWS Studley has IBD (based on the ultrasound results), his GI lab results (cobalamin and folate) were normal.

I do NOT generally openly disagree with most vets (to their face). I’ll express my opinions to my regular vet, who acts very open to my ideas and thoughts – but I’ve learned not to waste my time and breath on many vets who really don’t care what I think about anything. They just want me to do what I’m told. However, today for whatever reason I felt the need to tell this specialist my suspicions on why Studley’s results were normal. I told him I had worked with many cats with IBD, adopted and fostered, and I fed all my cats an “IBD friendly” diet. This diet had eliminated symptoms and normalized GI lab results for the other cats I’d worked with – and my thinking was, if Studley was fed this “IBD diet”, and it’s treated these other cats with IBD, it made sense to me that it’d also treated Studley, without my knowing he even had IBD.

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Another of the “frequently asked questions” I get is *which* canned food to feed. Well, in general the answer is simple – look for one with little-to-no grains, fruits, or vegetables. You want something as close to “mouse in a can” as possible. Poultry and/or rabbit is best – as these are closest to a cat’s natural prey. (Cats don’t naturally hunt, kill, and eat cows, sheep, fish, or swine – they do consume birds and rodents.)

Generally, there are compromises to be made.  Canned foods that contain higher-quality ingredients generally also contain higher amounts of vegetables and fruit, and are also generally higher in fat than the canned foods that use more byproducts and “meat” of undefined origin.  Personally, I don’t object too strongly to byproducts and lower-grade meat.  Cats would consume the entire carcass of their prey – they wouldn’t spit out the kidney, for example.  However, I do want SOME muscle meat in their food, and for some cats (particularly some with severe IBD), “meat” of undefined origin isn’t an option.  “Meat”, when the source isn’t identified, is most often beef or pork – and some cats don’t tolerate beef or pork.

Some people want a more specific list of brands and flavors. I’m always reluctant to do that, as brands and flavors change in ingredients and availability and I’d rather people learn to look at labels and exercise judgement. However, here’s a list of my current “favorites”. These are the canned foods I almost always have at my house, for my own adopted cats and fosters:

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Once again life has gotten in the way of my writing. Seems I’ve been doing a LOT of writing about Studley lately – and apparently Studley likes having the spotlight shown upon him as yet again he’s “inspired” a post.

It started on Saturday, pretty innocuously.  Studley didn’t eat breakfast.  At the time, I thought little of it.  I’d walked toward him to give him his pill, and he ran away.  When he didn’t come back and eat, I figured he was just nervous about pilling, and it wouldn’t hurt him to skip a meal.  (I did get him later, napping, for the medication.)

However, he seemed fairly lethargic throughout the day.  Around 4:00 p.m. he vomited.  By evening, he wasn’t interested in dinner and was drinking a lot of water (highly unusual, especially for a cat on an all-wet diet).  In fact, at one point, he just lay by the water dish with his head over it – and that was enough to convince me a visit to the emergency vet was warranted.
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I feed my cats a homemade raw diet.  I think raw diets are the “gold standard” in feline diet.  However, I will state loudly and adamantly up front – I THINK CANNED FOODS ARE A PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE CHOICE!  However, there is NO DRY (KIBBLE) FOOD I deem acceptable.  I will occasionally use a freeze-dried food, freeze-dried treat, or dehydrated treat as a TREAT, but not a meal… and you have to be CERTAIN they are truly freeze-dried, air-dried, or dehydrated, not processed – as many food labels are deceptive.  Even if these items were ideal in every other way (low in carbohydrates, little-to-no veggies, fruit, grains, etc.) they are LACKING IN MOISTURE and that moisture is imperative to proper kidney and urinary tract health.

Doing it “right” does not mean it has to be difficult!  Personally, I buy a pre-ground meat/bone/organ product (Hare Today) and add a few supplements.  It is SIMPLE.   See the video below!
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Catchy title, huh?

Some of my friends have deemed me the “Queen of Poop and Puke”. While not a particularly flattering title, the sentiment is actually rather nice. I’ve worked with six cats with gastro-intestinal issues now – adopted and fostered. Generally, vets lump these cats into the category of “IBD” or Inflammatory Bowel Disease – meaning their intestines are inflamed, reasons unknown.

The thing is the reason generally *isn’t* unknown – at least not to me. The reason is an inappropriate diet – most often DRY KIBBLE. Of the six cats I’ve worked with – not a SINGLE ONE needed to remain on a prescription diet or medications. They were all “cured” by a diet change and nutritional supplements.

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