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After eating, both my cats experience redness in the ears and…

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After eating, both my cats...
After eating, both my cats experience redness in the ears and belly. The ears and belly are also very warm, almost hot. They become very lethargic and depressed. What is this?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
6/15/2010
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Scott, Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
Dr. Scott
Dr. Scott, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15,168
Experience: 15 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.
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Hello there,

How long after eating does this occur?

Does it happen after every meal?

Are they itchy or rubbing the face when it happens?

Are they litter mates?

Any recent diet changes?

How long does the redness last?

How long has this been going on?
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
4 - 1/2 months. They are not litter mates. They both have the same exact symptoms. It seems within the hour after eating the symptoms occur. It happens throughout the day. They are licking, scratching and biting all over, especially the belly. There is hair loss on the belly and around eyes / ears. Belly is very pink - all over all the time. Redness in the ears comes and goes. Symptoms started after a distemper shot - shot was given to only one cat. The cat who got the shot had sympyoms first. No changes in food, litter, environment. I have given them wet food for the past month and a half for hydration purposes - they ate dry kibble before. Very low energy, agitated, anxious, and uncomfortable. Help!
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Scott, Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
The vaccine won't cause anything contagious between the cats. If they get very itchy after eating, especially around the head, a food allergy is very possible. Inhaled allergens, such as pollen, molds and house dust, are also possible but not related to eating. If they go outside, mange mites are also possible.A diet change should be done first. Cats can be allergic to any ingredient in the diet. A limited ingredient diet is best. It should be done for 6-8 weeks and no treats can be given during the trial. Results may not be seen for 3-4 weeks. Oral antihistamines, such as Benadryl at 1/2-1 mg per pound body weight every 8-12 hours, are also commonly used. If these fail, long acting cortisone injections are the next step. A skin scrape is needed to rule out mange mites. They are hard to find but easy to kill. If all fails, allergy testing can be done and allergy serum can be made for each cat. They also need to be checked and double checked for fleas. Cats that are allergic to them can be set off for weeks after a single flea bite.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

Already did skin scrapes - nothing. No sign of mites, fleas, mange, parasites. Treated them for mites / parasites - shots and lime/sulfur baths - nothing. They weren't going outside until just recenty....it started 4 months ago. Already attempted Benadryl for relief...they foam at the mouth and vomit it up immediatley. It something internal. The belly is the worst area by far. There was improvement with the wet food diet - raw simple food. It somehow worsened again. ??
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Scott, Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
The next step is a limited ingredient diet made of things they have never been fed before. If bathing and antihistamines did not work, a cortisone injection or tablet is the last medication to try. There are limited options for cats as far as medication goes. Injections typically last 3-4 months. A consult with a local dermatologist is warranted if the diet change does not help. The first thing they will ask is what the response to anti-histamines and cortisone was. A skin biopsy of an affected lesion is the best diagnostic tool.
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