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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29771
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Our cat is about 3 years ago and was a rescue cat who lived

Customer Question

Our cat is about 3 years ago and was a rescue cat who lived in a room with about 50 other cats, but who has settled very happily with us. However, she continually throws up her food, no matter what we give her which includes top of the range tinned food and dry food (which I don't think is part of what she throws up. We have tried her with raw and cooked chicken and special cat mince, but she also throws these up and much prefers the tinned stuff. She eats extremely fast which may be a result of being fed at the same time as lots of other cats, but we are at our wits end as to what to give her. Should we just stick to the dry food, although that would be sad as she so looks forward to the tinned stuff of which she gets a small quantity twice a day. Your suggestions would be much appreciated.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did the cat eat anything unusual?
Customer: No, she just gets the same stuff, more or less, every day. Mind you, she is also out in the garden and seems to bring quite a few small skinks into the house, and maybe she eats a portion of them.
JA: OK. The Veterinarian will know what to do. What is the cat's name?
Customer: Gracie
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Gracie?
Customer: She has recently recovered from a serious tick bite but seems perfectly well in that respect now and the vomiting was happening before that, anyway.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.

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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for the thorough history of Gracie you provided. There are two main considerations in such a cat. The first and most important is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which is described as an idiopathic (unknown cause) inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and which is expected to be steroid (prednisolone, e.g.) - responsive. The antiinflammatory antibiotic metronidazole may also be effective as a sole agent or in conjunction with prednisolone. Confirmatory diagnosis of IBD requires scoping and biopsy of the GI tract but many of us will treat presumptively and see how our patient responds to such therapy.

The second consideration is food intolerance which is far less common. Food intolerance/allergy is addressed with prescription hypoallergenic diets. These special foods contain just one novel (rabbit, duck, e.g.) animal protein or proteins that have been chemically altered (hydrolyzed) to the point that Gracie's immune system doesn't "see" anything to be allergic to. The over the counter hypoallergenic foods too often contain proteins not listed on the label - soy is a common one - and these proteins would confound our evaluation of the efficacy of the hypoallergenic diet. The prescription foods are available from her vet. There are many novel protein foods and a prototypical hydrolyzed protein food is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra (a hydrolyzed protein diet is my preference because it avoids the possibility of my patient being intolerant to even a novel protein). A positive response is usually seen within a few weeks if we’ve eliminated the offending food allergen. Food intolerance can arise at any age and even after my patient has been eating the same food for quite some time.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.