Symptoms: Swelling of the face ears and paws. Redness of the skin in swollen areas. Black ear crusties despite repeated ear mite treatment.
Vet Diagnosis: IBS, chronic ear infections.
Successful treatment: Benadryl, prednisone (vet does not want to do maintenance does so it's on again off again) and organic diet.
Diet: USDA organic foods are; chicken(non organ), chicken liver, turkey and pork muscle only meat. Non USDA organic includes frog legs, quail, duck, and pork heart and organ meat.
There is a very clear difference between the organic and the non-organic. We have figured out any Tyson meat is a huge no-no. What we can't get organic we get at an Asian grocery store but unfortunately, that still produces a reaction. Unlike other areas I have lived, this is the worst place I have ever been for locating organic foods. Difficult because my husband and I only eat organic ourselves. Cost is is also a factor.
Our personal theories are that it is either the food the animal ate or saline solution.
Post by skyandemilia on Mar 1, 2016 13:32:25 GMT -5
I don't understand why this reaction is not going away. If it was to the chicken baby food, that's been gotten rid of entirely. If it's to the chicken kibble, why did it appear out of nowhere? She had been eating it over a year with no problem. Also I've gotten rid of the chicken kibble, they are eating duck and rabbit only.
The duck is Blue Wilderness, the rabbit is Nature's Variety kibble + raw boost bits. I don't think the rabbit uses antibiotics. But not sold on the rabbit either, it seems that they poop a lot more and smell worse.
She still gets swollen every 3-4 days. It's mostly the same areas - her front left paw, her ears, and her left eye. Her left paw got a little bloody, and so did one of her ears. I'm not sure if she was just rubbing them because they irritated her. Her ear then got brown crust, same as Gerri above.
My theory is that it's something in her cage because she seems to be worse after sleeping in the cage vs. under my bed. I've only been able to monitor this a few days so still testing this theory out.
If it is the cage though, I don't know what it could be. I've washed all of their beds and blankets with unscented detergent. I threw out a couple beds and replaced them. I disinfected their cage and threw out all of the old litter.
Post by skyandemilia on Mar 1, 2016 15:34:10 GMT -5
Sorry for the multiple posts. The vet took a blood sample and we'll get results in a couple days. It won't tell what she is allergic to but should tell us if it's definitely an allergy or not.
The vet also put her on a skin/food sensitive prescription diet. It's Hill's duck and green pea formula. I'm a little worried because the top ingredients are yellow peas, pea protein, duck, green peas, and pork fat. The protein content is only 27% (17% fat). Is that much peas and that low of a % of protein ok? I suppose for a couple weeks just to determine if it's a food allergy it won't hurt.
Yes, she has it even now but rarely. As long as I maintain the very low dose of pred every 7 days she is fine. She is also fine with her diet. ASF rats, rabbit, quail and anti-biotic free pork (though the quail seems to be a bit of an issue). If I feed her anything else she immediately gets a reaction.
It took me over a year to figure out her triggers.
Honestly the best thing you can do is get her off kibble and onto a more prey centric diet (rodents, whole prey type food). It is what is often recommended for EE (as well as pred support if necessary).
Post by skyandemilia on Mar 3, 2016 20:17:58 GMT -5
The lab results said that her blood looked fine except a high amount of white blood cells. The vet said that this could be either allergies or a parasitic infection, but given her other symptoms, 99% sure it's allergies. Of course, that is what we already guessed but it's good to know for sure.
One reason I had questioned the allergy diagnosis was that she'd been on the same diet for over a year without any problems and it suddenly appeared out of nowhere (and coincidentally, after she had been sick). But the vet said that it's not unusual for a food allergy to take 1-4 years to develop.
Since I did clean and replace all of their bedding I'm sure it's a food allergy. I got rid of the chicken kibble, but kept the duck kibble that they had been eating. Emilia preferred the rabbit food but would eat the duck food if all of the rabbit was gone. That would explain why she got the reaction every few days and not every day. That's my theory anyway.
So now I just have to figure out her triggers. Since the rabbit seems fine (Nature's Variety) I might try duck/turkey from the same brand. I don't think I could deal with whole prey, those mice and rodents would break my heart. I do want to get them on a raw diet eventually, but for now at least maybe the different kibbles will help.
Post by skyandemilia on Apr 12, 2016 12:15:38 GMT -5
Emilia has been on a special diet for about 5 weeks. I don't think it made a difference
However, we also noticed a bald spot and had her treated for ear mites. After the first 2 weeks there wasn't much improvement. But she then received a second treatment. She has not been puffy or red for 5 days now, that is the longest good streak she has had since it started.
She is getting one more inspection on Saturday. After that I will get her off of the special diet and back to her normal food.
Still inconclusive but I'm hoping that it wasn't allergies after all and was just the mites. Or maybe she's allergic to the mites themselves. I'll keep updating!