Here’s the last question…
(Unless I happen to get another one or two in the near future – hint, hint!)
Just curious…are you on any other supplements, vitamins holistic, etc? Are you on home cooking or special diet?
I am on a special diet, but it didn’t really have much to do with my VAS diagnosis, although I really believe it helps. I don’t know if my condition had anything to do with it, but after my amputation, I developed food sensitivities. Mom started noticing that I was spitting up food shortly after eating and had little red, itchy bumps popping up all over… especially around my face and ears. It drove me crazy because I could only scratch one ear! I begged for ear scratches from anyone close by. I was shameless. Mom was more worried about my spitting up. She was scared that it was the cancer coming back. So, off to my vet buddy we went. I was given some steroids to help with the rash and told that it was my food causing all the fuss. So, after more research and a long period of trial and error, we figured out that I was sensitive to the grains that are in almost ALL commercial pet foods. I’m also sensitive to fish/seafood and all POULTRY! Do you know how hard it is to find cat food that does not contain those ingredients? Poultry is the filler in MOST of the foods on the market… that or grain.
We tried all sorts of things. Mom found out quickly that I’m a little picky. Ok, a LOT picky! I didn’t like raw meats, which was her first choice. I don’t care for anything dried. I was used to canned cat food with minced meats and gravy and that’s what I wanted. We finally compromised on a grain-free limited ingredient dry cat food made of one protein and one starch. I prefer the rabbit variety, but they also have duck, venison, lamb, and salmon in addition to the traditional chicken, etc. They also have canned food with gravy that we found out that I can eat! Mom prefers the canned food over dry anyway, so we were super excited when we found it. Of course, the vet has prescription formulas, but Mom was able to find the grain-free limited ingredient diet at local pet stores and on-line (cheaper). The great thing about this food is that it doesn’t have any of the other common allergens like eggs or milk products either. They do include vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fatty acids which is great for the immune system, skin, and joints.
Within a couple weeks, my skin was clear, my coat was shiny, and I wasn’t spitting anything up. Mom even says I’m more energetic and just look like I feel better. =)
Mom knows that cats need meat. So she looked for foods with real meat as the #1 ingredient, favoring moist food over dried. Moist foods not only have more meat, but they add much needed hydration to the diet. If cats are on dry food only, they may not be able to drink enough water through the day to stay properly hydrated, which puts a strain on the kidneys (and cats tend to have more problems with that anyway). It also increases the risk of feline diabetes because it is higher in carbohydrates… we learned that the hard way with my older sister who crossed the bridge after being diagnosed with diabetes. That’s when Mom added more moist food to our diet. Now, Mom keeps a small amount of dry food out for grazing (with lots of water), but we have 2 main meals a day with the canned food.
As far as supplements, Mom did some research on that, too… mainly for joint health since I’m an older cat and having 3 legs already puts added pressure on the rest of my joints. There’s a lot of information out there about pet joint health and tons of options! There are tablets, powders, gels, and liquids that contain various ingredients like glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and omega fatty acids. All of those are great for joints, but guess what? I won’t touch them. lol So, Mom just makes sure the food I eat has good stuff added to it already. Mom is a stubborn nurse though, so I’m sure she will keep trying.
If you’re thinking about changing your pet’s diet, talk with your vet first and do some research of your own. Make sure your pet doesn’t have special needs, such as kidney problems, GI issues, or allergies. Keep in mind that weight control plays a big part of pet health as well as taking some pressure off those joints. Also, if your pet is getting chemo treatments, be sure to ask about dietary restrictions… like raw ingredients. Often, antioxidants and other immune supporting supplements may be recommended based on your pet’s specific needs.