There are some things I don’t know how to write about with grace and eloquence. I want this platform to always bring hope to people and light and love and knowledge. But lately I am void of words. I’ve tried to write a blog post about Shadow’s allergies so many times and I never get to it because for every step forward we make two steps back.
Shadow has been battling skin itchiness since the day I got her. She constantly scratches herself bloody. Some weeks are better, some weeks are worse, some weeks are the absolute worst. The current diagnosis is food sensitivity & allergies. First she was put on hypoallergenic kibble that she refused to eat. Then she was put on another veterinarian diet that didn’t work out for her. She gained so much weight in a very short time, started refusing the kibble and had abnormal hunger fits (she would literally jump on the kitchen table and bolt with whatever she was able to catch in her mouth and she never ever ever does this!!!). She did mostly stop scratching herself on that food though, so it further confirmed that the issue is in her gut. Because we got to a point where a change of food became absolutely necessary again, as she wouldn’t eat the kibble unless there was some kind of canned food mixed in with it and she had visible reactions to the some canned food choices, we decided to do an allergy test. Two separate vets told me that blood tests are unreliable and to do bioresonance instead.
We booked an appointment and had the best experience ever. The test was completely gentle and non-invasive. Shadow was very scared at the beginning and hid under a big metal bathtub that was in the corner of the room we were in. Once I got her out and we settled her on the little mat, she completely calmed down and did over an hour of testing like the sweetest little girl. But the results broke my heart. She has severe food allergies (as suspected) and is basically allergic to EVERYTHING. The only things she can eat are fish, eggs, pork and horse. That’s it. Oh and vegetables, but of course, she hates them. She can’t have any form of dairy or poultry or lamb or cow. She also can’t have any grains because she’s allergic to ALL of them.
After the bioresonance testing I struggled to find new food for her. Hypoallergenic foods usually contain some form of grain and if they don’t, they contain some sort of poultry. It drove me crazy, but eventually I found a reasonably priced kibble that is grain free and has fish as the only source of protein. I genuinely thought that was it for us. I felt such a relief wash over me when I saw Shadow eating it because she really loved it and ate it without a problem. This never happened with kibble before! I felt like we finally conquered this allergy thing. Well, guess again. She ate this new food for about a month and her situation has taken a massive turn for the worse. The thing with her reactions is that they happen gradually. For the first two weeks there weren’t any big symptoms - but in the last two weeks things have gotten really bad really fast. She has bloody scratch wounds all over her tiny little face, under her chin, on the front of her neck and even on the back of her neck. I think she started to scratch her neck because she literally ran out of space to scratch herself on the face. I made her wear a cone for about a week because her wounds weren’t healing - she kept scratching them and opening them up. I apply Bepanthen Plus on the wounds now and it really speeds up the healing + makes sure the wounds aren’t getting infected.
I wish there was a cream I could apply to the wound in my heart.
We need to switch her kibble again. Again again again. I’ve had Shadow for almost a year now. A whole year. In this entire time we haven’t been able to find something that would work out. Every time we make some progress we jump right back to square one. I honestly don’t know what to feed my cat. Everything I give her is a lottery. Nothing is certain. I bought her the new kibble today and I don’t know what we’re going to do if she reacts to this one too. It was already hard for me to accept that she will have to eat only kibble and only one brand for the rest of her life but right now we don’t even know which one.
If you are thinking to yourself “maybe it’s a skin thing not a food thing?” let me say that most skin things have been ruled out. She wasn’t just tested for food allergies, but all the rest came back negative. And all the food stuff came back positive. If there is anything else I can have her tested for, I will. The only thing that I am still on the fence about is atopic dermatitis, but many of the symptoms are the same as for food allergies. Right now it’s obvious that she has very strong responses to food and that her immune system needs a lot of support. I struggled to find probiotics that wouldn’t contain dairy but I managed to find them online last night and they should be arriving tomorrow. I hope they are able to bring some balance to her poor gut. It’s an uphill battle, this whole thing. An uphill battle that feels so very long.
The only silver lining here is that Shadow is feeling okay.
She is annoyed by the itchiness, sure, but everything else about her is okay. She plays with her toys, runs zoomies around the house, climbs everywhere she can and goes on a mini leash walk at least once a day. She cuddles in the nook of my shoulder and purrs into my neck as she climbs under the covers with me. I love her so much my heart might explode. She is all softness, all peace. Life tastes like chaos right now, but I don’t think she notices. I think she remembers the infinite peace she originates from and no amount of Earthly chaos could every sway that. She is my teacher, even now. Especially now.
I’m sorry for a blog post that doesn’t have any educational value beyond me spilling out my worries and devastations. I write one of these every now and again. I am only human and I love my animals more than anything else in the universe. When they are not okay, I am not okay.
And these weeks … these weeks we haven’t been okay.
We just haven’t been okay.💔