Aug 19 2006

I guess it’s better than constant scabbing.

Published by at 5:09 pm under Pets

One of the cats (Destiny) was diagnosed with a food allergy awhile back. Food allergies in cats tend to manifest with scabs, sores, or loss of hair around the face and neck. Initially, I just thought that Fate had stepped up her Kick The Shit Out Of That Other Cat routine. Then, I got worried because the scratches weren’t healing, or if they healed, they’d reappear within a day or so. When I took her to the vet, he told me right away she had an allergy, and recommended switching back to their old food. We had recently moved from Iams to Science Diet, so we started up the Iams again, and things seemed to get better. When we came back from vacation, it was worse. Up until then, she had mostly had a single scratch (or maybe two) over one eye. Now, there was a large scab, and it was occasionally bleeding, which meant she was still scratching. I took her back to the vet.

The vet gave her a shot, which he said would last for ten days. This would keep her from itching while the old food was completely purged from her system. Then, he told me I had to keep her on a specialized diet for twelve weeks. In other words, prescription pet food. And since I have two cats, I had to put both of them on the new food.

For 24 cans of food, and an 8-pound bag of kibble, I paid $70.00.

SEVENTY DOLLARS. That is over twice the cost of the same amount of their normal food.

The canned food will last for about six weeks, which means I’ll have to buy another supply at the halfway point in order to finish out the trial. The dry food. . . I don’t know. I’ve never noticed how long it takes us to run out an 8-pound bag of food. I’m guessing we’ll need two more bags to see us through three months.

The cost is steep, but within days of the new diet (and of receiving her no-itch shot), Destiny is completely back to normal. She has no signs of scratching or scabbing, and both her and Fate seem to have smoother coats. Of course, the switch-over has not been without drama queen antics from the Grand Empress of the drama queens – Fate.

Destiny will mostly eat anything you put in front of her, as long as it’s not chunks in gravy. Fate is more cautious, but since the new canned food was the same consistency of the old, I didn’t foresee a problem. And the first day, there wasn’t one. But, since this prescription food only comes in the larger 6-ounce cans, instead of the wee 3-ounces I had been using, part of the can was refrigerated for use the next day. And that’s what Fate had a problem with.

She won’t eat cold food. So, I put it into the microwave for 15 seconds, just til it was about room temp. She doesn’t like that either. It’s been tainted by the plebian microwave, when obviously I should have sauteed it, or perhaps served it en flambe. She likes to look at the reheated food, then at me, as if to say “You don’t really. . . expect ME. . . to eat that.” And then she walks away. However, she usually comes back in ten minutes, to grudgingly scarf down the canned food. But she doesn’t have to look like she’s enjoying it!

One last thing that made me laugh – when I was at the vets, getting the new food, the vet tech asked “Which do you think they’ll prefer? Venison, duck, or rabbit? They all come mixed with green peas.” I just looked at her for a minute and said “Well, they’ve been eating turkey, chicken, or beef mixed with brewer’s rice, so . . . I’m guessing any of those will be a big upgrade.” The vet poked his head out to say, quite seriously, “I recommend venison.”

So, venison it is. They must have been out of the Alaskan King Crab variety.

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