Peter, I'm sorry to hear of this with Sid. These cats most often are eventually diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) - an idiopathic (unknown cause) inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract usually responsive to the antiinflammatory antibiotic metronidazole and/or a glucocorticosteroid such as prednisolone. Presumptive therapy with either or both of these drugs is reasonable but only scoping and biopsy of my patient's GI tract is confirmatory. An abdominal ultrasound can "see" the typical inflammation associated with IBD but can't confirm it.
A food intolerance may be associated with IBD or exist as a sole entity. 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 Sid'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 his 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 our patient has been eating the same food for quite some time.
I don't believe that eating too fast is an important differential diagnosis. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
I don't hear of an urgency and so sharing our conversation with his vet on Monday makes sense. At this point if you're going to pursue treatment you can see how a hypoallergenic diet trial (Hill's Science Diet isn't necessarily hypoallergenic for Sid.) or either metronidazole or prednisolone affects him. After having such a thorough work-up performed it's time to see how presumptive therapy works. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
You're quite welcome. Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.