? Hairball remedy for diabetic kitty

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by membeth, Jan 17, 2021.

  1. membeth

    membeth Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2017
    Are there hairball remedies that are safe for diabetic cats? They all seem to have some kind of sugar in them. I'm open to home remedies too.

    The background, if it helps:

    My kitty, Pants, has had two episodes in the past six months where she's had trouble getting a large hairball up. The second time, she threw up large amounts of clear liquid and mucus more than a dozen times in an hour, so I ended up taking her to the emergency vet for fluids. In addition to being diabetic (but in remission), she's also got EPI and IBD, so she's underweight, and I worry more about minor illnesses than I would in a healthy, normal weight cat.

    She's got long hair and has always had hairballs, but they've been small and frequent, and I'm not sure what's caused her to shift to larger, less frequent hairballs. The vet was pretty nonchalant about the risk of large hairballs and didn't have any explanation for why this has become a problem. Even if it's not dangerous, it's very unpleasant for Pants (not to mention very expensive if it involves a vet trip).

    The vet suggested more frequent brushing and hairball food/products, but didn't have advice for finding ones that won't spike her BG. She's allergic to chicken and eats a prescription diet, so even if there's a low carb hairball food that would be OK for a diabetic cat, she probably can't eat it.
     
  2. Aleluia Grugru & Minnie

    Aleluia Grugru & Minnie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2019
    Minnie has IBD too. In fact I had to deal with some vomiting just this am. Is Pants on an antinausea med? It’s important with IBD kitties to have either Cerenia or ondansetron or both handy. Minnie doesn’t want to eat after vomiting until I give her the ondansetron and then about 30 minutes later she’s eating normally again. I’d also ask your vet about budesonide. It’s been helping Minnie tremendously. She’s gone from vomiting once a week to once every 4-6 weeks now. And out of curiosity, how was the IBD diagnosed? Did she have an endoscopy done? A lot of times what we think is hairball is actually the IBD flaring up
     
  3. Aleluia Grugru & Minnie

    Aleluia Grugru & Minnie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2019
    Oh and I don’t give Minnie anything for hair balls anymore because I realized what I thought it w as her trying to cough up a hairball was either the IBD or the asthma. Sorry I can’t help with that question but hoping others here can!
     
  4. JaxBenji

    JaxBenji Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2020
    I can't speak to any other health issues but I use dried egg yolk - I buy it from Food Fur Life but you can make your own too. Food Fur Life has a nice article about hairballs (and includes links to their product as well as a link to a recipe) - https://www.foodfurlife.com/best-manage-hairballs.html#/
     
  5. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Found this:

    https://pets.webmd.com/cats/remedies-for-hairballs#1

    Might give you some ideas to try. Not sure about the oil/butter suggestion; might be an idea to chat with your vet before trying something like that.

    Following on from the tip about baby wipes in the above linked article, there are grooming gloves you can get which help to remove loose hair after brushing. Also, maybe look at a Furminator? (Not sure if you can use them on long-haired cats but they work well for shorthairs.)


    Mogs
    .
     
  6. membeth

    membeth Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2017
    She's not on any anti-nausea drugs. She doesn't vomit anymore, which may be why the hairballs build up now. She only vomits immediately before having a giant hairball (like a few hours of extreme vomiting that stops completely when she gets a cigar-sized hairball up). A few hours after the hairball is up, it's like it never even happened, she's back to eating normally.

    To diagnose the IBD, she had an endoscopy with biopsies, ultrasound, and a GI panel. Treating the EPI, a B12 deficiency, and changing her diet resolved her vomiting and loose stools. But despite all that testing, they couldn't come up with a good way to get her to gain back weight. We tried budesonide, but it was a disaster for her. She was knocked out of remission and stopping the steroid didn't bring it back down. She had to go back on insulin.

    I know vets insist that budesonide doesn't affect BG, but it's pretty hard to come up with another explanation for what happened to Pants. She had been in remission for more than a year, then had BGs in the 500s after a few days of taking it.

    She's been back in remission for almost two years and on the same food and supplements for a while. I'm not sure what changed that's making her have larger hairballs now.
     
  7. Deborah & Muffy(GA) & Wendall

    Deborah & Muffy(GA) & Wendall Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
  8. membeth

    membeth Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2017
    Butter will make her barf, but I wonder whether oils in her food would be OK. I'm having a hard time getting advice and feel like I'm kind of on my own. Right now, the emergency vet is saying I have to talk to the regular vet, but the regular vet says this is the emergency vet's job, since they diagnosed the EPI and IBD in the first instance. Sigh.

    Thanks for the grooming suggestions. I've got a furminator, which is very effective. They do work on long haired cats, but they kind of catch in her fur and I think it's more uncomfortable for her than for short haired cats. I really should try the gloves again. She thought they were awful and I gave up and brought them to the barn for the horse, but maybe I could get softer ones that would offend her less.
     
    Critter Mom likes this.
  9. membeth

    membeth Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2017
    Thanks for the tip, that looks like a fabulous product, but I neglected to mention Pants is probably allergic to chicken. I checked their website and it's the only flavor they make :(
     
  10. membeth

    membeth Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2017
    That's interesting, that's the first time I've seen egg mentioned as a possibility. Thanks!
     
    JaxBenji likes this.
  11. Deborah & Muffy(GA) & Wendall

    Deborah & Muffy(GA) & Wendall Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010

    Just got out a bottle and chicken is pretty far down on the list - it smells more like liver. However, if you're so inclined, you can make your own hairball treatment.

    The 3 primary active ingredients in Vet's Best should be readily available at health food stores:
    Psyllium Husk (50 mg per tablet) is fiber.
    Marshmallow Root (25 mg) and Slippery Elm Bark (25 mg). Both soothe irritation and inflammation in the digestive tract.

    We know that pumpkin is good for treating diarrhea and constipation because it's rich in fiber, but it's great for preventing hairballs as well. Adding pumpkin to a cat’s diet not only increases fiber intake which helps pass ingested fur, but also provides other nutritional benefits.

    Because we feed high protein wet food, our cats are getting less fiber than they would if fed dry food so adding a little pumpkin can be really good for them.

    See that you're in DC - stay safe.
     
    Critter Mom likes this.
  12. Aleluia Grugru & Minnie

    Aleluia Grugru & Minnie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2019
    I don’t disagree with you. Minnie is on a much higher insulin dose since starting on budesonide but she needs so that’s that :(
     

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