Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Allergy Assessment Test Results on Our Cat

Chloe - Dec. 2015
After having an allergy assessment test done by Immune IQ on our dog Duke last summer, which I wrote about in a previous post; and then my mom having the same test done on her dog Cody, which I also wrote about here, I had our eighteen year old cat Chloe tested.

Chloe had stomach issues from the time we adopted her at three years old. We adopted her in 2000 from the veterinarian clinic we go to and was told she came from a house that had too many cats. From the beginning she had very foul smelling bowel movements and vomited on a regular basis -- sometimes multiple times a day. At one point she got really sick. We ended up having all kinds of medical tests done on her by her regular veterinarians, and more tests done by specialists. After all that and not being able to figure out what what causing these problems, she was treated for the symptoms and eventually diagnosed with irritable bowel disease. I was told I would have to experiment with her foods and try to figure out for myself what does or doesn't agree with her, which is exactly what I did.

So with lots of research, time and patience, and experimenting with what foods did or did not agree with her and make her sick, and  which ones she liked, I discovered rather quickly she could not tolerate dry food at all. Nor could she tolerate wet foods that contained GMO or other unwanted ingredients, of which I have written about in more depth here. She couldn't tolerate most seafood flavors either. I found grain-free can foods that were better quality with protein sources other than sea food -- that she liked, and fed her only those. I tried the different types of commercial frozen raw foods and dehydrated foods, none of which she would eat. Eventually, I bought some raw organic ground chicken to see if she would like that and she loved it! So much so, she will eat it cold and has tried to eat it while it was still frozen! She normally won't eat cold food, which is typical of most cats. I mean she loves it! (I tried ground organic chicken thighs, but she didn't like the thighs -- she preferred the breasts! She didn't like organic ground beef either.)

Of course eating only raw organic meat of any kind is not a balanced diet for a cat as it would not provide all of their nutritional requirements.So what I have been doing for the last several years is I alternate her meals (she eats multiple times a day) between a variety of the best quality grain-free can foods that have protein sources other than seafood, and ground organic chicken breasts. Or I feed her the raw chicken when she gets hungry in between her can food meals. She always prefers the ground chicken but I have her eat the other (more balanced) foods just as equally. I resorted to buying the organic chicken breast in bulk at Costco and invested in my own electric meat grinder (which is easy to use and clean!), which paid for itself in no time. I portion the ground meat into a few days worth, put in containers, freeze, and take out as needed. The meat has to be fresh as she doesn't like it if it's been in the refrigerator too long. 

Since feeding Chloe this way, she has been doing the best she ever has. It's all about the diet! She rarely ever throws up, and with the help of probiotics added to her wet foods, her stools are formed and more normal smelling. Her weight is good; she even gained weight back after losing it. Her coat is good and her energy is good. At eighteen going on nineteen years old, she still gets around just fine and still plays on occasion. And she has not been, and still doesn't, take any medications.

Though this may seem like a very long answer about an allergy assessment test result, which I'll get to shortly -- I felt it important to give some background and history about Chloe before sharing with you some of the interesting results of this recent test. Also, now having two different dogs' test results and a cat, I could compare all of them.

The immunity response test results contained three columns: OK/Assistive (green), Neutral/Yield To (yellow), and Not OK/Overwhelming (red). There are seven categories : protein (29 tested), carbs (22), fruits (13), vegetables (23), fatty acids (16), nutritional supplements (14) and environmental (11).

It came as no surprise to find all of the same GMO ingredients that were in the "not OK/overwhelming" (to their immune system) red column on the dogs' results, also in the same column (overwhelming) on Chloe's test result; which are soy, corn, canola oil, cotton seed oil, and wheat. (We had already figured this out by experience and research, thank goodness.)


Also in the "not OK/overwhelming"  (for her immune system) column for Chloe was tuna and shrimp. (We knew this already from experience too.) Both tuna and shrimp were in the same column for both dogs too. But, interestingly enough, there were some types of fish that showed up in the "ok/assistive" (to her immune system) green column; like mackerel, anchovy and salmon. (But since farmed salmon is fed GMO food, and now they have come out with GMO salmon, that is a problem. It will need to be wild caught salmon only!) So it depends on the type of fish whether it is assisting her health or detrimental to it, and it's easy to understand why tuna would be detrimental. Tuna is known to contain mercury, a deadly toxin. Even the FDA has a warning about people eating too much tuna. Imagine what it can do to a little cat.

Also interesting is that just like both of the dogs' results, cottage cheese and yogurt were both in the "not OK/overwhelming" column for Chloe as well.  And again, out of twenty-three different vegetables, only one was not OK -- the same one as the dogs' -- green peas! (They put green peas in everything these days! This is another frustration when buying food.)

So although there were some similarities, as mentioned, in all three pet's tests -- there were quite a few differences too, especially when it came to proteins and environmental. 

The one thing I was surprised about with Chloe's test result was that although chicken egg was in her "OK/assistive" column, chicken was in the "not OK" column! Hmmm..... This had me scratching my head at first because the one thing she loves and likes to eat a lot of, and has been doing the best health-wise (and not throwing up) than she ever has while consuming it as part of her diet, is chicken! BUT, then again, I'm sure they didn't use organic chicken when performing the immunity response test and there is a big difference between organic chicken and non-organic. Organic chickens are not pumped up with hormones and antibiotics. When chickens are given hormones and antibiotics, they are passed on to whomever consumes the chicken; and of course they are going to have an overwhelming affect on the immune system.

So as long as Chloe remains a healthy cat without all her previous symptoms and issues, she'll continue getting only organic raw chicken along with a variety of the best quality grain-free can foods that contain ingredients that are okay or neutral to her immune system. 

I take everything into consideration; not only what the allergy assessment results are, but also my observations, research, experience and most importantly, my intuition. In a time when our pets (along with us) are bombarded with toxins from all directions, we can use all the help we can get with keeping them happy and healthy for as long as possible.

To find out more about the Immune IQ Allergy Assessment for dogs and cats, you can visit their website at immuneiq.com