It’s been almost four years since I started IBDKitties and although I always knew it would be an important resource, what I didn’t know is how much more prevalent IBD would become. To say it’s a war on IBD would be an understatement as I now have readers from every corner of the globe. And while I’m glad I can bring much needed information to pet parents struggling to treat this awful condition, it just shows me how much worse it’s gotten and how much more work there is yet to do. Thankfully since the site began there are a lot more studies, trials and research happening and many more ways to treat it. There is also a vast improvement in how veterinarians deal with IBD and its ever growing associated conditions.
Four years ago there was hardly a vet to be found that would be happy about you putting your cat on a raw food diet, let alone recommend it; not so these days. Yet there are still plenty who will never consider it, or even a grain free diet for that matter. But the communication between pet parents and vets has improved greatly for the most part. My beef is with the vets who still refuse to listen to the parent’s concerns and ideas, but also the refusal by some to drop the ego and learn something new. I’ve seen many a cat die in the last four years because of incompetent vets who refuse whatsoever to try a different medication, even with some of the case studies listed on my site as proof that it’s worth a try. Nothing is a guarantee, but when you have a kitty that is quickly failing in health, anything is worth a try. I’ve also seen some older vets agree to start using newer (to them) treatments for IBD such as giving B12 injections. Kudos to them for not only doing what’s important for the patient but also learning about what could possibly help others and using it.
I know we’re probably seeing a lot more cases of IBD because more cats are getting the proper testing done but no one can tell me that cases of IBD, pancreatitis, lymphoma, etc. haven’t gone through the roof. Of course there are many factors involved, including diet, bacterial overgrowth, genetics, chemicals, poor immune systems, etc. etc. But why so many? Hardly a day goes by that I don’t get one or more emails from someone or comments on my Facebook page asking for help. Lately I’ve had quite a few shelters and rescue groups write me as they see a large amount of cases. And though it’s not always financially feasible for them to change their diets to grain free (which can be more expensive), we can try and help them get it under control as much as possible. Hopefully teaching the adoptive parents about IBD can make the difference in some of the cats getting a good home. But unfortunately this could also be a huge deterrent for an adoptive parent. Who wants to adopt a kitty with a lifelong and unpredictable disease? I know some people that have and they are a blessing to those pets! That takes a mighty big heart to take in a kitty with health issues.
So what can we do now? What’s next in finding ways to control and maybe even cure this disease? We need to find and develop some protocols that won’t put places like shelters and rescues into financial constraints - as well as people with large multi-cat households. Treatments that involve less medication and actually work long term, so these animals can continue to be adopted into good homes and live healthier and longer lives. For me Alex was not my last IBD kitty as I’ve had to care for two of my sister’s cats that have it; one has since passed. I was quite upset when I realized I was dealing with this again so soon after Alex died. But I’ve come to realize that any one of us could have another kitty with IBD at any time, or any other condition for that matter; which is all the more reason to keep searching for answers. My goal is to find some of those answers and keep chipping away at this mountain called IBD. Sooner or later we’ll make a dent in this war and maybe even someday win it.