Immune Modulators For Allergic Cats
Your veterinarian may prescribe a drug called Atopica, which represses the activity of helper T-cells, thereby reducing inflammation. Its sold for cats and it resolves symptoms in about half of all pets. There are a few side effects linked to this immune modulator, including stomach upset. This is a prescription drug and its not cheap.
Causes Of Allergies In Cats
There are many things that cats can be allergic to and most are readily found in and around our homes. In some situations, this can make it difficult to eliminate the cause of a cat’s allergies.
- Pollens: Tree, dust, grass, weed, mold, and mildew pollens can all cause allergies in cats. These environmental allergens are difficult to control.
- Food: Food allergies are the third most common type of allergies in cats. There are many types of food that a cat can be allergic to but animal proteins such as chicken, beef, dairy, fish, and eggs are the most common culprits.
- Fleas: A common cause of allergy in cats, flea bites cause cats to have irritating allergic reactions including hair loss, redness, and itching. Even indoor only cats can have fleas.
- Medications: Cats can be allergic to flea medication, shampoos, and other medications.
- Cleaning products: Detergents, floor cleaners, and disinfecting sprays can all cause allergies in cats.
- Perfume: Strong perfumes and colognes can be irritating in their own right but some cats actually have allergies to them. Inhaled allergens are common causes of allergies in cats.
- Smoke: Just like other inhalants, some cats are allergic to cigarette and other types of smoke.
- Various surfaces: Fabrics, rubbers, and plastics are all types of surfaces that a cat can be allergic to. Some beds, food dishes, and floor mats may be problems for cats that have allergies to these specific surfaces.
Antihistamines Can Solve Many Allergy Problems
Most of your cats allergy symptoms are caused by her immune system producing excess histamine in an attempt to fight off the offending allergen, which her body sees as a threat. Histamine causes skin redness, itching, swelling and digestive system problems, including diarrhea and vomiting.
Up to 70 percent of allergic cats can be treated successfully with antihistamines alone. Treatment success improves when antihistamines arecombined with other therapies, such as fatty acids or biotin.
Antihistamines counteract the effects of histamine to soothe irritated skin, relieve itching, reduce swelling and settle digestive upsets. Common over-the-counter brands that are safe for use in cats include:
Your veterinarian may be able to recommend generic equivalents and offer dosing instructions based on your cats weight.
Common side effects of antihistamines include:
It may be necessary to try more than one brand of antihistamine in order to find the appropriate medication for your cat.
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What Different Types Of Otc Allergy Medications Are There And How Do They Work
OTC allergy medications are available by themselves and as combination products. Before you purchase any product, its important to read the package label to see which ingredients are contained in the product.
Reduce The Inflammation And Soothe The Itch
All cats that suffer from allergic skin disease are very itchy. At the first visit, your veterinarian may prescribe corticosteroids, such as prednisone, to alleviate the itch and inflammation in the skin.
For all skin diseases, bathing your cat can help to reduce inflammation and soothe their skin. Since most cats dont like baths, you may want to try a product like a mousse or a dry shampoo for cats that can clean your cat while avoiding water. Ask your veterinarian to recommend the right product for your cat.
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Cat Allergy Treatments & Remedies
Cat Allergy Treatment Can Be Costly
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Regular steroid injections safely and effectively relieve symptoms for cats with allergies, said Weigner. But he noted that potentially serious side effects make this option the least desirable form of treatment.
Instead, cats with extreme allergy symptoms typically get referred to a veterinary dermatologist. Determining the root cause of skin allergies requires a process of elimination using a blood test or an intradermal skin test, which involves injecting potential allergens such as mold or pollen under a cats skin. It sounds painful, but this test involves sedation and lasts only a few hours. Once an allergen has been determined, your veterinarian can decide on a treatment plan.
“Most veterinary dermatologists recommend hyposensitization therapy that attempt to desensitize the cat to specific allergens,” said Weigner. “This requires quite a commitment as the injections are given frequently and can take up to two years to become effective, if ever.”
Veterinarians also may consider prescribing an oral medication called Atopica. “It works by suppressing helper T-cells, thus reducing inflammation,” Carlson said. “It has clinically been shown to be safe and very effective.”
Weigner has found success with cyclosporine, a drug with few side effects and a pretty hefty price tag.
“Because it is quite expensive and there are few studies regarding its use, it is considered a last resort and usually only used by specialists,” he said.
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What Causes Cat Allergy
Children with allergies have overly sensitive immune systems that mistake the protein from cat dander for something that will cause harm to their bodies. Your childs body attacks those proteins just as it would a bacteria or virus. In response, the body reacts with a wide variety of symptoms, including:
- Allergic shiners
- Itchy throat or roof of mouth
- Itchy, watery or red eyes
- Itchy rash if the cat scratched or licked the area
- Runny, stuffy or itchy nose
- Waking up in the night with nasal stuffiness, sneezing or coughing
These symptoms are usually noticeable immediately. If your childs allergy symptoms are present for more than two weeks and are not going away like a common cold or your child is having trouble breathing, then contact their doctor.
Additional Treatments To Consider For Cat Allergies
- Allergy shots Cat lovers who suffer from allergies can benefit from weekly injections that increase in potency for six months, followed by 3-5 years of monthly maintenance injections. This method is very effective, but may cause skin reactions.
- Use an air purifier In rooms you share with your cat, clean the air with an air purifier that has a HEPA-certified filter. HEPA filters reduce airborne pet allergens by forcing air through a special filter that traps pet dander, as well as pollen, dust mites, and other allergens.
- Bathe your cat While bathing your cat in the tub sounds terrifying, wiping your furry friend down with a wet towel daily can help lower his allergens.
- Cat-free room Chose a room, preferably your bedroom to keep your cat out of. Dust and vacuum that room thoroughly and make an effort to keep your door closed.
- Try medication For those looking to make medicine a part of their daily routine, oral antihistamines can help keep cat allergies under control. Intranasal corticosteroid spray and antihistamine eye drops are also options that can help.
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Cat Allergy Tips For Parents
Growing up in London, England, we had a cat, as well as other animals including rabbits, chicken and one tortoise. Since then, we have carried on the tradition with two to three cats at any given time. You can imagine my surprise when my daughter moved away from home only to find out that she is highly allergic to cats!
Rid Your Home Of Other Allergens
If you’re considering bringing a new pet into your home, first rid your home of as many other allergens as possible such as mites, dust, and mold. Most airborne allergens cling to soft material such as curtains and drapes, upholstery, and floor coverings. Here are common ways to clear your home of allergens:
- Substitute blinds for window coverings. If you rent, and can’t get permission to switch them, keep the curtains washed and frequently vacuum the drapes.
- If possible, replace overstuffed upholstered furniture with leather.
- Eliminate decorative scented candles, potpourri, and plug-in air fresheners, all of which can exacerbate allergy symptoms.
- Consider replacing wall-to-wall carpeting with wood or tile floors. Otherwise, thoroughly vacuum carpeting regularly.
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How Does A Doctor Diagnose A Pet Allergy
Your doctor will diagnose a pet allergy based on your symptoms, physical examination, medical history and test results. Your doctor can use either a blood test or skin test to aid in the diagnosis. Allergy testing will show if there is allergic sensitization to the animal.
Some people find it hard to believe that they could be allergic to their pets. The doctor may tell you to stay out of the home where the pet lives to see if your symptoms go away. It does not help to remove the dog or cat, because the allergen will remain. Pet allergens still in the home can cause symptoms months after the animal is gone.
Diagnosing Allergies In Cats
It can be difficult to discover what a cat is allergic to. Elimination diets and exclusion trials with different cleaning products, food dishes, beds, and medications may be necessary to discover what causes an allergic reaction if it isn’t obvious. Some blood and skin tests are available for detecting some kinds of allergens.
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What This Means For Pet Parents With Cat Allergies
The reality is that many people go through extreme efforts to manage allergies to keep their beloved feline in their home. While a number of those people are successful, a number are forced to re-home a cat if someone new to the household has an intolerable allergy.
These two studies and potential new products offer a glimpse of hope for cat-allergy sufferers.
As this research is still ongoing, I would anticipate the efficacy of this product only to improve.
Fighting the problem at the source, instead of alleviating the symptomsits so brilliant, and yet so simple. Its one of those times that I find myself wondering, Why didnt I think of that?
Infections Caused By Cats
Allergies are a manifestation of the immune system’s over-reaction to a non-infectious substance. But you can also get an infection due to cat exposure, such as ringworm, or an infection due to a cat scratch.
A parasitic infection caused byToxoplasma gondii is spread by cat feces. This parasite is very dangerous for pregnant women because it can cause birth defects.
Infections caused by cats are different than allergies.
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Cat Allergy Management And Treatment
Avoidance is the best way to manage a cat allergy. If you have a cat and are allergic to cats, consider removing the cat from the home.
If you have a cat but dont want to find it a new home, or if your family wants a cat even though someone in the household is allergic, here are some strategies that may help keep symptoms at bay:
- Keep the cat out of your bedroom and restrict it to only a few rooms. Be advised that keeping the cat in only one room will not limit the allergens to that room.
- Dont pet, hug or kiss the cat if you do, wash your hands with soap and water.
- High-efficiency particulate air cleaners run continuously in a bedroom or living room can reduce allergen levels over time.
- Regular use of a high-efficiency vacuum cleaner or a central vacuum can reduce allergen levels.
- Giving your cat a bath at least once a week can reduce airborne cat allergen.
Treatments for cat allergy vary, depending on the symptoms.
Your allergist can help determine what treatment would be best to treat your cat allergy. Nasal symptoms often are treated with steroid nasal sprays, oral antihistamines or other oral medications. Eye symptoms are often treated with antihistamine eyedrops. Respiratory or asthma symptoms can be treated with inhaled corticosteroids or bronchodilators to either prevent or relieve respiratory symptoms.
Allergy shots are an effective treatment of allergies by building tolerance over time through gradually injecting increasing doses of an allergen.
Claritin Oral 24 Hour Check Price
Claritin is another effective antihistamine that is proven effective at relieving the symptoms of runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing. Its generic name is Loratadine.
Claritin is designed more to treat the more common hay fever type symptoms and will therefore not treat rash, hives or other more serious allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis. However, Claritin has hardly any potential side effects which make it an excellent choice for continual usage to treat these common symptoms caused by a cat allergy.
- Relieves hay fever type symptoms
- Dosage lasts for up to 24 hours
- Does not treat serious allergic reactions
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Look For Other Allergens
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Your cat could be allergic to other things besides pollen and flea saliva. Cats can have food allergies, and they can also be allergic to cigarette smoke and perfumes, as well as cleaning products, certain fabrics and scented litter. Talk to your vet. If she suspects a food allergy, you’ll likely be asked to feed a prescription or hydrolyzed protein diet. Switch to dust-free, unscented litter to see if that helps. Try unscented cleaning products and avoiding perfumes.
Am I Allergic To Cat Hair
To help you understand how these new treatments would work, let me quickly break down cat allergies.
If you are amongst the 1 in 5 people worldwide who suffer a range of allergic symptoms when youre near a cator even near someone who has a catyour allergies are actually NOT caused by the animals fur.
This is why a short-haired cat likely invokes the same allergic response as a long-haired Persian cat.
The culprit behind your sneezing and wheezing and puffy eyes is a protein in a cats saliva and sebaceous glands . That glycoprotein is called Fel d1.
When cats groom themselves, some hairs break loose and become airborne. The offending protein in the salivathat Fel d1 allergenis carried on the hairs, so they become distribution vehicles for the potent allergen thats causing your inflammatory response.
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Cat Allergy Medication Prices
Inexpensive: These cat allergy medications cost between $0.10 and $0.50 per dose. This doesn’t mean the medication is less effective, just that it’s available in a generic form, which brings the cost down.
Mid-range: At the middle of the price spectrum, you can expect to pay between $0.50 and $1 per dose. This includes some more expensive generics, as well as brand-name drugs.
Expensive: The costliest cat allergy medications cost between $1 and $4 per dose. These are usually brand-name medications that are still under patent and therefore not available in more affordable forms.
If your cat is diagnosed with a flea allergy, it’s important that you keep up with preventative flea treatments that kill fleas before they can bite.
What Causes Cat Allergies
About 10% of the U.S. population has pet allergies and cats are among the most common culprits. Cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies. But contrary to what you might think, it’s not the fur or hair that’s the real problem. People with cat allergies are really allergic to proteins in the cat’s saliva, urine, and dander .
How do these tiny proteins cause such a big allergic reaction in the body? People with allergies have oversensitive immune systems. Their bodies mistake harmless things — like cat dander — for dangerous invaders, and attack them as they would bacteria or viruses. The symptoms of the allergy are the side effects of your body’s assault on the allergen, or trigger.
Keep in mind that even if you don’t have an actual cat allergy, your cat can still indirectly cause your allergies to flare up. Outside cats can bring in pollen, mold, and other allergens on their fur.
And what about so-called “hypoallergenic” cats? While some breeds — like the “hairless” sphinx — are said to be less likely to trigger symptoms of cat allergies than others, any cat has the potential to cause problems. This is true regardless of its breed, hair length, or how much it sheds. So if you know that you or another family member is allergic to cats, getting one — no matter what the breed — is not a good idea.
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