or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Questions about my cat's allergies... (kinda long - sorry!)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Questions about my cat's allergies... (kinda long - sorry!)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I don't even really know where to start, so I'm just going to try and lay this out as sensibly as I possibly can - I'm sorry in advance if it comes out unclear!

I have a cat named Kiwi who I rescued from a shelter three years ago in August. She had been in their care for 2 years (in and out of shelter/foster homes). She had been there for so long because she apparently had been diagnosed with allergies to dust and would need an injection every two weeks for the rest of her life.

So, for three years I had been giving her the injections. And, on top of that in order to control the lesions she has needed dexamethasone (pills) as well. For many reasons, I have hated that she needed to be so medicated, but every time I would try and wean her down the lesions would flare up with a vengeance. So I had resigned myself to accepting that it was a necessity for her.

BUT. In September I switched her food (along with my other cat too) from TLC to Orijen, which is a high protein/grain free formula (http://www.championpetfoods.com/orij...ducts/cat.aspx) All of a sudden, her allergy symptoms disappeared. I kid you not, They were completely GONE. I have also switched their canned to a grain free formula as well (Wellness).

Because of this, I figured that she had been misdiagnosed at the shelter (she was seen by a dermatologist while there) and she is actually allergic to something that has been in her food (grain product?)

She has not had to take the dexamethasone since starting the new food (hallelujah!!) and I have bumped her shot from once every two weeks to once every three weeks in the hopes of weaning her off of it once and for all.

However, she has started to get tiny little lesions in the same spots she used to get them (and I mean tiny, NOTHING like what she used to get.) but still...

So what do you think? Did I jump the gun too quickly? Is my assumption about her being allergic to something in the food instead wrong? Has licking and chewing at her stomach become so ingrained for her as a behaviour that she would do it even in the absence of itchiness...??

I'm very interested in the more holistic-type treatments available for her. I am still in contact with her dermatologist, who will not entertain the idea that her allergies have anything to do with the food whatsoever. Needless to say, I think she's wrong, to an extent. The change once the new food was started was nothing short of mind-boggling.

I'm sorry this ended up being so long, I'd appreciate any ideas and feedback.

Here are some pictures of my sweet girl:

post #2 of 10
I have a Allergic Cat with Asthma and some foods mde her get Rashes and Itch real bad. Sometimes it is the Foods it depends. Coco is Allergic to alot of stuff and gets Pred when her Asthma acts up. She gets a shot 2 sometimes. Her last Shot was in Aug because she got a bad Cold and her Asthma was bad. I hope your Cat wont need Shots forever, what shot does she get?
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
The dermatologist called it "immunotherapy", lemme get the package and I can give you the exact name.....

I'm back. It says on it that it is "Aspergillus Mites (D. Far)"

It needs to be kept in the fridge.
post #4 of 10
Does it work good for her? What Cat litter do you use? I use Uncented Yesterdays Mews because most Loitters set her Asthma off and she starts sneezing too.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
She's just on regular clumping litter.

She doesn't have any respiratory issues. No sneezing, no asthma of any kind. She expresses her allergies through getting lesions on her skin (stomach area). So basically I don't think that the litter would be related.

Before the food switch she absolutely needed to be on both the shot and the pills. Since the food switch she's off the pills and I've increased the time between shots, in the hopes that she won't have to be on it anymore, either.

Because of the drastic improvement with the switch to grain-free, I am really thinking that she had an allergy to grain product of some kind, even though she was originally diagnosed as being allergic solely to dust.

So I think either she is allergic to both (grain product and dust) OR, she has been itching and scratching at her stomach area for so long that it has become an ingrained behaviour for her.

Does that sound plausible...?
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Bump in hopes of some more ideas...?
post #7 of 10
MOstanimals ( humans included) have multiple allergies ... ie food , chemical, enviornmental
post #8 of 10
I am glad that you found that changing her food helped. Keep us updated on her progress.
post #9 of 10
As a lifelong allergy suffer, I will share some of the info I've learned from my allergist - one of the top guys in the US and heavily into research. I've used some of the info in treating my allergic Golden Retriever.

Allergies are simply an over-reaction by the body to an allergen. If your body over-reacts to one thing, it tends to over-react to several (multiple allergies). I personally love the idea that allergy sufferers are just living in the wrong century - we would have been the healthy ones in the 17th and 18th centuries.

So odds are good that your cat is allergic to multiple things. Usually, you are more allergic to one thing (perhaps the food) than others. Changing that one thing can make a huge difference, but having several of the allergens you are mildly allergic to peak at the same time can also give you fits. For instance, I'm mildly allergic to 27 different things - but they always peak at different times and in different combinations, which means I require different treatments from week to week.

Consider giving the shot every two weeks again. This may be a peak time for aspergillus mites in the house. Kids that take allergy shots will often remind their parents it is time for the shots because they work so well.

I'm with you on the meds - I want off as much meds as possible. Ben is on daily benadryl, but it means we can avoid prednisone most of the time. His grass allergy means he has to wear boots outside, get more frequent baths than I would like and his legs have to be washed off when he comes back inside.

For aspergillus, I would change the air filters more often. If you own the home, consider an upgraded filtration system such as a HEPA. Since aspergillus is a fungus, I would be diligent about making sure there is no water damage in the home or composting. Frequent dusting and vacuuming are critical. Carpeting, rugs, window treatments, stuffed animals, fru-fru can also hold dust and should be discouraged (that will never happen in my house). Mattresses that your cat sleeps on, along with pillows, need to be covered in an allergy-friendly cover. When you wash linens and cat beds, it is critical they are dried completely.

I hope this helps.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for your advice everyone, I agree that she is probably allergic to many different things. The dermatologist who originally diagnosed her said that she was the worst allergy case she had seen in years.

I'm still surprised that the shelter didn't just put her to sleep. I am so thankful they didn't, they put so much work into her and cared for her for so long.... it still makes me sad to think of the dozens of places she moved around to before I found her, sometimes I wonder if having such a rough start has contributed to her compromised health. But that's all speculation on my part, really.

I just want her all better, you know? I hate to see her struggling with this, she deserves only the best.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Health
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Questions about my cat's allergies... (kinda long - sorry!)