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Treating allergies without drugs?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
So, Jack has allergies. That isn't news, but I had sort of forgotten what last fall was like. Anyway once again my vet has recommended benadryl but I really don't want to drug Jack. (I didn't give it to him last year either, but he never lost fur from scrathing or biting)

He has a line of thinning fur on the back of his rear leg. Its a perfectly formed stripe, from where he licks it and it does seem to be scaley or scabbed though it is the same pink as the rest of his skin. In addition to that he has chewed away fur from between his toes in one spot, that i haven't gotten a good look at because he is so protective of his back feet.

To the point this year he is significantly worse than last year and I would like to be able to offer him itching relief, and prevent any damage he may do to himself. However, I would rather do it without giving him any drug. Anyone have any suggestions I can try, before i have to give in to medication?
post #2 of 13
My girl Cinnie has very bad allergies to fleas, all she needs is one bite and she starts, scratching, lossing fur, licking. Its terrible, I try to keep the Frontline on every month, but some times a flea gets in from somewhere (my cats are strictly indoor cats) and poor Cinnie is off and running. What I do is I put the Frontline on then for a baldness and hot spots I start her on Evening Primrose, its a natural supplement, I've read about it in medical books that its safe for cats, (thats how I found out about it). Its in gel cap form, I puncture the capsule and squeeze it on her food. It works wonders, her fur grows in beautifully again. hot spots start healing. I've been doing this for 8 years now, on and off if I don't get the Frontline on in time. Its either that or steroid shots and I won't to do that to her. Good luck.
post #3 of 13
It sure would be great if you could figure out the root cause of his allergies, and eliminate whatever the cause is.

Has he been allergy tested?

I've sort of being going through something a little similar with 3 of my 5 cats lately. One was itching and itching and itching......then the other 2 started. they're strictly indoor cats so I couldn't see it being ear mites (definitely wasn't fleas) but I did take the worst one to the vet yesterday to be checked....ears were clear so it was confirmed it wasn't ear mites (that's where she originally had started scratching but then it spread to her chin, neck, and probably all over as she'd spend hours just grooming herself.

I determined that it was the many scented candles I use. 3-4 weeks ago I bought some Gold Canyon candles (they're very strong, which is why I like them!), and also some really nice warming oil; the type you put in one of those little ceramic burner thingies and then put a tealight candle in the bottom. It never even occurred to me that these things could bother my cats.

I ruled out it being food allergies so this was the only logical cause. I've gone 2 days now without burning the candles and oil (and my vet concurred i try this)...and amazing nobody is itching at all.

Could it be something in your home that's causing this? In my search for info on allergies in cats I learned a lot, wow.......it never even occurred to me that things like air fresheners and plug-ins and fabric softener could cause these allergies. Lots of different cleaning problems leave particles in the air that are an allergen to cats. Sometimes cats are even allergic to the type of litter they use (particularly those that are scented).

I know Fuzzy definitely reacts when I have used that sprinkle carpet deodorizer (made by Arm & Hammer, even the ones specifically for pets).....even though I vacuum it up a few minutes after I've sprinkled it, inevitably some remains in the carpet and that's a bad one for her.

Have you tried a hypo-allergenic diet?

Does your kitty ever go outside?

Have you ever seen a Vet Dermatologist?

Have you tried supplementing the diet with Omega 3 fatty acids?

I can definitely understand your leariness about wanting to have your kitty live on anti-histamines.

I was reading that sometimes in cats w/ allergies, they'll use Amitriptyline.

I'd encourage you to stay away from cortisone injections (Depo-Medrol)....steroids have long term effects and can actually cause diabetes that is sometimes temporary but sometimes isn't.

Have you ever had your carpets (assuming you have carpet) steam-cleaned real good? maybe there's something in the carpet that your kitty is allergic to?
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. Jack eats California Natural food because he had such problems with food when I first brought him home, and this is the one food that he doesn't have problems with that I have found.

Jack has an appointment with the Vet on Monday, the closest dermatologist is 4 hours from here... I am trying to avoid that.

Jack is a full time inside kitty who occasionally escapes just as far as the edge of the porch, where he rolls all over the concrete.

I don't mess with Jack's diet anymore since I found california natural.

I know we had this problem last fall as well, but it just sort of went away. I haven't moved but I do have a cleaning lady who seems to have a real thing for scented sprays, this week I failed to prevent her from spraying it. Perhaps that is it. I know they bother me

Also I will ask my vet about the Evening Primrose.
post #5 of 13
It's very interesting that you had this same problem last Fall (and that it went away). So obviously there's something in your home that changes during Fall that causes this.

Dry air?

Your windows are open less due to it being colder out?

You use your furnace more and maybe you furnace and ducts need to be cleaned? (a lot of dust and stuff can collect in there - particularly if you've had any home reno done)

Does your cleaning lady clean your home year round?

Can you think of any changes in your home that happen during Fall? because that seems to be the common denominator here and I think it's hopeful in helping you get to the root cause of this so that you can eliminate the problem altogether.
post #6 of 13
Please Consult a holistic vet .. there is a very very easy way to test for all kinds of allergies ... so far it has found food , bedding and shampoo in my little dog
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_food_lady View Post
It's very interesting that you had this same problem last Fall (and that it went away). So obviously there's something in your home that changes during Fall that causes this.

Dry air?

Your windows are open less due to it being colder out?

You use your furnace more and maybe you furnace and ducts need to be cleaned? (a lot of dust and stuff can collect in there - particularly if you've had any home reno done)

Does your cleaning lady clean your home year round?

Can you think of any changes in your home that happen during Fall? because that seems to be the common denominator here and I think it's hopeful in helping you get to the root cause of this so that you can eliminate the problem altogether.
I agree it is interesting. I thought maybe it was dry air so I boiled water on my stove last night to get my humidity level to 45% inside, from 39%. I also ordered a humidifier.

I am a fan of A/C and my allergies are to pollen, so I try to keep my windows closed.

I got a new A/C and Heat pump installed in August, and I also had the ducts cleaned then... I also had a hepa filter with UV light installed with the heatpump.

The cleaning lady comes once a month or so all year round.

I have done previous searches for Holistic Vets around here, no such luck. Though perhaps I should consider letting Jack suffer through a long single car ride or two for testing.
post #8 of 13
Have you ever tried switching cat litter?

What type do you use now? Is it scented? Sometimes even the same brand could have some slight changes to the ingredients that you're not aware of - or - just like in humans, sometimes an allergy can develop over time. Though it's still strange that this is only a "Fall phenomenon."

Any other changes that occur in Fall (I'm just grasping at straws here)...like maybe that's when your children (assuming you have some!) return to school and kitty is stressed from them being home all summer and then suddenly gone during the day come Fall?

Do you ever change brands of laundry soap or fabric softener or anti-static dryer sheets or such?

It's good that you've ordered a humidier !

When I was at the Vet yesterday, I bought some Omega 3 Oil stuff that you put into a cat's food; it's a good supplement for cats with dry skin, scratching, etc. Unfortunately for us, they turned their noses up at it even though I didn't put a lot into their canned food. I do know there's one I used once that was actually in a gelcap (got it at the Vet) and I'd give it that way (orally). The one I bought yesterday was Veterolx. Here's the info on it, just to show you what's in it:

http://www.drugs.com/vet/veterol-x-can.html

It's made in Canada, not sure if U.S. residents can get it/order it? But there's surely other onces like this that contain these kinds of ingredients.

Unfortunately, although this one doesn't have to be given with food and can be given directly, my cat is 11 lbs and I'd have to give her almost 5 mls and she'd revolt for sure if I tried syringing this into her mouth!

Maybe ask your Vet clinic what they carry as a supplement for dry skin?
post #9 of 13
Man I hate allergies! The Food Lady is spot on with trying to identify what changes this time of year. Somethings are not as obvious as others.

I had a dog who would get allergies starting in the fall through spring. After struggling with his condition for a few years, it finally dawned on us that in the winter, he tended to sleep on the wool rug a lot more in the winter. We replaced the rug and his allergies went away immediately. It's not always the obvious things and often you have to keep changing out things one at a time until you find the culprit.

Allergy testing can be expensive and doesn't always give you conclusive results. Just be aware of that if you go down that path.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_food_lady View Post
Have you ever tried switching cat litter?

What type do you use now? Is it scented? Sometimes even the same brand could have some slight changes to the ingredients that you're not aware of - or - just like in humans, sometimes an allergy can develop over time. Though it's still strange that this is only a "Fall phenomenon."

Any other changes that occur in Fall (I'm just grasping at straws here)...like maybe that's when your children (assuming you have some!) return to school and kitty is stressed from them being home all summer and then suddenly gone during the day come Fall?

Do you ever change brands of laundry soap or fabric softener or anti-static dryer sheets or such?

It's good that you've ordered a humidier !

When I was at the Vet yesterday, I bought some Omega 3 Oil stuff that you put into a cat's food; it's a good supplement for cats with dry skin, scratching, etc. Unfortunately for us, they turned their noses up at it even though I didn't put a lot into their canned food. I do know there's one I used once that was actually in a gelcap (got it at the Vet) and I'd give it that way (orally). The one I bought yesterday was Veterolx. Here's the info on it, just to show you what's in it:

http://www.drugs.com/vet/veterol-x-can.html

It's made in Canada, not sure if U.S. residents can get it/order it? But there's surely other onces like this that contain these kinds of ingredients.

Unfortunately, although this one doesn't have to be given with food and can be given directly, my cat is 11 lbs and I'd have to give her almost 5 mls and she'd revolt for sure if I tried syringing this into her mouth!

Maybe ask your Vet clinic what they carry as a supplement for dry skin?

I use Worlds best cat litter & have since I brought him home. I don't have children, I work at home and Jack is pretty much always with me, on my lap or next to me. I am allergic to laundry products, & lotions and things of that nature so I have been using the same thing now for years.

But the rug thing makes me wonder, I did put a new comforter on the bed. (I just took that off the bed and stuffed it in a closet til I can wash and store it) Here's hoping.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunacy95 View Post
I use Worlds best cat litter & have since I brought him home. I don't have children, I work at home and Jack is pretty much always with me, on my lap or next to me. I am allergic to laundry products, & lotions and things of that nature so I have been using the same thing now for years.

But the rug thing makes me wonder, I did put a new comforter on the bed. (I just took that off the bed and stuffed it in a closet til I can wash and store it) Here's hoping.
Do not take this wrong... but worlds best is corn and corn is a top allergen... could he be ingesting it ???
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
Do not take this wrong... but worlds best is corn and corn is a top allergen... could he be ingesting it ???
Completely valid question... If he is ingesting it, it would only be from grooming himself. While I certainly wouldn't rule it out, based on this every fall thing I am doubting it. But I will add it my short list of things to try changing.
post #13 of 13
OMG this has been so interesting. My Lucas is on a special hypoallergenic diet, he started two days ago and I'm so worried because I don't think is going to work. I know it is too early to tell but his eyes are swollen right now and his face is red. I just pray to God that it will work.

I red a post here about Air Freshners and plug-ins causing allergies and I ran I took all the plug-ins off and hid them. I never thought of that and I will stop using febreeze just in case. I changed Lucas litter to the natural arm and hammer one (the only natural available here) but its smell is so strong.

I hope you can find a solution for your kitties allergies, I'm going crazy trying to help my Lucas. And I feel they way you feel aboit medication, I don't want Lucas to be on drugs, I just want to find the source of the allergies and make the necessary changes.
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