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Help with Dori's allergies

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Some of you might remember I had to take Dori (my almost 1 and 1/2 yr. old)to the vet about 3 weeks ago. She ended up being diagnosed as having allergies. The vet gave her a shot, I can't remember the name of it but I can look it up when I get home if needed, they couldn't give me a time frame on how long the shot would work but they said some cats it lasts up to 3 months. Well, it hasn't lasted 3 months.

I took her in because her breathing and purring sounded distorted. Not really congested like with a cold, but the best way to describe is when she would take one breath there would be a little pause in the middle of it when she is breathing in and it was a little louder than normal. (I hope that description helps a little) SHe doesn't have any other signs of any type if illness. She plays, eats and drinks and uses the bathroom normally.

Since the vet said it was allergies I quit letting her go outside on the balcony since there was a lot of pollen out and I assumed thats what was causing her allergies. It never really got 100% better though. But seems to be getting worse again, so now I am thinking it could be something else causing it. It could be any number of things right? Here are some things I think might be important:

1. I have Glade Plug-ins in every room in my apartment. They are the clean linen smell, I want the apartment to smell fresh. I also use the glade or the lysol spray about every other day. (I have always used these so it isn't anything new to her)
2. I use the arm & hammer sprinkle stuff the cat litter in Dori's litter box and the Fresh Step cat litter, both make the litter box dusty, I scoop it every day but am thinking it could be those smells? ( I have used this combo ever since I got her as a little kitten)
3. I dust every weekend, and vacuum about every 3 days ( so there isn't really a build up of dust and dirt in the apartment)
4. I keep Dori OUT of the bathrooms and kitchen wheneevr I clean with any type of cleaner so she doesn't breathe it in.

Ok, now here goes the part you are all going to be upset with me for.... My boyfriend (i live with him) smokes, he only smokes in 1 room and it is the office room. It is where Dori's litter box is and the room where we hang out and she is always in there with us. I have a small cheap plug in air filter in there, but honestly I know it still smells of smoke in there. My boyfriend will NOT quit smoking in there. He also will not let me just keep the door shut all the time either. He feels like he has a right to smoke in "his" room. (The office room is kind of his room. He spends the most time in it) He has the "she's just a cat" attitude and no matter how much I try to convince him it doesn't change his outlook. I can't seem to keep Dori out of there either because she loves him and she will often time sleep on the daybed right next to the chair where he smokes. I myself hate being around the smoke, but I decide to be around it, knowing that 2nd hand smoke is bad. She doesn't, and I feel so bad because I need to protect her from it....SO this could very well also be the problem too.

I want to do everything I can to make Dori comfortable, but my boyfriend is not going to be helpful especially on the smoking issue. So I was thinking maybe I could get a better air purifier as soon as I can afford it and maybe change her litter. I need to call the vet, but I believe they said there was some sort of pill she could take for the allergies, but I don't know about keeping her on medicine all the time....I really just need some ideas on what to do. Sorry this post was so long but it has been bothering me.
post #2 of 6
The fastest and easiest way to narrow it down is to have the vet do an allergy workup. They can test for anything from pollens to other pet dander. When you are dealing with an allergy, it can take months to years to figure it out in elimination alone because you need to take one thing at a time to rule it out.
post #3 of 6

About 5 mos ago my cat started sneezing alot, I thought maybe she had allergies, cold, etc. My house is carpeted (I'm thinking of having it removed) so I bought this device called the Pet Magnet to get embedded hair out of the rug. I didn't think I had any hair in the rug because I too vacuum 3x a week. You would not believe how much hair came out of the rug. That night her sneezing stopped! If you have a rug it might be worth getting the Pet Magnet, I got it at drsfostersmith.com. It's about $8 but because it has a very short handle you have to get on your hands and knees. It hurt my back and my arms got sore, so I only do the whole house once a month. This may relieve Dori's symptoms somewhat.

As for the smoking... I smoke too but only outside, no matter what the weather. Rain, snow, cold I'm out there (for just a few minutes). My mother and brother smoke and I told them they couldn't smoke in my house. They really didn't like it (I know it's inconvenient) so I told them they couldn't visit if it was too much for them to smoke outside (they only visit maybe 4x a year and only overnight). Smoke is bad for a cat. I wondered what they would do if I had a child, especially one with respiratory problems? They like Candy but also think, she's just a cat! What if the vet says she can't be around the smoke? I feel for you, I wouldn't want to have to make a decision like that. I know you love Dori and only want to do what's best for her, hope everything's okay with her.

Maybe the litterbox should be moved to another room? And an air purifier would probably be a good idea, it couldn't hurt

Jill and Candy
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
It is very hard to know what to do. I hate that my boyfriend smokes inside. It didn't bother me much 4 years ago, but now i hate it. While I do understand him feeling like it is his room and he is entitled to smoke in it, I feel like it isn't right for me or Dori. He also doesn't understand why I have changed my mind from my original feeling that it was ok for him to smoke in there. The more I think about it the more I am sure that is what is causing Dori's problems. I think I am going to try to talk to him about it sometime soon. I have to catch him at a time when he won't mind talking about it.

If talking to him doesn't work this time, maybe I should take Dori for allergy testing, as Sandi suggested, if they believe it is the smoke, then I will have to be even more insistent that he not smoke at all inside. I am sure he would come around. He probably would be mad at first but I think he would get over it. He should quit smoking anyway.

Dori may be "just a cat" to him, but she is my baby and it is my responsibility to take care of her. I see no difference in caring for her and doing whats right and taking care of a child. She can't fend for herself on everything, she depends on me. (I don't have kids so I don't have the experience to compare the feelings a mother has for her child, so mom's don't take it wrong that I compared my cat to a child )
post #5 of 6

I do know how you feel, the main reason I don't want anyone to smoke in my house is because of Candy, plus I know what a smoke-filled house smells like - my apartment used to smell nasty, cigarette smoke in EVERYTHING! Plus when my family visits they leave things around, things that Candy could swallow, and I am constantly putting these things away. I am so careful to make sure things like rubberbands, etc aren't out. My brother puts things on top of the fridge, and I move them because Candy likes to hang out on it. I even walk and turn around slowly (out of habit now) because Candy is quietly at my feet alot and I don't want to step on her (I did it once or twice and felt terrible). They think I go too far, but I don't care, I think of her as my baby, too. It's stressful enough for her when they're here, if they don't abide by a few rules in her (yes her) house, then they're not welcome.

I don't know how old you are, but when I was in my 20's I would have been like you, not liking something and putting up with it, especially for a boyfriend. But I've gotten older (sigh) and am in a different place mentally now - I want things to be the way I want them to be, the way I think they should be.

Take it from me, I know what smoking addiction is like, so I can sympathize with your boyfriend and my family. It really isn't a big deal to go outside and smoke, I've greatly cut down since starting this.

I didn't want to say to you that I think the smoke could be causing Dori's problems, but since you mentioned it first.....I do think it could be her problem, especially since she's so close to him in the same room when he smokes.

Maybe you should take Dori to the vet and tell him that she's around cigarette smoke. The vet will of course tell you that's not good, even if it's not the reason for Dori's strange breathing, but it could contribute to it. Maybe it really is allergies. Strange as it sounds, I hope it's the smoke that's causing the problem, not allergies. You may hopefully be able to get him to quit, better that than Dori having to take meds for who knows how long.

I hope your boyfriend sees the light, and Dori is always well,

Jill and Candy
post #6 of 6
If you use this link, you can read about allergy testing in pets

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