A third of the world's population suffers from various types of allergies! The disease was not spared even by our smaller brothers - allergy in cats is one of the main reasons for visiting veterinarians. How to help a pet in detecting symptoms and is it possible to defeat an ailment?
What is an allergy?
The immune system protects the body from the negative effects of the external environment. A dangerous substance that enters the body is attacked by counterparties sent by vigilant immunity to fight potentially harmful particles. Scientists are not completely clear about the reasons, but sometimes the immune system shows excessive zeal, "attacking" harmless substances. Such an excessive reaction leads to the development of allergies. Do animals have allergies? Yes, like all warm-blooded ones. Moreover, the mechanisms of the onset and development of the disease in cats and humans are much similar, as are the treatment principles. However, it is important to remember that cats do not react to many medications as humans do, so in no case should a pet be given a symptomatic remedy designed to treat an allergy in humans.
Common types of allergies in cats
Anything other than distilled water can be an allergen, and therefore it is sometimes very difficult to determine the type of disease.
Food allergy - reaction to a food product. Most often it is chocolate, red fruits and vegetables, dairy products, corn, eggs, beef, poultry. Often, symptoms provoke a "cumulative" allergy to a certain type of protein. For example, an allergy to chicken arises quite often, not because poultry meat is more likely to provoke an allergy, but because pets are literally fed chicken, ignoring other sources of protein. When feeding low-quality ready-made rations, a similar problem arises: in order to save money, producers add one type of meat to the feed, that is, one source of protein. In addition, in cheap feeds there is always corn and a large amount of vegetable pulp of unknown origin.
Flea allergy - reaction to saliva and other insect secretions. In addition to fleas, the culprits of insect allergies can be ticks, lice-eaters, and even ordinary mosquitoes. The absence of parasites in the coat does not mean anything - a single bite is enough for an allergy to show itself in all its glory.
Respiratory and contact allergies - reaction to dust, pollen, cleaning products, chemicals, cosmetics, toilet filler and much more. It is enough for the cat to inhale the allergen or sprinkle some powder on its paw so that the immunity will sound the alarm.
Unfortunately, the signs of allergy depend little on the type of allergen. A food allergy in a cat can manifest itself in the same way as an allergy to tick saliva:
- severe itching, often localized in the head and neck, abdomen, inner thighs or at the site of a bite;
- rashes on the skin of a different nature, from mild redness to purulent pustules;
- hair loss;
- clear discharge from the nose, sneezing;
- tearing, redness of the eyes;
- from the respiratory system, wheezing, difficulty swallowing, laryngeal edema, salivation, bronchospasm and asthma attacks are possible. In this case, immediate veterinary care is needed!
If an allergy to the skin violently "blooms" with an itchy rash, you should especially carefully monitor the behavior of the pet. Combing the itchy areas, the cat leaves scratches on the skin through which pathogenic bacteria and fungi penetrate the body. The wounds become inflamed, turning into ulcers. Based on laboratory tests (scraping), the veterinarian makes a diagnosis of bacterial dermatitis, etc. As a result, the pet is treated, but the drugs are ineffective, since the root cause "lurked" behind the obvious manifestations of dermatitis.
Diagnosis and treatment of the disease
Before treating an allergy, you need to make sure that it is really an allergy. This is extremely important, since the symptoms of allergies are similar to those of other diseases, including many viral infections! To speed up the diagnosis, the veterinarian should be provided with comprehensive information:
- when the first symptoms appeared;
- what a cat eats;
- have the cat been treated to a product new to her;
- Does the cat eat domestic plants?
- could the cat get to the medicine;
- whether new cleaning products have appeared in the house;
- Did the cat bathe with new shampoo?
- whether treatment was carried out using new drugs for the cat.
It is important to remember everything to the smallest detail. Of course, the most common symptoms are provoked by a banal allergy to chicken or insect bites. However, even new mistresses of a mistress or a “new settler” in a pot, delighting the family with a floral aroma, can cause a reaction.
Based on the information received and the results of a general examination, the veterinarian will diagnose and prescribe symptomatic treatment - antihistamines and / or steroid drugs. To detect an allergen, you will need to take a blood test, sometimes more than once. Contact with an allergen should be excluded as soon as possible.
If it is a food allergy, a special diet is prescribed. As a rule, this is one type of protein unfamiliar to the cat (rabbit meat or lean lamb or lamb meat), rice, a little olive oil, vitamins. All goodies are completely excluded. It is possible to use ready-made therapeutic diets, which include only hydrolyzed components. Such feeds are, as it were, partially "digested" industrially: the proteins contained in the feed are broken down into a safe, non-allergenic state. After a few weeks, when the symptoms completely disappear, the usual products for the cat are added to the diet, one look a week. There was a reaction - an allergen was identified.
When it comes to contact allergies, finding the "aggressor" is much more difficult. The easiest option is to remove in an inaccessible place everything that can cause symptoms (cosmetics, powders, chemicals, etc.). How to treat allergies, the doctor will decide after examining the animal, but until the allergen is detected, relapse can not be avoided. Allergy tests in this situation are often useless, since there are countless potential allergens. However, it’s still worthwhile to pass the analysis, because it is possible that the laboratory assistant will “fall into the top ten” the first time.
An allergy to insect bites is almost always detected by the first blood test, and treatment comes down to eliminating the symptoms and preventing it. Drops, collars or sprays are not so important. The main thing is that the chosen tool not only destroys parasites, but also has a deterrent effect.
Allergy is a serious disease! Symptoms cannot be ignored, even if they appear to be minor. Today, the cat’s ears are itching, tomorrow otitis externa occurs, and after a week - chronic inflammation of the middle ear, which will have to be treated for many years.
Watch the video: Mayo Clinic Minute: Why allergies shouldn't prevent kids from having pets (February 2020).