Allergy shots for cats

oasisownerAugust 16, 2011

Do they work? Our cat is still licking herself bald. The vet suggested allergy testing. Many borderline positives (birch, beech, several molds, dust,chicken, potato, venison), but only one positive - English plantain. She began to have symptoms in January (in Ohio! cold! snow!), so I find it hard to believe it was because of any outdoor allergen. She is an indoor cat.

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First, doing allergy testing in cats is a very borderline plausible activity... cats do not react that well and interpretting such tests is near impossible (at least that is what our local dermatologists tell me). Secondly, your cat breaths the same air that is outdoors, indoors, unless you have some impressive hepafilters. Actual physcial contact with allergens will less obviously, but respiratory allergens are about the same indoor/outdoor. Thirdly, I have to admit I have never heard of anyone giving cats allergy shots (at least not antigen injections)... I have cats respond well to antihistamines and steroids, and inhalant products for asthma, but not antigen injections... keep us posted on how that goes!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 1:51AM
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We actually do have a rather impressive filtering system - we have a son with asthma and have no carpet, vacuum regularly with a sealed hepa system vacuum. The windows are closed all spring, summer, and fall. What puzzled me is that our kitty started the itching in the winter - I originally thought it was the dry air and increased fish oil in her food. She has had 3 steroid shots (one approximately every 2 months) which helped immensely. I have tried topical steroids without much success. We are presently trying topical antihistamines on the bad spots.

I am hesitating with the antigen injections. Most of her test results were so borderline for an allergy that I don't have high expectations of success. We do have a friend that had an amazing turnaround using the shots on her dog.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 9:50AM
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We just (last week) started our two cats on a food trial/elimination diet to see if food allergies have been the cause of both cats' over-grooming. One of our cats has been over-grooming on and off for the past few years. We attributed it to her being orally fixated/separation anxiety. Then, our other cat started over-grooming this past winter (and surpassed the first with the size/# of her bald areas). This cat had been Dx'd with eosoniphilic granuloma complex years ago, but hadn't had any over-grooming issues at all until these past 6 months. Our vet said that they are now thinking or finding that eosoniphils granuloma could be related to/be caused by food allergies.

So, both cats received long-acting cortisone injections last week to jump start the process, and they have been placed on a hypoallergenic diet (Royal Canin Duck and Pea; dry and wet). Since receiving the shots (last Thursday), I am noticing hair regrowth.

They need to stay on the food for ~12 weeks, and then we'll evaluate their condition,and/or whether to try to reintroduce their old food, or keep them on the hypoallergenic food indefinitely (or switch to a food available in stores, one with same ingred, minus the problematic ones--the Rx food is expensive I think, and we've been feeding EVO, not a cheap food by any stretch of the imagination).

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 10:48AM
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When my dog was doing that the vet told me it was dry skin and to put bacon grease on his dog food.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 8:33PM
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What I have found is the reason cats get "allergies" (any skin issue is now called "allergies") is usually because of nutritional deficiency. Have you seen what's in cat food? Do you realize cats are strict carnivores? Really. No requirement for carbohydrates at all! When I actually understood that, I started making food for my cats. Seriously, how could two totally unrelated cats have the exact same "allergies"?

So, after spending in the ballpark of $700 at the vet with no real results, I did a ton of research. Cats' immune systems can't thrive with a carb filled, grain filled diet. So, we now have NO allergies (and NO SHEDDING...seriously) and NO steroids, No vet expense. It's been 2 years.

I mix ground chicken, turkey or beef (raw). Hard boiled eggs with the shells crushed finely so they are getting calcium. Salmon oil and a product called dinovite feline supplement that has more omega fatty acids, enzymes, minerals and vitamins etc. specifically for cats in a whole food supplement. I never throw left over meat away and treat them with canned salmon sometimes as well.

The one that was pretty fat is now at a good weight and they both have no more itchy skin. I feel bad that I may have harmed them with steroids on and off for a year.

It's been just about 2 year and my cats have no "allergies"

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 11:45AM
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I have 3 cats 1 looked like she was in a fire last years she was one big rash. Shes allergic to anything with fish or fish oil in it. Her skin cleared up after some prednisone shots from the vet & loratadine every day for a week & then every other day after that.
Loratadine is an antihistamine that doesn't make her drool they way benadryl does & it doesn't knock them out. They also get olive oil every other day a teaspoon in their food.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 12:17AM
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If you have to give allergy shots to your furry friend, please insist that your vet gives you syringes with 1/4" needles! Our vet dermatologist gave us syringes with 1/2" needles, and our poor kitty cried during the shots and then hid from us. After two shots, my husband, our cat, and I were all miserable! So I asked if we could have shorter needles. And what a difference that made! Administering the shots now is practically a non-event. No crying, no hiding, We're all happy, and we're hoping our Coco's fur will grow back in. (She's allergic to many things, but mostly house dust. She's an indoor kitty.)

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 9:45AM
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