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Cat Allergies (not you, the cat) :-)

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FireGoddess

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Anybody ever get their cat an allergy shot? I'm at somewhat of a loss and have an appt with the vet on Monday morning.

Chloe has allergies. She's been sneezing the last few months and one of her eyes is constantly running. She even plucked some fur out from the back of her neck and her front toes, which according to the vet is a typical canine response to allergies. Maybe she thinks she's a dog.
She definitely is not sick/does not have a cold.

Anyway, the vet recommended half a bendadryl pill twice a day. That ain't happening. I did it for a week and after the first day, the cat ran from me on sight. She hid under the bed all the time, wouldn't come out, and wouldn't come near me. Clearly the emotional trauma was worse than any physical benefit (which I never saw).

I tried crushing the benadryl in her food. She instantly went on a 2 day hunger strike (which was how long I could stand to see her eat nothing). She could smell it. Ugh. Wouldn't even taste the food, even though there were no alternate food sources! So I called the vet this morning and asked about allergy shots, hence our appt on Monday. Has anyone gone through this or gotten a shot for their kitty? Did it work? I don't know that her allergies are severe enough to warrant a shot...but otherwise, they'll end up being untreated. Advice?
 

larussel03

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make absolutely she doesn''t have cancer--I''m not saying this to scare you, but my old dog developed sudden allergy like symptoms, around when my parents moved, so they and the vet came to the conclusion that it was new environmental allergies. Soon, blood started to come out and they thought he was sneezing so hard he busted a turbinate, still allergy related. Then he formed a lump in between his eyes that kept growing, but at first the vet and my parents thought it was an absess from an infection that would have to be drained. Turns out he had cancer in his sinus and the way they could tell is when what they went to drain the lump, it was hard. Then they biopsied what they thought was an absess from an infection stemming from the allergies and it turned out to be cancer.
 

ellaila

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Oh, FG, I feel your (and Chloe''s) pain


My previous cat Jasmine had allergies for years, and it was so hard to watch. She literally licked her belly bare (btw, be careful what you Google - a few of those words bring up some interesting sites
) and would sometimes bite at it till it bled. I tried different foods (she was eating quite gourmet dinners for a while!), different detergents, different litter, different everything -- none of it seemed to be the cause. They eventually chalked it up to environmental factors that I couldn''t control, and I had to give her steroids (vetalog) every few days for years. She was incredibly good with it, which totally shocked me -- she would actually jump on the bed when she heard the pill bottle because I always gave her a few treats after. So I definitely recommend bribery!!! It worked for me!

Funny, no vet ever even mentioned allergy shots to me -- which I wish they had because long-term steroid use is horrible for people and animals alike.

Any ideas what Chloe is allergic to?

I hope she gets some relief soon, the poor baby!
 

FireGoddess

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[Sweetpea] Yikes, that's scary. She did have her annual exam in oh...November or so? And nothing came up then. She also had bloodwork done recently because she had her teeth cleaned and had to be sedated, so they do a full workup before doing anything with anesthesia.
 

sumbride

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Ah, FG, you need to try Pill Pockets!

They''re completely awesome! They are a smelly, squishy cat treat that have a hole to put a pill in. seal it up and tell your kitty she''s getting a treat! This works to give my Lucy her prozac every night. She won''t go to bed until she''s had her "treat". You can pick them up at petco or petsmart, and if they work, there are several places online that sell them in bulk. Try all the flavors to see which she likes best.

Lucy has allergies too but hers aren''t quite as bad as Chloe''s, thankfully. Selkie''s cat is actually allergic to CATS! crazy, eh?
 

FireGoddess

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Hi Ellaila!


Chloe could be like her human mom (me) and be allergic to something but noone knows what! I have mild allergies and even had bloodwork done to get a full allergen panel...and I was allergic to NOTHING on the list. NOTHING! So for me it''s still a mystery.

I was thinking she might be allergic to something in the place we''ve been renting, since we just moved there in August. But then the vet told me that I had brought her in during the winter of 2005 too for cold-like symptoms too so the vet thought she has seasonal allergies.

I can''t mess with her food because she''s on Hill''s XD, which balances her urinary pH (she has had kidney stones in the past), and she''s been on the same litter forever...it''s driving me crazy!!!

The issue is that she has always been neurotic, and over the 10 years I''ve had her she has come out of her shell, but she still is a freakishly scared kitty at heart. So giving her any regular medication throws her into a panic it takes weeks to undo!!
 

FireGoddess

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Sumbride, I have a petco near me and will try those this weekend. She doesn''t hork down her treats without thinking...she''s been known to cleverly eat around a pill. But I will definitely try them and see if they work.
 

sumbride

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Date: 3/2/2007 4:25:52 PM
Author: FireGoddess
Sumbride, I have a petco near me and will try those this weekend. She doesn''t hork down her treats without thinking...she''s been known to cleverly eat around a pill. But I will definitely try them and see if they work.
Lucy did that too for a while, so I would give her two. The first one she would tentatively eat, but if she saw me holding the 2nd one, she''d get so excited she''d swallow the first one quick to get the 2nd one. I tricked her with it pretty well. The liver and the chicken flavors are her favorite, she doesn''t like the salmon as much.
 

Finding_Neverland

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We had a cat that developed "seasonal allergies".

When she was about 8-10 years old, she started going thru the same thing you described. Snorting, sneezing, eyes running, even licking fur off her tail. Happened Spring and Fall.

We did shots and they worked wonders. I believe our Vet used cortizone shots that were good for a couple of weeks. Most times, 1 shot/season did the trick. A couple of times, she got 2 shots in a season. If the ragweed and pollen or mold was really bad and hanging on.
 

Catmom

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FireGoddess, I''m so, so sorry Chloe has allergies. My tiny one has had allergies pretty much all her life. I think she''s allergic to everything! Not only does she lick herself bare, especially on the back of her legs but she has never had normal poops. On her good days she has loose smelly poops. You don''t want to be near her on her bad days. Terrible gas and diarreah. I can''t tell you how many times she''s been to the Vet. These days we''re just happy if we can control the diarreah. I''ve learned to never change her diet or litter otherwise it''s back into the terrible cycle again. She''s also a terrible medicine taker. She''s usually very sweet but turns into a shrew if you try and give her any medicine. Sometimes though, if you roll up the pill into a ball of food or cheese she downs it with no problem. It doesn''t always work, though. My vet has never said anything about allergy shots either. Next time I''m in I''ll have to ask him about that. I hope she gets better soon and this doesn''t turn into a chronic lifelong ordeal like we have.

Here is my smelly cat. You can kind of see in the picture that the back of her legs are chewed up.

 

FireGoddess

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Good plan Sumbride. Maybe I''ll trick her with an empty one first so she''s like ''mmmmm'' and then BAM! put the pill in the second one.

Finding Neverland, your situation sounds very similar to ours. Chloe will be 11 this month and I''d say this has happened the past 2 winters so you give me hope that perhaps the shot will do the trick.

Catmom, I''m sorry to hear your little love has grappled with allergies all her life! It is hard to watch them nitpicking at their fur. I will let you know if we end up getting the shot on Monday and how it goes!
 

ellaila

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Definitely keep us posted, FG!

ETA: our cat Monkey also has some random seasonal allergy (we think), and he COUGHS. It''s the weirdest thing. It''s not a hairball, it''s a cough. Breaks my heart!

Catmom, your kitty is so beautiful! Stinky or not, she''s a love
 

Gypsy

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My hally has allergies. We give her pills with pill pockets. But before those... we were discussing custom made RX treats or shots.

Have you tried pill pocket? You can get them from Pet smart or the vet.

My hally can't stand to eat medicated food either. Stopped drinking cat milk entirely b/c one time I put a decongestant in it.

((HUGS)) and good luck FG.. please let us know how it goes!
 

omieluv

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I am so glad that Omie is not the only cat out there with allergies. She has one eye that waters so bad it looks like she is crying, poor baby. I feel so bad for her, but this only occurs every couple of months or so. Not sure if this warrants a vet visit b/c she get''s so stressed when I take her in.
 

Selkie

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My cat Sam has allergies. Boy, does she. She''s the freak-o cat who is allergic to CAT DANDER. She''s also allergic to dust mites, pollen, grass, and pretty much every other allergen they tested her for. She always has watery eyes and her ears create this copious black wax that needs to be cleaned once a week (it''s not ear mites, she''s regularly treated for them and it occurs non-stop). It''s constant, but gets worse during certain seasons. The technical name is atopic dermatitis, and yes, it''s a lot more common in dogs, but obviously not unknown in cats. I''m surprised how many PSer''s have allergic cats!

She also licks incessantly and chews her hair out on her back, belly, and legs if she goes untreated. As a result, she sometimes gets fungal and bacterial skin infections. She was six when I got her, so I have no idea when the allergies developed. The regular vet I went to suggested taking her to a veterinary dermatologist, and we''ve been taking her there every six months like clockwork ever since (5 years ago).

A regular vet is fine for diagnosing and treating skin conditions, and vet. derms. can be hard to find (I''m in LA, where they have pet manicurists, so of course I was able to find one here). However, the main advantage, I think, is that they have specialized knowledge of new treatments.It might be worth seeking one out to see if they have any alternative treatment options.

Currently she''s on the steroid triamcinolone and the immune system suppressant Atopica or cyclosporine (which is used to prevent organ rejection in transplant patients, believe it or not.) Unfortunately, these are both in pill form and need to be given every three days. It is less than the benadryl you have to give, at least. I also did a round of injected immunotherapy treatments (a shot once a week, which I learned to to administer...and you thought pilling a cat was a b*itch!) which had NO effect. However, those shots are different from the cortisone shots you''ll probably get, so that might be your best option.

At first, this was sheer hell, but watching her rip herself to shreds was even worse
. The food thing doesn''t work for her at all either, but like Sumbride suggested, if you can lull her into submission and get her relaxed, it''s easier to catch her and get the pill down her throat with less trouble. I varied the time and the situation in which I tried to give her the pills, so she didn''t associate one particular place or sound with the pill. She is a very timid cat and used to run and hide like yours does. Believe it or not, she actually has gotten used to being pilled, and shrugs it off.

It does sound like your cat''s allergies are less severe, and may be seasonal, so the shot may work well for you. I don''t have too many other suggestions, but I wish you and your kitty luck. It''s a good thing they''re cute, isn''t it??
 

Selkie

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It''s all worth it...

Samcuddle2.jpg
 

ForteKitty

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OMG... those are the biggest paws i''ve ever seen on a cat!! your kitty has bunny feet! Sooooooo CUTE!!
 

Gypsy

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Date: 3/3/2007 2:50:54 AM
Author: ForteKitty
OMG... those are the biggest paws i''ve ever seen on a cat!! your kitty has bunny feet! Sooooooo CUTE!!
They are bunny feet !!! Oh how precious!
 

Lorelei

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FG, I have had success with a bit of hard cheese such as cheddar and cat tabs, you can make your very own pill pocket and the smell of the cheese helps mask any from the pill. Worth a try.

Oh Selkie, I love those feets too
 

FireGoddess

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Very cute feeties Selkie! And thanks for the allergy info. Chloe seems to have only developed allergies in the last 2 years or so? I'm wondering if it's like Finding Neverland's cat who developed seasonal allergies as a 'senior' kitty. I hope a shot is an option for us.

As I suspected, the Pill Pockets have become just an expensive treat with holes in them. Darn cat! I fed her two...the empty one got eaten in 4 pieces so I was worried the one with the pill in it would be a no go. Sure enough there were a few bite marks on it, but she refused to eat it.


A coworker recommended dousing it in kitty gravy. I think Chloe would lick the gravy and leave the pill. She's a defiant one, I'll give her that. Do you remember that scene in the Princess Bride where they have a drink to the death, and the chalices are poisoned with iocane powder? Odorless, tasteless, dissolves instantly in liquid? I'm sure Chloe could sniff that out.


I did get her some little tinsel play balls today, which she totally freaked out over, so at least I felt I got something right.


By the way, I don't know if any of you catties have tried it, but the Petkin liquid you put in their drinking water to keep their teeth clean and breath fresh ROCKS! At least, she can't detect it in the water, which is a concern in this house. LOL. I hope it does what it says it does and keeps tartar/plaque from building up.
 

Gypsy

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Great info on the petkin... gonna buy that next time. Don't feel bad about the Pill Pockets, Duncan won't touch them either. I had to have him on anitboitics for three weeks. The pills, regular were 18 bucks. 8 dollar bag of pill pocket... total of 22 bucks, right? Oh no, not for Mr. Finicky. I had to have the vet order custom made tuna treats with the anitbiotic actually mixed in to them in an undetectable way from this ONE place that specializes in such things. Cost? 90 bucks. He loved them though.
 

FireGoddess

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LOL Gypsy, I didn''t even know they could MAKE custom antibiotic treats!
I''ll have to hide that info in the back of my mind as a last resort cuz of the
. All of this for a cat that will try to eat ribbon and dried up pine tree needles and barf those back up, but won''t take medicine wrapped up in a tasty squishy smelly chicken treat. Ya gotta just laugh.

This the Petkin Oral Care stuff...I just love it! She has no clue it''s in the water. Which is saying alot.

http://www.petkin.com/1-800-PETKIN-1/product_information.jsp?products_id=82

 

sumbride

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So sorry she didn''t like the pill pockets! They''ve been a lifesaver in my house!

That water additive sounds great... I have a house full of rescue kitties with bad teeth. I''ll have to pick some of that up. They''ve never taken to tooth brushing but they do like feline greenies... but I think they inhale them too fast to actually make a dent.

Oh, and at least she barfs the ribbon back up! curly ribbon has been banned in this house after Lucy swallowed a very long piece that went through her, but not without some help from me at then end! SHUDDER! It was HORRIBLE!!!
 

Catmom

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Date: 3/4/2007 9:34:11 AM
Author: sumbride

Oh, and at least she barfs the ribbon back up! curly ribbon has been banned in this house after Lucy swallowed a very long piece that went through her, but not without some help from me at then end! SHUDDER! It was HORRIBLE!!!
LOL, yeah, we learned how not to put tinsel on our tree that way.
 

Selkie

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Date: 3/3/2007 10:58:05 PM
Author: FireGoddess
Very cute feeties Selkie! And thanks for the allergy info. Chloe seems to have only developed allergies in the last 2 years or so? I''m wondering if it''s like Finding Neverland''s cat who developed seasonal allergies as a ''senior'' kitty. I hope a shot is an option for us.

A coworker recommended dousing it in kitty gravy. I think Chloe would lick the gravy and leave the pill. She''s a defiant one, I''ll give her that. Do you remember that scene in the Princess Bride where they have a drink to the death, and the chalices are poisoned with iocane powder? Odorless, tasteless, dissolves instantly in liquid? I''m sure Chloe could sniff that out.


By the way, I don''t know if any of you catties have tried it, but the Petkin liquid you put in their drinking water to keep their teeth clean and breath fresh ROCKS! At least, she can''t detect it in the water, which is a concern in this house. LOL. I hope it does what it says it does and keeps tartar/plaque from building up.
Hee hee...her feet really aren''t that big, the photo just came out foreshortened, but I love that pic. Esp. since she has her front legs crossed over each other. She''s a cutie. Damn good thing for her, too, with all the vet bills!

Thanks for the rec. on the Petkin, too. I hope things go well at the vet.
 

FireGoddess

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So we went to the vet this morning. I felt so guilty catching her and putting her in the carrier...she was yelling at me like ''After all the snuggling we did this weekend, how could you do this to me? I trusted you!!!!'' Poor baby. There''s another 2 weeks before she can be near me without flinching if I move.


I reminded the vet of what has been going on and said that I was hoping a shot would do the trick, but that I was concerned about how they work (ie. if they suppress the immune system), since Chloe has a low white blood cell count. (She doesn''t have FIV or FeLV, she''s just special
) So the vet said that was a possible concern and to play it safe, gave her a ''medium'' lasting shot. She got triamcinolone, which is supposed to last about 2 weeks. If Chloe gets better and then shows symptoms again a few weeks from now, then we know she can tolerate the shot and she can get something longer lasting if need be. I hope this works!!! She''s back home now, has gotten her fishy treats, and is recovering from the mental trauma.
 

ellaila

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Awww, here''s hoping Chloe''s feeling better soon!!! To quote something that always makes me laugh when YOU say it: head bonks!!
 

Finding_Neverland

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I just had to check back on you and Chloe, FG.

I''m hoping the shot does the trick for Chloe! I know they worked wonders for our bare tailed female. Poor thing. She liked a stripe from her bottom along the top of her tail, clean of fur. Once we got her seen by the Vet and got a shot, the fur grew back quickly. I think the naked tail bothered me more than the runny eyes did.


We used to have 2 cats. We think they were a brother sister pair. Someone threw them out on the road, in front of our house years ago. The female died when she was 15 years old. She developed renal failure. We found it with just enough time for the kids to adjust to how sick she was before she died.

Our baby, the Tom Cat, has been sick this weekend. He''s nearly 21 so whenever he gets ill it''s a concern. This cat hates to be covered up, but Friday evening, all he wanted was to sit in Momma''s lap with his blankie over him. He''s doing better now so we think, hope, it was just a stomach bug.
 

lumpkin

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Date: 3/5/2007 2:32:15 PM
Author: FireGoddess
So we went to the vet this morning. I felt so guilty catching her and putting her in the carrier...she was yelling at me like ''After all the snuggling we did this weekend, how could you do this to me? I trusted you!!!!'' Poor baby. There''s another 2 weeks before she can be near me without flinching if I move.


I reminded the vet of what has been going on and said that I was hoping a shot would do the trick, but that I was concerned about how they work (ie. if they suppress the immune system), since Chloe has a low white blood cell count. (She doesn''t have FIV or FeLV, she''s just special
) So the vet said that was a possible concern and to play it safe, gave her a ''medium'' lasting shot. She got triamcinolone, which is supposed to last about 2 weeks. If Chloe gets better and then shows symptoms again a few weeks from now, then we know she can tolerate the shot and she can get something longer lasting if need be. I hope this works!!! She''s back home now, has gotten her fishy treats, and is recovering from the mental trauma.
Awww, poor Chloe. I had a cat who bit the hair off of her back legs, too. It was years ago and the vet never suggested shots but had some ointment to put on it. I didn''t use it because I was afraid she would ingest it. Hopefully the shots will do the trick.
 

diamondfan

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Firegoddess, does allergy typically affect one eye only? I ask because Maya (dog) had that issue and the eye specialist said allergies would affect both eyes...also, have you tried pill pockets for cats? you smush it all around the pill and it really disguises things. Maya got to the point where she would not eat her food even after I stopped putting meds in it, and she is an EATER so it was worrisome to me. Petco usually has them...I would rather get a benadryl in her at home than have to go to the vet or do shots myself...the pill pockets are worth trying!
 
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