ANTIHISTAMINES FOR CATS - Cheyenne West Animal Hospital
Since histamine plays such a crucial role in bee, wasp, hornet, and yellow jacket stings, it is not surprising that diphenhydramine (also known as Benadryl), which is an antihistamine, is used to treat them. When I treat a cat for such a sting, I administer roughly one milligram of diphenhydramine by intravenous or intramuscular injection. I also sometimes prescribe the same dose orally. (In cases of shock, epinephrine or steroids may also be necessary.) Such treatment usually leads to resolution of symptoms within hours.
Antihistamines are used commonly in both human and veterinary medicine for allergies, hay fever, skin disease, etc. When accidentally ingested by dogs and cats, antihistamine poisoning can result in clinical signs of severe agitation, lethargy, sedation, aggression, abnormal heart rate, abnormal blood pressure, vomiting, diarrhea, inappetance, seizures, respiratory depression, and even death.
Antihistamines may exacerbate certain forms of glaucoma (an eye disorder). As well, they must be used cautiously in animals with heart disease (, ) and cats with . Some antihistamines have been linked to cognitive decline (dementia) in humans. No such link has yet been made in animals.Antihistamines affect every individual organism differently, so it is important to carefully consider which kind of antihistamine is right for your pet. It is not recommended to administer antihistamines to your cat until you have talked to a veterinarian about the different antihistamines available and what the daily dosage should be.A state of being allergic to something is caused by an oversensitive immune system. The immune system in an allergic cat confuses harmless particles, such as pollen or dust, with dangerous organisms, such as harmful bacteria. In response to what it interprets as a threat, the cat's immune system releases chemicals called histamines into its blood stream. Histamines work well for combating infections, but only result in discomfort when applied to harmless particles. Antihistamines are a branch of synthetic chemicals that inhibit the release of histamines into the body, thereby lessening the effects of allergic reactions.One type of antihistamines may be administered for a limited amountof time, due to the fact that the cat may build up immunity to the drugand have no response after 2 to 3 months of treatment.If your cat suffers from allergies, you could relieve him of a lot of discomfort if you started to give it antihistamines. However, you must remember to research antihistamine doses for cats, or talk to your vet about the proper dosage to administer. The side effects of improperly administered antihistamines could be more uncomfortable for a cat than the allergy the antihistamines were originally administered to treat.Chlorpheniramine is a low-cost antihistamine medicine used to treat a variety of allergy symptoms. A typical chlorpheniramine regimen will require that you give your cat several doses daily. Therefore, some people opt for treatment plans that are less time-intensive and easier to manage, or for plans that don't require that you give your cat dose after dose of medicine. If you suspect your dog or cat were poisoned by antihistamines, contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately for life-saving treatment recommendations.When , he told me he was allergic to cats. That fact shocked me, given the adorable little kitten sitting on his lap! The truth was, he took an antihistamine pill daily to manage his symptoms as well as choosing one of the more hypoallergenic cat breeds. So, he had it under control. It was a small price to pay for the company of a loving pet.