Nov 6, 2009 - It is possible for cats to be allergic to dogs

If you’re allergic to dogs and cats, here are some tips to help alleviate your allergies to them:
Brodie is our 7 year old West Highland White Terrier. He has had no coat or skin problems until about a year ago. The problem is that his back gets extremely oily and he loses the undercoat. His back is also very sensitive to the touch and he tries to scratch it. Nothing had changed in the environment except one thing. Our daughter graduated from college and moved back into the house with her cat. We had never had a cat in the house. Can our dog have a cat allergy? We have another Westie as well and he doesn’t have any problems. Thanks! Sharon Conant Columbia, TN Yes, but westies are very allergy prone in general. They also respond to stress, household changes, seasonal issues, etc. Also can be allergic to people.
In general, cat allergens tend to be more potent than dog allergens, for those who are sensitized.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, nearly a third of all Americans are allergic to cats or dogs, and among them, there are twice as many people who are than dogs. The results of an 18-year study presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology’s national meeting in 2013 showed that people with asthma who were diagnosed with had more than doubled during that period. Tips to help rid your home of pet dander and hair if you or a loved one has a cat or dog allergy:Up to a  of Americans with allergies are allergic to cats and dogs. And twice as many people have cat allergies than have dog allergies.A. Many patients hope to purchase a “hypoallergenic” dog or cat, but unfortunately these pets do not exist.
The sad news is that there is no cure for allergies in dogs and cats. There are, however, ways to decrease allergen exposure and to address allergy symptoms in pets. "We routinely test dogs for reactions to cat dander," she says. "This includes a small amount of allergen placed under the skin to test for reactions, just like in human allergy testing," Cain says.Allergies in dogs and cats occur when the immune system overreacts to something that isn't really a threat. For example, reacting to peanuts, air-borne pollen, or laundry detergent—none of which should cause harm. The material that causes an allergic reaction is called an antigen. Antigens are usually proteins. The term "allergen" is often used rather than the term antigen, but these two terms are slightly different. Antigen refers to any substance causing allergies, and allergen refers to ingested or air-borne substances causing allergies.The most common clinical sign of food allergy is non-seasonal pruritus, which is usually generalized. Pruritus may also be primarily directed at the feet or ears. Very rarely, food allergic dogs with skin lesions but without pruritus have been reported. The most common primary dermatologic lesions are papules and erythema; common secondary lesions are epidermal collarettes (usually indicating a pyoderma) pyotraumatic dermatitis (“hot spots”) hyperpigmentation, and seborrhea. Clinical signs of food allergy have been reported in Cocker Spaniels identical to the idiopathic seborrhea associated with that breed. Food allergy as the underlying cause of idiopathic onychodystrophy (misshapen, splitting claws [nails]) has been reported in two dogs. Food allergy in cats may present as pruritus of the head and face, milliary dermatitis, or one of the manifestations of the eosinophilic granuloma complex.Yucca is a natural anti-inflammatory that helps the immune system function normally. It helps resolve symptoms without side effects common with steroids. Yucca should be given daily for allergies. , a concentrated liquid medication is a powerful product that is safe for cats and dogs with allergies. It can also be given in your pet's food or applied directly to areas of itching skin.Certainly, some owners are unable or unwilling to cook for their pet for the period necessary. In such cases, the dermatology service at UC Davis uses commercially available limited-antigen diets. For dogs these would include Purina LA (salmonid); Iams FP (fish and potato) and KO (kangaroo and oats); IVD duck, venison, whitefish, or rabbit plus potato; Hills D/D (duck or fish and rice); or Waltham fish and rice. For cats, these would include IVD duck, venison, or rabbit plus potato; Hills D/D feline; or Iams lamb and barley. Another option for animals who already have been fed many foods, or whose dietary history is unknown, is the use of hydrolyzed protein diets, in which the protein source is hydrolyzed to small molecular weights, thus avoiding the body’s “immunologic radar.” Such foods include Purina HA (hydrolyzed soy), Hills Z/D, or DVM Exclude. Use of a commercially prepared diet will give an approximately 90% chance of determining a food allergy; however, none of these diets will work for all animals, and failure of an animal to improve on such a diet may warrant trying another one, or a home-cooked diet in another trial.