Cat Allergies: Symptoms & Treatment - Healthline
This kind of allergy is the most likely cause of a cat allergic reaction. Fleas inject saliva in the cat when it bites and there are many substances present that can trigger a reaction. Like humans, it is possible to trigger a reaction with a very small amount of irritant. Sometimes only one flea bite is all it takes. The usual symptoms include scabs, thin unthrifty fur in the area and bumps. The cat will want to scratch and bite the irritated area making the reaction worse. It may also lick or groom excessively. Areas most affected is usually at the base of the tail and the area around the lower back. The head and around the ears can also be affected. Sometimes the sores get infected.Flea Allergy Dermatitis (or FAD) is the name of the condition. The sores and scabs are sometimes referred to as Miliary dermatitis. This is a descriptive term used in veterinary medicine to describe a multifocal distribution of skin lesions, with no identifiable pattern. The term miliary means millet-like, as the feel of running one's hands through the coat of an affected cat is comparable to the feeling if a cat's coat contains millet seeds. (from Wikipedia) Although fleas are the most common cause, mosquito bites, ticks, and other insects can cause reactions.The irritation is fairly characteristics and recognizable. Diagnosis is often confirmed by treating the animal for fleas and seeing if there is an improvement. Along with flea treatment of the cat its living area must also be rid of fleas.If flea treatment is ineffective then biopsy or scraping of the affected area might be performed. Further investigation might include subdermal injection of selected irritants and observation of reactions. This is similar to human diagnostic techniques.If the cause is mosquito or other biting fly, removal from exposure will be a good indication of the cause. pageBesides treating the cat and its living quarters to get rid of fleas any side conditions will be treated. If infection has developed in the affected area, then antibiotics might be prescribed.Antihistamines or steroids might be used to deal with irritation and reduce itching. Hyposensitisation therapy might be used. As in human "allergy desensitization--allergy shots" a cat might be injected with gradually increasing doses of flea antigens. This treatment gradually desensitises the immune system and reduces the allergic reaction.Food allergy in cats is not uncommon. This might be triggered by grains in particular wheat, dairy products, eggs, or animal proteins such as fish and beef.
Why are we going on about ancient agriculture? What does it have to do with cat scabs? It can be alarming to pet your cat and find her back suddenly peppered with scabs. This feline skin condition is known as , and it takes its name from scabrous sores that resemble millets. Like millet itself, this skin allergy affecting cats is not just one thing, but a symptomatic name that encompasses a range of potential allergens and reactions to them. Let’s look more closely at the possible reasons for these scabs to pop up on your cat’s back, neck, and tail.
It's not your cat's fur that causes allergies, but proteins found in her saliva, urine, sweat and dead flakes of skin, or dander. Even if you own a short-haired cat, she can shed as much dander and other allergens as long-haired breeds. The immune system in allergy sufferers falsely interprets dander and other harmless substances as harmful invaders. As a result, the immune system tries to protect the body from this perceived danger by releasing antibodies, producing inflammation in lungs, eyes, nasal passageways or on the skin. When an allergic infant comes into contact with cat allergens, her immune system releases more than 40 chemicals, including histamine, according to BabyCenter.In this video from the Cat Health Guide on cat skin allergies, Dr. Patrick McHale, DVM describes the steps a veterinarian will take when diagnosing and treating a cat skin allergy problem (see for more information). With skin allergies in cats, the first step is to check for a flea problem. A veterinarian will look for signs such as black specks or "flea dirt." If this is the case then steps will be taken to kill the fleas and provide a preventative. If the cat is already on flea treatment, then the vet will look at feline skin allergy due to inhaled allergens or a food allergy. Any food component or ingredient can be the cause of an allergic skin reaction in a cat or kitten including something as common as fish. First a veterinarian will experiment with an elimination diet which seeks to identify the ingredient causing the problem. If it cannot be identified, then a hypoallergenic diet can be considered.