Okay, so I just took Akira to the vet. The vet did tell me what I already knew--that Akira has some kind of allergy, since she has been scratching like crazy. She prescribed a topical steroid called Animax and told me that I can also use Benadryl cream. The vet thinks that Akira is likely allergic to beef and/or salmon as well as grains. It could be something in the environment, too, because my own allergies have been driving me crazy big time lately, too--for about as long as Akira has been scratching more than usual. It could be all of the above, too. So, I was told to try the process of elimination by using just the turkey Wellness grain free. It's a lot like an elimination diet that people go through for food sensitivities.
The vet had said that Benadryl cream by itself would be enough, but instinctively I knew it wasn't because I had used some sparingly on her itchiest areas and she was clearly still itching really bad. And, I have allergies myself and sometimes need a touch of steroid to calm down the worst symptoms, so I thought the same thing would apply to the cat--to use the steroid cream temporarily, to calm down the skin inflammation enough for the skin to heal--then use the Benadryl in the manner that the vet told me after that, as it is a gentle antihistamine. She also said to buy some Zyrtec and give Akira 1/4 tablet each day for her allergies.
She said that what I had read online about giving oral Benadryl to cats for their allergies is correct, but my instincts to not give it to her without talking to the vet first were right on, too. She wants me to use Zyrtec for the cat right now and told me how much to give her. Since this seems like the conservative approach, I trust what the vet says, although I do think I'll hold back on giving her any oral medication 'til I see how well she does without it.
Does this sound like the right thing to do? To first see how well she does with just the topical medications before trying to administer oral antihistamines--as in 1/4 of a Zyrtec that her vet advised me to give to her?
I mean after losing my previous cat to colon cancer, I just worry about giving anything to Akira orally, because I don't want to go through all that again. Although, except for some itchy allergies, Akira is actually in good health.
When I first got Akira, she was already overweight. I knew she had lost some of the excess weight, though, because she is a lot better shaped. Her doctor said that she lost approximately 1 1/2 pounds. She still needs to lose a little more weight, but it looks like she will lose the rest of the weight without too much effort. Grains are also fattening, so going grain free helped in this regard, too--not just because of her allergies. Her previous owner used to buy cheap stuff in bulk from one of the warehouse stores in an effort to be able to continue to be able to afford to feed her. At that time Akira hadn't shown any signs of having these allergies, so her previous owner was unaware of this before she died. She had certainly done the best she could to take care of Akira under the circumstances she herself was in. That was a slow and steady weight loss, too.
This is definitely the right thing to do. Most vets will tell you to try less invasive care and eliminate causes. Food is definitely the first in their minds, usually.
When did Akira start to show those symptoms? Has it always been like that? Do you think it could be weather changes? I am not sure where you live, but some cats are allergic to weather changes (more specifically, probably something that comes with changes in the weather, like pollen release etc)
Topical treatment is better to start. I remember, when my cat Abby got infested with ringworm, the vet first gave him Lamisil cream, and a medicated shampoo. Because the ringworm was so severe, he then gave me Lamisil tablets. So definitely right....in that most vets will do the elimination process, and choose topical treatment over antihistamines.
Well, so far, as it has only been overnight, the topical steroid cream has provided quite a bit of relief for Akira already. That's only one application so far, too. I'm about to apply it for a second time on her most irritated place, which is in front of her ear on top of her head. It is already less red looking. I knew getting the inflammation to go down sooner rather than later was going to be more effective than Benadryl cream by itself, since I had already done that before taking kitty to the vet.
hi...I too have a kitty that suffers from allergies...terrible frustrating to deal with..and to pinpoint.
Cats can suffer from all the same allergies that people do only theirs manifest on their skin, opposed to ours which usually manifest as sneezing, running nose/eyes etc...
We have been through all the elimination process. trouble is like us humans when one allergy develops it can and does lead to allergies to everything!!
I'm afraid unless Akira is the exception or you are lucky and are getting this allergy in the bud.....its my experience topicals will only work temporarily, as soon as treatment is stopped the breakout will return....
From all the newest reading my Vet and I have done, its BEST that the new food you try NOT be anything with feathers...chicken,turkey,duck....
we tried venison but he wouldn't eat....so as of yesterday he is EATING FISH, anything fish my vet said, tuna,salmon,sardines etc...
He is also currently on an antibiotic just incase the scratching has brought abt a secondary infection....and that is also working great at the moment...he is scab free.
also wanted to mention his scabs like Akira's are also localized to over the eye and top of head, which is consistant with a condition called EOSINOPHILIC PLAQUE.
best of luck to you and Akira, this is a most frustrating condition to say the least....lets keep in touch to see whats working ok.
Oh you can read my posts and the replys I got from ASK A VET...posted in mid October.
Thanks for the reply. The vet said that cats are often allergic to fish. I was thinking that because animals and people both tend to crave the things they're allergic to that this was a strong possibility, because Akira loves salmon.
There is also a likelihood that there is something in the environment in my apartment, like dust or something, that is bothering Akira, because my allergies have been really bothering me a lot, too. I'm trying to narrow this down, too. It's a reasonable assumption, since my own allergies are driving me nuts, too.
I will certainly check out your posts on ASK A VET. I may not be able to do it tonight, but I will definitely check this out.
all goes hand in hand with the cats allergies, food, dust, mites, pollen...allergic to one and most likely sensitive to ALL...
The highest food allergy is birds......and than possibly fish.
but the trick with food allergies is to feed them something they haven't been EXPOSED to before, for mine he's never had fish food...so it was a good one to change him too...
We just need to keep digging there has to be an answer for these poor guys other than medications....
What you said about food, dust mites and pollen and how if allergic to one then likely allergic to all makes sense to me, since that's how it is for me, too.
Feeding them something they haven't been exposed to is pretty tricky. Akira's favorite has always been salmon. Her vet thinks that fish is a more common allergy than poultry. Well, time will tell. My thinking is that since she has shown before that she craves the thing she is allergic to, like grains, that she very likely is allergic to her favorite--salmon. But, I know that it's still going to take a process of elimination to figure out for sure which ingredient it is that is bothering Akira. I would give canned food with venison, but I tried that one before--she hated it. She definitely doesn't like venison.
I don't know if Akira has a dairy allergy or not. One step at a time, I suppose. But, at some point I could try the yogurt. I haven't put any of the creams on her yet at all today and I haven't noticed any serious scratching. This is good, because the less steroids are involved, the better. Probably more effective when it is necessary to use them, too, if they're not used all the time.
hi....yes so very frustrating to figure out isn't it!!
the thing is with food and allergies my vet said to give them something they have NEVER been exposed to before, so if she's never had chicken than try chicken see what I'm saying?...could be she's develped an allergy to salmon for sure....just keep away from anything with grains...I have one too that can't eat grains, I feed him INNOVA EVO and he loves it and he is very healthy....there are also many others on the market.
My Sami sure DIDN'T like the venison either nor the duck, may try lamb next time??
hi the only LAMB I can find is mixed in with chicken so thats out.
there is lamb avail if you go to a raw diet....so maybe thats what I'll have to try.
right now he is loving his fish so much, my vet said leave well enough alone, see if he breaks out again, than we start AGAIN from scratch.!
I've been giving Akira the recommended 1/4 tablet of Zyrtec every morning before I give her her breakfast. It is really helping Akira's allergies. I will also put the topical steroid on her some mornings, like I did this morning, since it's better to put as little stress on the animal as possible by doing everything all at one time. She needed a bit of extra help with the allergies this morning, since she was scratching so much while I was on the "throne".
I make things as pleasant as I can for Akira. I spoil her with a massage after I give her all that medicine. She really likes it, and I know I reduce the stress she feels from being forced to take the allergy medicine that she doesn't like. You should've seen her this morning after I was finished massaging her. She was so relaxed that she nearly forgot about being hungry for breakfast. I practically had to peel her off of the chair, so I could get up myself to feed her. LOL. I know that has to help, if it relaxes her that much.
I'm happy to see the Zyrtec is working. This thread is amazing and I wish I had of known about cat forums when we had our first kitty, Abby. Oh my, but she had allergies to Something and it was just terrible. Poor kitty used to scratch day and night as well as really didn't want us to touch her. Our vet never ever suggested anything simple like Zyrtec or allergy medicine. Instead, gave quite a few coritsone shots (I think cortisone, it's been awhile) which had little to no effect. Abby suffered something terrible and it was awful to watch her scratch so much, not only for her, I hate to say, but for me too...it was just unnerving because I felt so bad and didn't know how to help her. I thank God, Jade doesn't seem to have any such problem. *crosses fingers and toes*
I do hope you get to the bottom of Akira's allergies soon. This is a tough situation to figure out :(
awww you are a good mommy..the massage sounds wonderful and such a good idea..meds and food changes and itches are so stressful for kitties.
was the zyrtec ordered by your vet?
and do you just purchase the people med thru pharmacy? and give 1/4 tab of a human dose??
so glad to hear this works...I will give it a try too if Sami starts to break out again..
lets keep searching there has to be a long term answer.....
Jade, I too had a kitty with issues that possibly could have been allergy related and I put her through steroids off and on for long periods until they no longer worked and she got very ill....If only I had known all this MH info before, I feel so bad now..
Oh, yes, the Zyrtec is the same stuff that people take. I double-checked and triple-checked to make sure I was giving the right medicine to my furry baby. The vet said to just buy the human adult dosage, which is 10 mg and to use the pill splitter to make 1/4 dosages, or 2.5 mg doses for the kitty.
One of the best things that happened was when I went to my usual pharmacy, Walgreens, and talked to the pharmacist about getting the medication for my cat. I have to give these guys much credit for helping me out. They actually contacted the vet's office when I wasn't clear on the dosage, so I could double-check the instructions. The pharmacist actually did this without my asking him! So, I have to give him due credit for this kind of help.
I also wanted to save some money on the store brand medication. It was such a deal, because the usual 14 day packages were double packaged (28 days) and were on sale for a few dollars less than usual as well. So, the pharmacist's assistant double-checked the information on the package in the computer in order to make sure that this was going to be right and safe for my cat. It is clearly the same medication, but there was language on the package suggesting there was more to it. So, they double-checked this information, too--all to make sure I got the right medication for my kitty!
I found out from the vet that I had been doing something right all along when I had used Benadryl cream on the itchy spots out of desperation to help my kitty. She said to continue using Benadryl cream. Wow! What a relief to know this had been what the vet would've recommended anyway.
The vet did prescribe a steroid cream, too. It's called Animax. I mentioned that I felt that Akira needed something more than the Benadryl cream, since I had already been doing that. I know I was right, too, because there was so much redness and irritation where Akira had scratched all her fur off her head in front of her ear. The steroid cream has helped to calm this down. She has an itchy spot on her chin/lower lip, too. So, I've been putting a bit of the Benadryl/Animax on that spot, too. Obviously, I use sparing amounts with this being so close to her mouth. It had been red and irritated, too. The redness there has calmed down, too.
I used discretion on using the steroid, Animax, and use it as little as possible. So, I will reach for the Benadryl cream first. This is actually what I'm supposed to do. I understand that long-term steroid use isn't a good idea, since that's not good for us humans. This is still so much better than steroid injections! I sure am glad veterinarian medicine has made some advances over the years.
I know the massages help relax my furry baby. Akira really likes it. I sure wish I had someone do that for ME. LOL. I'm glad to do it for my kitty. It gives us some special time together. Akira seems to understand that I'm just trying to help make this easier for her.
Since others have similar issues with their kitties, it seemed like a good idea to give the full information I have for this allergy situation. Some day we'll all get to the bottom of what works for our individual kitties. I know folks will be glad to know about the Benadryl cream and the Animax.
I have never heard of any domesticated animal that could not suffer from allergies, meaning most do suffer from allergies.
The most common types are hay-fever and dust allergies. Remember dust is not just dust. It is also dirt, human skin slough, dust mites...etc.
The cream is only an outside help. It does not help the internal overactive histamines that can cause other problems.
I have read many studies about Zyrtec and animals. It is highly recommended for larger animals such as large dogs and horses (yes they too suffer allergies). But not such good studies with cats (in the larger studies).
I know that Vets don't often like to use Benedryl because of the sedative effect it may produce. However, with the right dosage per weight it does wonders without long term effects that still have not been studied with prescription medicine.
The AVMA has consistently endorsed medication such as Benedryl for allergies that have not been defined.
You might also ask your vet to do an allergy blood test or even a skin test. They respond just like us 'humans' do.
Oh thx for the info...and Kaydey too will keep all in mind and consider.
I'm so glad Akira is showing some relief...how frustration for these poor kitties too...
Furball. as far as I can understand its the ORAL steroids that pose a problem, the topical ones should be safe even long term, unless Akira is licking it off..but its still very small amounts.
My Sami also has a prescription..called something different here in Canada...
although with him he does lick it off and cause more problems because the scabs than break out in open sores...can't win can we.
Yes the pharmacy's can be very helpful...back when I had my Opus on blood pressure pills my vet recommended I buy them thru my pharmacy, as they were the same a human med. and alot cheaper thru them than the clinic...
always pays to ask for anyone animal on meds...
keep up the good work with Akira, lets hope we can find some answers for them ya
I will have to ask my vet what the recommended dosage of Benadryl is for the cat. I take Diphenhydramine that comes in capsules that I buy from behind the pharmacy counter for myself. So, I can't give Akira those at all. I will have to find out the right amount to give to Akira. I understand how miserable all that itching is. I have the same problem myself. Poor little kitty.
I finally got the information about the correct dosage of Benadryl for my large adult cat. I do believe that she has a dust allergy, like I do, in addition to food allergies. The recommended food the vet's office told me about is too expensive for me to be able to afford.
Interestingly, I found out that I can give her a whole 25 mg capsule of the Diphenhydramine (generic Benadryl) I take myself. I take 50 mg in one dose. They said I can give it to my cat twice a day, but to be aware that she may sleep more than she already does.
As a humorous note: Akira found a useful way to stay warm in here, as I have to be careful how much my heat is on. Very expensive in this economy. Akira started climbing up on the desk portion of my computer cabinet. She started using the DSL modem for a pillow and kind of like a heating pad. It's sort of funny. Smart kitty knows a good thing when she finds it.
hi...just found your posting as I was shutting off for the night....thx so much for that info..with Sami's next outbreak of scabs I will give that a try..so far he is staying clear thank God, for I like you just can't afford to do as I would like with treatment and foods...we do our best thats all we can do!!
cute...with the modem..yes they can sure find the good spots can't they, one of mine when he was getting older and was always cool..would sit under a lamp when I had one on to read with!!
stay warm you both!! goodnight
I just started adding digestive enzymes to Akira's canned food. She doesn't mind it one bit. I've been able to give Akira less Zyrtec by doing this, as she seems to be scratching less frequently. I don't know if this is what is doing the trick or not, but it's supposed to boost the immune system and I found out that it's really important to do this even for the healthiest of cats and even when we're giving them the best quality of food that we're able to give them. The one thing I know is that it isn't going to hurt my precious kitty. It may even help the allergies by boosting her immune system.
excellent infi, i thk i did read abt that somewhere too....where were you able to buy it from?
I've also been using 'cold water fish oil (omega 3) and 'primrose oil'..(liquids)..in combo also supposed to be good for allergies that cause skin problems...since starting Sami has had one small breakout that cleared up in 2 days and did not go on to become open and raw/infected...
I bought it at a small pet boutique, but I just found the place online, too. When I did a search for their company, I saw that Petco sells some products from this company. But, I don't know which ones. The website is: http://www.solidgoldhealth.com/products/index.php?category=3
I don't know if Petco sells it or if you have a Petco in Canada, but they are a big pet store chain, so I imagine that you do. Did you say you're in B.C.?
I bought the one called D-zyme. It's a powder. It's for dogs and for cats. I feed Akira approximately 1/2 cup twice a day, so I am using 1/8 tsp with each feeding.
The fish oil is good, too. I'm hesitant to give Akira fish oil 'til I'm sure that she isn't allergic to fish, especially her favorite, which is salmon.
From what I've been reading, this is what we should be giving to our cats, even if they don't have health issues, even if we're feeding them top quality cat food, including the raw stuff.
And, people even need to use digestive enzymes suitable for humans, especially with digestive disorders, such as IBS-C.
hi.. i'm near enough to Alberta that we follow Albertas time zone confusing!!
thanks for that info, i will look for a Canadian supplier we don't have Petco here, at least not that i know of but will find out.
It looks like Petco has other brands of digestive enzymes, but not the one I bought at the little pet boutique. Try looking at that link I posted previously, so you will know which digestive enzyme product to look for. That takes you directly to the maker's website. That will at least give you a better idea of what I'm looking at. Perhaps you could contact them via email and ask them if they sell in Canada and where in Canada they sell, or even if they sell with a different label. I know some companies do things like that for similar things. If you have a small pet boutique that sells natural petfood, perhaps they have a good pet digestive enzyme formula that you can use for your kitty, Sami. I really like the little place that moved into the strip mall near the natural foods market that I frequently shop at for myself. They only sell good quality foods for cats and dogs, plus other supplies and a few toys. They don't sell things for other types of pets, and they don't sell the usual grocery store commercial foods. Petco brands might work, but I would look for a small boutique closer to home first.
OIC, you are east of the Cascades, then. That must be strange being on the border of two different time zones.
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