Cat Skin Allergies
Skin allergy is the most common type of illness that cats endure. When an allergen gets into a cat’s body, the immune system releases a type of protein. This is called IgE which combines itself with the mast cells of skin tissues and triggers the production of histamine. This substance will set off allergy symptoms such as itching and rashes.
Flea allergy is a common skin disease in cats caused by the sensitivity of cats to fleas, particularly their saliva.
Besides the saliva of fleas, there are other substances that cause skin allergies in cats such as certain chemicals, foods, some elements found in cat shampoo or soap, and even pollen. The following are the usual signs and symptoms a cat suffering from skin allergy would likely to exhibit.
- Itchiness: The most obvious manifestation of allergy is itching. The cat makes use of its claws to scratch the affected or irritated body part. The cat may also bite itself or rub against the floor to relieve the itchiness.
- Loss of hair: Cats suffering from extreme itching would scratch themselves severely to the point of hair loss in some areas of their body. Also, cats with skin allergies will tend to over groom themselves, which also leads to loss of hair. Repeated and excessive scratching causes huge amount of hair loss.
- Scabs and sores: These can be results of the allergic reaction but can also be due to the severe hair loss and itching. When there is too much hair loss, the skin loses it primary defense against the cat’s claws and other pathogens. As a result, infection arises leading to skin sores and scabs.
- Swelling of the face: Another typical symptom of allergy is swelling or puffiness of the face. This is particularly common when the cause of allergy is insect sting.
Effective treatment can be made when the cause of allergy is determined. The primary treatment option is minimizing exposure to the allergens or removing these altogether. The following are the medications commonly administered to treat skin allergies in cats:
- Allergy vaccines: Rather than a treatment, these are shots for cats to have them immunized from certain allergens.
- Corticosteroids: These minimize swelling and itchiness.
- Antihistamines: As the name denotes, these deter the release of histamines which cause various allergic reactions in the body.
- Fatty acid supplements: These substances are helpful in relieving itchiness and aid in the regeneration and repair of damaged skin.
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