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Spotlight on Feline Allergies

Just like the humans in your family, your feline can suffer from allergies. Fortunately, if you notice allergy symptoms in your cat, your vet hospital in San Jose can offer treatments that range from dietary adjustments to pet allergy medicines to help you feline feel better. Could your cat be suffering from allergies? Here is what you need to know. cat - allergies

What causes cat allergies?

As with humans, cat allergies can have a number of different triggers. Foods, flea and tick medications, pollens, dust, cleaning products, and fabrics are just a few of the substances that can trigger allergic reactions in cats. In some cases, cats may have a reaction to prescription medicine. Cigarette smoke is another problematic trigger for some cats. Your veterinarian will attempt to isolate the cause of your cat’s allergies before determining a treatment plan.

What are some of the symptoms?

Allergy symptoms in cats are similar to those in humans. They include respiratory symptoms, like sneezing, coughing, and wheezing, and chronic and increased itching. Your cat may itch all over, or it may be limited to the face and/or ears, back, or near the base of the tail, depending on the trigger. Cats who have food allergies may be itchiest around the mouth and neck. You may notice that your cat’s eyes look red or are watery. Some cats have gastrointestinal symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea. The paws may become swollen from incessant chewing, and your cat may begin to snore because his or her throat is inflamed. The severity of the symptoms may vary depending on the strength of the allergic reaction, and not all cats will experience all symptoms.

How can the veterinarian treat allergies?

Your vet will start out by trying to find the cause of your cat’s allergies by taking a full medical history and performing blood and skin tests. If he or she suspects your cat has a food allergy, the vet may recommend an elimination diet to try to discover which food is causing the problem. In some cases, restricting your cat’s exposure to an allergen is all that is needed. When that is not possible, your cat may need allergy medications.

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