Shamrock gets allergy tested (long, includes some test results)

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Shamrock gets allergy tested (long, includes some test results)

Post by Chery » Wed, 04 May 2005 06:37:11



His dermatologist appointment was today. This vet is very very
thorough in both her examination and taking his history by asking
questions.  Based on his history plus what she saw, she didn't
believe it to be caused by a bacterial skin infection, which is
common, but he does have a secondary bacterial infection due to his
biting himself.  We talked about a diet test using ZD but I tried
that a couple of years ago and couldn't get him to eat it. She felt
that its more important for him to eat and if he was a dog it would
be ok to withold food until the dog eats, but with a cat that's
just too dangerous.  So, what else? She said Depo shots are usually
used in severe allergy cases like his (our regular vet predicted
this which is why she had no problem treating him the way she has
been), but of course they come with risk. Studies have been done
that show its marginally safe to give repeated depo shots at 4
month intervals. Anything less than that, like the two month
intervals that Shamrock has been getting really hasn't been
studied. Could it be potentially more dangerous every two months?  
Maybe, maybe not. Not enough data. But 4 month intervals have been
studied.

He has some irritation in one ear, and the side of his mouth has a
sore which is new.  He has been rubbing his face on everything more
than usual lately and that's one way they scratch when it itches.  
He's also getting tarter buildup again, another sign of an auto-
immune problem.  She was glad to see all the negative test results
for FeLV and FIV because there is a connection between those
viruses and skin/ear/teeth problems.

We talked about the intradermal skin tests - very accurate for
inhalent allergens, not so for food allergens.  She said that only
1-2% of cats that have inhalent allergies also have food allergies.  
Good to rule out inhalent then, I thought.  Also, if inhalent
allergies are the cause of the skin reactions, allergy shots have
about an 85% effective rate to keep the reaction down, rather than
the repeated Depo shots.  Depo shots might be needed occasionally,
but with allergy shots (hyposensitization injections done at home)
it should be able to drastically reduce the frequency.  So I opted
for the intradermal skin tests.

The tech held Shamrock down while Dr Kummell shaved part of his
belly. It must have tickled because he squirmed a lot.  LOL  (poor
Shamrock!)  She drew a grid and 70 small injections (tiny needle,
just under the skin) were given on the grid.  The reactions show up
almost instantly so she has to be fast to give them all so she can
check the results before the reaction starts to fade.  The results
showed a LOT of allergic reactions.  It really is no wonder he is
as effected as he is. The reaction is graded from - (no reaction)
to 1, 2, 3, and 4, with 3 and 4 being strong positive. The list:

Environment:
cat dander - 3  (!)
HMRU mix - 4 (I don't know what this is, have to look it up)
Dust mite D pteronyssinus - 3
Insect mix - 4
(No reaction for human dander thank goodness!)

Grasses:
Johnson - 3
June - 3
Quack - 3

Trees:
Tree mix - 2
Beech - 3
Birch - 2
Maple - 3
Poplar - 3
Willow - 3
(my yard has maple and poplar - neighbors behind me had a willow
but it was destroyed by Isobel)

Weeds:
Marsh elder - 3
Rag weed - 4
Red clover - 3
(I don't think we have red clover here!)

Molds:
Alternaria - 2
Cephalospoirium - 3
Cladosporium - 3
Curvularia - 4
Mold mix #2 - 2
Hormondendrum - 3

Interestingly, he tested negative for flea allergy.  This is what
it was attributed to time and time again. Never any signs of fleas,
including today. She combed looking for signs.

So, what is going to happen is they will mix up a serum to start
the hyposensitization injections. I should get it next week.  He
got a Depo shot (I gave it to him myself so they could teach me how
to give the shot)  and any time he needs another Depo I call them
and they have it shipped to me and I give it to him myself.

The first 25 days of the hyposensitization process (the build-up)
is going to be rough.  He will get shots of increasing amounts (and
even different formulas) every other day for that first 25 days,
then it drops to weekly.  The weekly shot will be .5 cc so it
shouldn't be so bad.

I just hope Shamrock isn't part of the 1-2% with an additional food
allergy, and I hope he doesn't fall into the 15% that
hyposensitization injections doesn't help.

He was a very good boy for the hour and a half drive there and
back, and the vets just loved him. As everyone does. :)

So that's it.  The report. Sorry so long!!!  I guess I have to keep
up on the vacumming, the washing of cat beddings and perches,
keeping windows closed, find the source of the mildew smell
downstairs, etc.  Vet said hepa air cleaners aren't really helpful.
They help with the circulating allergens, but because cats are much
closer to carpets and what they sit/sleep/play on, filters don't
help with what's already landed on the surface, and what is
replicating there (dust mites and mold spores).  I guess it can't
hurt though, so I'll be getting a hepa air cleaner or two.

Thanks for reading. If anyone wants to see the full list of 70
allergens that are tested for, I can scan it and email it to you.

--
Cheryl

"The clever cat eats cheese and breathes down rat holes with baited
breath."
- W.C. Fields

 
 
 

Shamrock gets allergy tested (long, includes some test results)

Post by K.M. » Wed, 04 May 2005 08:14:27


Cheryl,
Good lord, that's a list! As perhaps you remember, I went through this
with my old dog. It's so stressful trying to figure out what they are
truly allergic to, and/or what kind of skin condition they have.

I hope the shots help, and you don't have to mess with food anymore.

xo - Karen M.

 
 
 

Shamrock gets allergy tested (long, includes some test results)

Post by -L. » Wed, 04 May 2005 08:55:41


Quote:

> His dermatologist appointment was today. This vet is very very
> thorough in both her examination and taking his history by asking
> questions.

<snip>

Hummm.  Sounds like a decent course of action - if they aren't helping
you can always stop the injections.  It almost sounds like he is
immunocompromised.  What about interferon injections?  I don't know
much about them other than they are sometimes used for FIV positive
cats.  I wonder if they might help Shamrock...

Oh, and as the hair grows back, it wil be itchy.  He might be *very*
itchy, so be prepared.

-L.

 
 
 

Shamrock gets allergy tested (long, includes some test results)

Post by sridd.. » Wed, 04 May 2005 09:01:51


Poor baby. It's going to be just like having an "allergy kid".
But at least now you know what you're dealing with, exactly. Keep us
updated on improvements. Good luck!

Sherry

 
 
 

Shamrock gets allergy tested (long, includes some test results)

Post by sridd.. » Wed, 04 May 2005 09:04:40


Quote:

> Oh, and as the hair grows back, it wil be itchy.  He might be *very*
> itchy, so be prepared.

> -L.

(apologies to Cheryl--I'm not trying to hijack the thread :-) I know
Lyn was a groomer & Bikkie's suffering from Incurable Bad Hair Day)
Lyn--about the itching & shaving--Biskit's coat is a mess. I want to
just shave it all off and start over. It is fine, long, and fly-away.
She gets little knots in it constantly, and bad matts if I don't brush
every day--and she hates brushing. When I got her, over a year ago, her
coat was a mess like the rest of her. Now the ends of the hair still
look dead and dull. The undercoat looks more healthy, shiny and darker
colored.
If I shave (at a groomers) the whole mess off, will it grow in better?
How bad *is* the itching?

Sherry

 
 
 

Shamrock gets allergy tested (long, includes some test results)

Post by Chery » Wed, 04 May 2005 09:05:14


On Mon 02 May 2005 07:14:27p, K.M. wrote in
rec.pets.cats.health+behav

Quote:
> Cheryl,
> Good lord, that's a list! As perhaps you remember, I went
> through this with my old dog. It's so stressful trying to figure
> out what they are truly allergic to, and/or what kind of skin
> condition they have.

> I hope the shots help, and you don't have to mess with food
> anymore.

> xo - Karen M.

Hi Karen! I'm very happy to see you! Yes, I remember Bubbas and I
bathed Shamrock with shampoo with coloidal oatmeal shampoo based on
our conversations. It does help but cats are harder to bathe than
dogs. I hope this helps.  
Good to see you sweetie.

--
Cheryl

"The clever cat eats cheese and breathes down rat holes with baited
breath."
- W.C. Fields

 
 
 

Shamrock gets allergy tested (long, includes some test results)

Post by Chery » Wed, 04 May 2005 09:25:31


On Mon 02 May 2005 07:55:41p, -L. wrote in
rec.pets.cats.health+behav

Quote:


>> His dermatologist appointment was today. This vet is very very
>> thorough in both her examination and taking his history by
>> asking questions.

> <snip>

> Hummm.  Sounds like a decent course of action - if they aren't
> helping you can always stop the injections.  It almost sounds
> like he is immunocompromised.  What about interferon injections?
>  I don't know much about them other than they are sometimes used
> for FIV positive cats.  I wonder if they might help Shamrock...

> Oh, and as the hair grows back, it wil be itchy.  He might be
> *very* itchy, so be prepared.

> -L.

Funny you ask that Lyn. Back when he was my foster cat, I did give
him interferon, but orally. Some of the people in the rescue group
found that ***interferon helped new cats who'd been exposed to
clinic bacteria, etc. Then, when Shadow was on interferon for FelV,
I also gave it to Shamrock as an immune system booster. At first I
thought it helped, but then his allergy reactions came back very
badly so I quit giving it to him.  I also quit giving it to FeLV+
Shadow because it seemed to make his IBD worse (boosting the immune
system for a cat whose immune system was inflaming his lower
intestine)

--
Cheryl

"The clever cat eats cheese and breathes down rat holes with baited
breath."
- W.C. Fields

 
 
 

Shamrock gets allergy tested (long, includes some test results)

Post by Kelly » Wed, 04 May 2005 10:10:33



Quote:
> His dermatologist appointment was today. This vet is very very
> thorough in both her examination and taking his history by asking
> questions.

<snip>

I don't have any advice or anything, just extending my support.  It's great
that you were able to get Shamrock in with this specialist.  I hope by
working with them, you will be able to get him on a good treatment plan.
Good luck!

-Kelly

 
 
 

Shamrock gets allergy tested (long, includes some test results)

Post by Kare » Wed, 04 May 2005 11:09:52




Quote:

>> Oh, and as the hair grows back, it wil be itchy.  He might be *very*
>> itchy, so be prepared.

>> -L.

> (apologies to Cheryl--I'm not trying to hijack the thread :-) I know
> Lyn was a groomer & Bikkie's suffering from Incurable Bad Hair Day)
> Lyn--about the itching & shaving--Biskit's coat is a mess. I want to
> just shave it all off and start over. It is fine, long, and fly-away.
> She gets little knots in it constantly, and bad matts if I don't brush
> every day--and she hates brushing. When I got her, over a year ago, her
> coat was a mess like the rest of her. Now the ends of the hair still
> look dead and dull. The undercoat looks more healthy, shiny and darker
> colored.
> If I shave (at a groomers) the whole mess off, will it grow in better?
> How bad *is* the itching?

> Sherry

We used to have to have Nermal shaved, and she seemed to feel much better
and didn't seem to get itchy.
 
 
 

Shamrock gets allergy tested (long, includes some test results)

Post by -L. » Wed, 04 May 2005 13:36:15


Quote:

> > Oh, and as the hair grows back, it wil be itchy.  He might be
*very*
> > itchy, so be prepared.

> > -L.

> (apologies to Cheryl--I'm not trying to hijack the thread :-) I know
> Lyn was a groomer & Bikkie's suffering from Incurable Bad Hair Day)
> Lyn--about the itching & shaving--Biskit's coat is a mess. I want to
> just shave it all off and start over. It is fine, long, and fly-away.
> She gets little knots in it constantly, and bad matts if I don't
brush
> every day--and she hates brushing. When I got her, over a year ago,
her
> coat was a mess like the rest of her. Now the ends of the hair still
> look dead and dull. The undercoat looks more healthy, shiny and
darker
> colored.
> If I shave (at a groomers) the whole mess off, will it grow in
better?
> How bad *is* the itching?

> Sherry

Itching is only a problem when they are shaved close as for surgery and
as I *think* they probably did for Shamrock's allergy testing.  A
regular cut with a grooming blade (#10) shouldn't itch because it is
longer.  As for it growing in "better" - sometimes it does improve coat
texture, but IME, that's more related to genetics and diet.  It can't
hurt to try, though.  Some cats *need* shaving every so often, and
those with that fine, whispy hair that tangles easily are prime
candidates.  That kind of coat is hard to shave well, though, so be
sure to mention that to the groomer when you drop her off.

-L.

 
 
 

Shamrock gets allergy tested (long, includes some test results)

Post by K.M. » Wed, 04 May 2005 16:09:15


Yes, cats develop superhuman strength as soon as they see a tub. I know
for Bub steroid shots really helped stop the itching so the other stuff
(special shampoos and antibiotics) had a chance to start working. It's
such a process, so I'll keep my fingers crossed that the shots do their
trick.

Good to "see" you too! How's your other baby, your female (sorry, am
blanking out on her name)?

 
 
 

Shamrock gets allergy tested (long, includes some test results)

Post by Steve Cran » Wed, 04 May 2005 22:18:09


Cheryl,
     I'm not sure if it will help, but Feline z/d  in a canned form
will be launched in a few days. The palatability on it is quite high -
so there is an alternative product that can be tried to eliminate the
food issue. It might be worth the trial to see if that issue can be
eliminated.
 
 
 

Shamrock gets allergy tested (long, includes some test results)

Post by Chery » Thu, 05 May 2005 06:50:40


On Tue 03 May 2005 03:09:15a, K.M. wrote in
rec.pets.cats.health+behav

Quote:
> Good to "see" you too! How's your other baby, your female
> (sorry, am blanking out on her name)?

Bonnie? She's doing good. :) She's turned into a very affectionate
little girl and she's just a great cat!

I have two other additions now, too. Scarlett and Rhett. They're
about 8 months old now; littermates.  They've really been a lot of
fun even though the early months were rough. Scarlett failed to
thrive at first but is catching up. She had a lot of respiratory
and eye problems initially and it was really hard to get her
healthy. They were found under someones shed back in October and I
took these two home with me in early November. :)

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/shambondow/album?.dir=1f98&.src=ph

--
Cheryl

"The clever cat eats cheese and breathes down rat holes with baited
breath."
- W.C. Fields

 
 
 

Shamrock gets allergy tested (long, includes some test results)

Post by Chery » Thu, 05 May 2005 08:27:11


On Tue 03 May 2005 09:18:09a, Steve Crane wrote in
rec.pets.cats.health+behav

Quote:
> Cheryl,
>      I'm not sure if it will help, but Feline z/d  in a canned
>      form
> will be launched in a few days. The palatability on it is quite
> high - so there is an alternative product that can be tried to
> eliminate the food issue. It might be worth the trial to see if
> that issue can be eliminated.

Good to know. TBH though, he's never liked any of the SD canned foods
either. It's just too dry of a texture. Thanks for the info!

--
Cheryl

"The clever cat eats cheese and breathes down rat holes with baited
breath."
- W.C. Fields

 
 
 

Shamrock gets allergy tested (long, includes some test results)

Post by Candac » Thu, 05 May 2005 10:45:44


Quote:

> So that's it.  The report. Sorry so long!!!  I guess I have to keep
> up on the vacumming, the washing of cat beddings and perches,
> keeping windows closed, find the source of the mildew smell
> downstairs, etc.  Vet said hepa air cleaners aren't really helpful.
> They help with the circulating allergens, but because cats are much
> closer to carpets and what they sit/sleep/play on, filters don't
> help with what's already landed on the surface, and what is
> replicating there (dust mites and mold spores).  I guess it can't
> hurt though, so I'll be getting a hepa air cleaner or two.

It all sounds very thorough.  I guess I never even realized cats could
be allergic to all those things that we are, too.  I hope his treatment
does the trick and that he is on the way to better health.

Candace