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Can You Get Allergy Shots For Cats

Do Allergy Shots Work For Cat Allergies

All About Allergy Shots

In my experience, allergy shots for cat allergies work great! My allergic reaction to cats has disappeared since I began allergy shots several years ago.

My weekly, then monthly, shots also contained allergen extracts from dogs and other household pets that I tested positive for. Its important to understand a few things:

  • Most allergic individuals are allergic to several things
  • A single allergy shot can contain a mixture of allergy proteins for several animals, so you usually need only one shot for several pets.
  • Allergy shots contain the allergens you are allergic to. Over time, your allergist increases the dose of allergen extract and you build tolerance. Compared to other medicine, cat allergy shots are a more natural way to treat allergies.
  • Are There Remedies For Cat Allergy Symptoms

    Cat allergies range from mild to severe, and the severity often determines how well a patient can manage their symptoms. For those with mild symptoms, lifestyle changes may be enough to reduce cat allergy symptoms. These changes may include keeping cats out of the bedroom, washing hands and changing clothes after handling, and installing HEPA filters to ensure cat dander doesnt spread around the home.

    For those with more severe cat allergy symptoms, lifestyle changes may not provide enough relief. Over-the-counter antihistamines and nasal sprays may offer temporary relief. If they dont, a doctor can prescribe stronger allergy medications. While these prescription medicines may reduce symptoms, they dont treat the root cause of a cat allergy and only offer short-term relief.

    Allergy Shots For Children

    As early as ages 3, kids can begin to develop seasonal allergies, leaving many parentswondering what is the best treatment? We also get asked often are allergy shots safe forchildren. Yes, they are, but this is something that needs to be discussed with your allergist.Children, like adults, sometimes develop a minor reaction near the site of the injectionimmediately after the allergy shot is given. Simply applying ice to the area and administering anantihistamine can reduce the swelling.

    There are rare cases where children can have a more severe reaction, including hives, itchingacross the body, or difficulty breathing. These are less common but can occur. That is why itsbest to consult with your allergy specialist to determine if an allergy shot is appropriate for yourchild.

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    Hypopet Ag Vaccine Study

    Scientists at a pharmaceutical company in Switzerland have announced the development of a conjugate vaccine called HypoCat that binds to and neutralizes the major cat allergen, Fel d1.

    According to the studies recently performed, cats who received the HypoCat vaccine according to the protocol did indeed have lower levels of Fel d1 in the blood.

    Although it is somewhat more subjective, the allergic humans involved in the study did show less allergic symptoms around the vaccinated cat compared to unvaccinated cats.

    Due to the encouraging results, the Swiss company is moving ahead with registration studies and discussions to bring the vaccine to market in the US and Europe.

    HypoPet is hoping to have their HypoCat vaccine on the market in 2022, and they also have a HypoDog vaccine in the pipeline too.

    Purina Institute Cat Allergen Diet Study

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    The Swiss scientists arent the only ones to bring a cat de-allergenator to market: Purina Pro Plan LiveClear cat foods.

    Purina has taken a different approach to tackling the Fel d1 protein. They are working to neutralize the allergen through a cats diet.

    The company recently published a study explaining how an egg product ingredient can be introduced to a cats diet to help neutralize the major cat allergen, Fel d1.

    The concept is similar to the vaccine, with the goal being to decrease levels of active Fel d1 found in cat saliva.

    While Purinas study did not yet incorporate humans allergic response rates, an encouraging 86% of cats saw at least a 30% reduction from the baseline Fel d1 levels.

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    Exactly What Is A Pet Allergy

    The foundation states that people with pet allergies have overly sensitive immune systems, responding negatively to proteins that exist in a dog or cats saliva, dander, or urine.

    One popular misconception is that if youre allergic, its to Fido or Fluffys hair itself. Rather, its to the allergens in dander that collect to the animals fur.

    This new vaccine has yet to hit the market, but the study done on 54 cats in total showed no overt toxic effect.

    Paul Bloom, DVM, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology and a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, Canine and Feline Specialty, told Healthline that if properly made, this kind of vaccine shouldnt be a problem.

    That being said, he adds that a cat is no different than a person who could have a rare reaction to a specific type of injection.

    Cats, like any person or animal, can have an allergic reaction, he said. In addition, they can form immune complexes or molecules that join together that can cause autoimmune disease or even kidney disease. Also, cats can get a type of cancer from different types of injections.

    Beyond having a direct positive impact on the health of a cat and its human, a new allergy vaccine could help address a major problem that afflicts felines in the United States.

    Does Bloom see a future where more similar allergy vaccines administered to animals are developed?

    Are Allergy Shots Right For You

    While we recommend you visit your doctor or allergist to ascertain whether youre a good candidate for allergy shots, these questions will also help you decide:

    • What are your allergies? If youre allergic to one or more of the substances listed above, then allergy shots can help lessen your symptoms. However, if you have an allergy to latex, drugs, or certain foods, immunotherapy is not recommended.
    • How bad are your allergies? If symptoms persist for longer than three out of 12 months or are impacting your daily activities then allergy shots may provide more relief than other treatment methods.
    • What other treatments have you tried? If youre on a prescription antihistamine or another medication from an allergist but these dont help your symptoms, let your allergist know. They could recommend immunotherapy as your next treatment.
    • Are you okay with needles? If you have a severe fear of or significant discomfort associated with needles, then you might want to rethink allergy shots. While its true the injections become less frequent as the treatment goes on, it will take a while to get there. You may want to discuss sublingual immunotherapy or SLIT with your allergist. This treatment involves you taking tablets or drops under your tongue instead of receiving injections.

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    The Future Of Human Cat Allergy Treatment May Be In Changing Cats With Food Vaccines Or Gene Editing

    So far, only food is on the market.

    Any cat lover who has watched an allergic friend react to a beloved pet knows the dark powers that lurk in that luxurious feline fur. Within minutes, an allergic human exposed to a cat can begin sneezing and wheezing. Eyes water and itch. The misery is obvious.

    Solutions for people who want to be around cats despite allergies are labor-intensive, of questionable value, and sometimes defy common sense. How many emergency department trips would ensue if we all tried to give our cats frequent baths?

    This predicament has triggered the imagination of researchers, who see a lucrative market for better solutions in a country that has more than 50 million cats in more than 20 million homes. Some scientists are now taking a different approach to human pet allergies. Rather than trying to change allergic humans or their environment, theyre trying to change cats.

    Purina began the competition in the early days of the pandemic with a cat food Pro Plan LiveClear that it says can reduce the protein that most allergic people react to by 47% after three weeks.

    This is really, in my mind as a veterinarian, a ground-breaking and revolutionary pet food, said Kurt Venator, Purinas chief veterinary officer. We truly believe this is going to help cats and people get closer together.

    How Do Allergy Shots Work

    All you need to know about cat allergies & what you can do about them!

    Allergy shots work by decreasing symptoms from particular allergens.

    Each injection contains small amounts of the allergen so that your body builds up immunity to it over time. The process works much like taking a vaccine, where your body creates new antibodies to combat the invasive substances.

    Allergy shots also improve the way other immune system cells and substances function in response to allergens. Eventually, successful immunotherapy helps the body fight off allergens and reduce adverse symptoms.

    Allergy shots aim to decrease overall allergy symptoms over time. If you have allergic asthma, reduced asthma symptoms are also possible.

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    What To Expect At Your Appointment

    You should take an oral antihistamine such as cetirizine , fexofenadine , or loratadine on the morning of your allergy shot appointment or right before coming to your appointment. However, only do so if it’s okay to take these medications alongside your allergy shots. If you are unsure, ask your allergist.

    Once you check in at the front desk for your appointment, a member of our clinic staff will bring you to an exam room. He or she will ask you some questions to evaluate you for any active asthma symptoms before administering your shot.

    You will typically receive one to four injections depending on your allergies. We will place the needle into your upper arm to inject the allergen into the tissue between your skin and muscle. Then we will monitor you in the clinic for 30 minutes. It’s common for people to experience itching and swelling at the injection site from the allergy shots. If this occurs, we will apply hydrocortisone cream to provide some relief.

    Allergy Skin Prick Test

    This test is performed in your doctors office so they can observe any reactions.

    Using a clean needle, your doctor will prick your skins surface , and deposit a tiny amount of the allergen. Youll likely be tested for several allergens at the same time. Youll also be skin pricked with a control solution that has no allergens. Your doctor may number each prick to identify the allergen.

    In about 15 to 20 minutes, the skin prick site may become red or swollen. This reaction confirms an allergy to that substance. A positive cat allergy will usually cause a red, itchy bump to the cat allergen. These unpleasant effects generally go away 30 minutes after the test.

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    Watch For Allergy Symptoms

    Treehugger / Jordan Provost

    If your cat does suffer from allergies, it wont be much of a secret. Dr. Weigner said that itchy cats typically get skin conditions due to the release of an immunoglobulin called IgE. Its found in certain cells that are more common in cats skin.

    As a result, Dr. William Carlson of Intown Animal Hospital in Atlanta said cats with allergies typically show signs of hair loss, as well as scabs or open sores. Discharge in the ears or excessive scratching also are common symptoms.

    Dont raid the medicine cabinet: Resist the urge to sneak a few Benadryl capsules into your cats kibble. While certain antihistamines may be used to treat cats with allergic skin disease, Carlson warned that pet owners should never give a cat medication without consulting a veterinarian first.

    “Each patient is different and medications are determined on an individual basis based on a physical exam,” Weigner said. If your cat has serious allergy symptoms, call the vet. Youre better off safe than sorry.

    Closing In On A Cure For Cat Allergy

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    Update: This peptide therapy ultimately failed in the third phase of study, read the article here.

    THE ANCIENT Egyptians were said to revere the cat, glorifying it in hieroglyphs, depictions of deities and artwork. While todays domestic kitty may not enjoy the same royal treatment, the feline still wields serious power: just being in the same room as one can trigger itching, coughing, wheezing and even a full-on asthma attack in the millions who have cat allergy.

    The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology says the condition affects an estimated 50 million Americans, including the 30 percent of those with allergic asthma who list cat dander as a key trigger.

    Other than simply avoiding cats, immunotherapy, or allergy shots, is the only current treatment option for this allergy. The idea here is to retrain the immune system to accept the cats allergy-inducing protein rather than react to it as a dangerous invader.

    To do so, the doctor injects small amounts of cat protein extract into the body over several visits, slowly increasing the dosage and then staying at a target level for three to five years. The hope is to achieve desensitization, or at the very least, greatly reduced symptoms.

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    Cat Or Dog Allergies Dont Have To End Badly Allergy Drops Can Help

    This past week the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology had their annual meeting in Boston. The Academy estimates that 50 million Americans suffer from asthma or allergic diseases. Asthma rates alone have more than tripled in 25 years, now affecting 22 million people. A recent article USA Today article titled, Allergies triggered by things we love are rising, suggests that pets may be having an increased effect on our allergies.

    It is estimated that 90% of homes have significant levels of dog and cat hair even in those homes that dont have a pet! How can that be?

    Pet dander is easily transferred from the pet owners clothing to other places they visit. Studies were done in Scandinavia and here in the USA have shown that school children without pets still had a measurable amount of pet dander in their home, transferred to them at school from classmates with pets at home.

    The bottom line is that it is very difficult to control or reduce animal dander exposure. The widespread distribution of cat and dog allergens was demonstrated in several studies that checked levels in schools and other public buildings. The researchers found high levels of cat and dog allergens in schools and on the clothing of school children. Notably, even children who didnt own pets were found to have significant levels of allergen on their clothes which they brought into their homes.

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    Getting Shots For Cat Allergies

    If you dont seem to be adjusting, you can also try getting shots to help your cat allergies.

    These immunotherapy shots work on the same principle as exposure to a cat over time. The injections contain cat allergens starting in tiny doses that are gradually increased.

    Youll get an allergy shot once or twice a week for about six months, with boosters every three years or so.

    Make an appointment with your doctor so they can run some allergy tests and prescribe this treatment.

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    What Should I Expect Afterward

    Usually, youâll stay at the doctorâs office for about 30 minutes after you get an allergy shot. That’s to make sure you don’t get side effects like itchy eyes, shortness of breath, a runny nose, or a tight throat. If you get these symptoms after you leave, go back to your doctor’s office or to the nearest emergency room.

    Redness, swelling, or irritation right around the site of the injection is normal. These symptoms should go away in 4 to 8 hours.

    A Problem That Affects Millions

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    Cat allergies affect 10% to 20% of adults. More than 90% of them react to Fel d 1. About 5% of adults are allergic to dogs, but many substances are involved in those allergies. That makes modifying dogs a more complicated project. Researchers say allergies to furry animals are increasing.

    And, there is no way to totally escape Fel d 1. It rides on peoples clothes to work and school. Its everywhere, James Wedner, an allergist at Washington University in St. Louis, said. He once saw five allergy sufferers who worked in a brand new office building. None had cats. He tested the building for mold, cockroaches and mice and found nothing. Then he found incredibly high levels of Fel d 1. Other workers were bringing it in, he said.

    No one knows what role Fel d 1 plays in the cats body, which is why any effort to get rid of it has to look at the effect on cats. Kornreich said there has been speculation that Fel d 1 might protect skin from pathogens. Another possibility is that it is involved in chemical signaling. Nicole Brackett, a postdoctoral researcher with Indoor Biotechnologies, sequenced the genes that make Fel d 1 in 50 domestic cats as well as some big and wild cats. She said the genes are not well-conserved in the domestic cats, a sign that they likely are not essential.

    Purina says its tests show its food is safe.

    He also said that patients not in studies volunteer that the food has helped them.

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    How Much Do Cat Allergy Shots Cost

    Another reason people decide against allergy shots is due tothe price. Most insurance policies will cover a percentage of allergy immunotherapy.If you have excellent health insurance, they will cover the majority of thecost.

    Allergy injections become expensive when they are out of pocket.

    When I was without health insurance, I paid $1000 every few months for treatment. With insurance I only pay about $90 every few months. The difference is night and day! The initial allergy test with a doctor consultation can cost $1500 and yearly check-ups are required.


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