One of the most common medical conditions affecting cats is allergy. Flea allergy, food allergies, atopy, and contact allergies are examples of allergies in cats, with flea allergy being the most common cause. Flea allergy is a response to proteins or antigens present in the flea's saliva, and just one fleabite may cause such intense itching that the cat may severely scratch or chew itself, leading to the removal of large amounts of hair. Food allergy testing is conducted by feeding an elimination or hypoallergenic diet. If your cat's symptoms improve after the food trial, a presumptive diagnosis of food allergy is made.
An allergy is a state of over-reactivity or hypersensitivity of the immune system to a particular substance called an allergen. Most allergens are proteins from plants, insects, animals, or foods. In the dog, the most common symptom associated with allergies is itching of the skin, either localized (in one area) or generalized (all over the body). The symptoms of allergies can be confused with other disorders, or occur concurrently with them. Therefore, do not attempt to diagnose your dog without veterinary professional assistance.
Most people know someone who is allergic to certain foods, such as strawberries or nuts. Food allergy is one of the five most common allergies or hypersensitivities known to affect dogs. In a pet with an allergy, the immune system overreacts and produces antibodies to substances that it would normally tolerate.
An allergy is a state of over-reactivity or hypersensitivity of the immune system to a particular substance called an allergen. Dogs with allergies develop a hypersensitivity reaction or response to substances such as pollens, flea saliva, and so on.
Allopurinol (brand names Lopurin®, Zyloprim®) is a drug used to prevent the recurrence of uric acid and calcium oxalate uroliths (stones) in dogs. This medication works by decreasing the production of uric acid in the body. It is also used in the treatment of leishmaniasis in dogs and cats and is usually combined with other drugs. Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any medications (including vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies) that your pet is taking.
Alprazolam is a medication given by mouth as a tablet or liquid used off label in cats and dogs to treat anxiety and phobias. Common side effects include sedation, increased appetite, or uncoordinated walking. This medication should not be used in pets with a paradoxical reaction and should be used with caution in debilitated, geriatric, pregnant, lactating pets, or in pets with liver or kidney disease, or glaucoma. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.
Aluminum hydroxide is commonly used off label to treat high phosphate levels in pets with kidney disease. It is given by mouth, with meals, in the form of a liquid gel, powder, or a compounded capsule. The most common side effect is constipation, and therefore should be used in caution with pets with a gastrointestinal obstruction or pets prone to constipation. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.
Amantadine is an antiviral medication given by mouth in the form of a tablet, capsule, or liquid, that is mainly used off label for its pain control effects in pets. Common side effects include agitation and gastrointestinal effects. It should not be used in pets that are allergic to it, or that have untreated glaucoma. It should be used with caution in pets with liver, kidney, or heart disease, or in pets with eczema or seizures. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.
Aminocaproic acid is a medication that blocks the breakdown of blood clots, and is used to treat postoperative bleeding, especially in sighthounds. It is given by mouth in the form of a tablet or liquid, or it can be given by injection by your veterinarian in the hospital. Side effects are uncommon but can include vomiting, diarrhea, or decreased appetite when they do occur. Do not use this medication in pets that are currently experiencing clotting in the vessels, and use with caution in pets with heart, liver, or kidney disease. If a negative reaction occurs, call your veterinary office.
Amitraz is a topical solution in the form of a medicated dip, spot-on treatment, or collar used to treat demodectic mange or for the prevention of flea and tick infestations. Common side effects include sedation, incoordination while walking, slow heart rate, gastrointestinal effects, skin irritation, and a temporary high blood sugar. This medication is contraindicated in very young, and used with caution in old, debilitated, diabetic, or small-breeds. While animals may exhibit signs of sedation, contact your veterinary office if your pet cannot be aroused from sleep or if the sedation lasts for more than 72 hours. Amitraz is toxic if swallowed, especially in the form of a collar, so contact your veterinary office immediately if this occurs. If they are not available, follow their directions in contacting an emergency facility.