In cats the most common types of allergies are flea allergy and atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis or feline atopy is a hereditary allergy whereby the animal is sensitive to airborne substances from the environment, such as pollens, mites, moulds and dander.
Common symptoms in allergic cats are pruritus, asthma, respiratory symptoms, acne, sneezing, watery eyes, ear infections, vomiting and diarrhoea. If a cat is already suffering from asthma, an environmental allergy often worsens the discomfort.
Feline atopy is underdiagnosed because a common symptom of atopic dermatitis in cats is over-grooming, which is mistaken for normal behaviour, or anxiety. When other triggers of the symptoms are ruled out, atopy is diagnosed. The next step is to perform an allergy test to identify which allergens are causing the allergic reaction. Next+ Serum Test uses the latest technology in IgE serum testing. It uses three proprietary monoclonal antibodies from a specific recombinant IgE, plus CCD blockers, resulting in a product with the highest level of specificity and sensitivity.
Although evidence for the treatment of feline atopy is scarce, it does show that immunotherapy has a 70% efficacy rate and is safe for long-term use. Immunotherapy is the only treatment that will stop the allergy from progressing, by making the immune system less sensitive, or totally insensitive, to the allergen that trigger the allergic reaction. There is only one licensed immunotherapy in Europe – Artuvertin® Therapy – making it the product of choice for cats under European medicines regulations.
Key facts about atopic dermatitis
- Usually starts at a young age.
- Involves pruritus and can lead to severe and recurrent infections.
- Identifying the responsible allergens is crucial, as is the use of a high-quality, specific and sensitive IgE serum test.
- Requires lifelong treatment for which the recommended option is Immunotherapy.
- Artuvetrin® Therapy is the only licensed immunotherapy in Europe, and is therefore the recommended product for cats in accordance with European medicines regulations.