One of my strictly-indoor cats was recently diagnosed with allergies (via a blood test, which reported a whole list of food and environmental allergies).
The veternarian dermatologist is recommending allergen immunotherapy (a series of shots), but since that can take up to a year to be effective wants us to also treat her with at least 6 months of immunosuppressive drug therapy (methylprednisolone is what they've been using).
My concerns with this proposed treatment are
- increased risk of diabetes and weight gain in cats with long term prednisolone use, and this cat is already overweight
- interaction between prednisolone and her arthritis medication (metacam), we've been advised not to give the two simultaneously, but the behavioral improvements when we treat her arthritis are significant enough that I don't want to not treat it for 6 months.
- two previous shots of prednisolone have not eliminated her itching (it's hard to tell if they've reduced it)
What other options for managing her allergies do we have? The list of environmental allergens is so extensive that elimination is not a possibility.
Her allergy results:
The food panel revealed large number of reactions with foods that should definitely be avoided being: chicken, turkey, pork, sweet potato, beef, wheat, and potato. Additionally, there were numerous environmental reactions which include numerous grasses, fescue, orchard, johnson, bermuda, sweet vernal grass, and timothy grass, numerous trees including: oak, maple, mulberry, hickory, and birch, numerous weeds including: lamb's quarters, ragweed, marsh elder, english plantain and russian thistle, several dust mites and storage mites, feathers, flea, mosquitos, cockroach and numerous molds including Malassezia, Fusiarium, Aspergillus and Alternaria.