Feline Asthma Treatment with Allergen Immunotherapy

Feline asthma is a condition that limits your pet's breathing ability, oftentimes making basic activities like walking and playing difficult. Feline asthma may be caused by a variety of different sources, but it typically is a result of your pet's sensitivity to certain substances in the air. In many cases, a pet's allergies may contribute to his asthma. In these cases, an allergen immunotherapy treatment may help to reduce the severity and frequency of your pet's asthma attacks.

Overview of Allergy-Related Asthma

Atopic allergies are those in which your pet reacts negatively to small or microscopic particles in the air. There are a number of different offending allergens that contribute most frequently to feline atopy. Dust, mites, dander and other particles can all contribute to your pet's allergic reaction, which in turn can contribute to his asthma.

Generally, the best way to treat feline atopic allergies is to isolate and remove the offending allergen from the environment. This treatment alone may help to significantly reduce your pet's reaction and his asthma. Work with your veterinarian to identify the allergen that your pet reacts to through a series of allergy tests. Use an air purifier to keep the atmosphere in your environment clean, and do what you can to remove the offending particles from the air through any other means available.

Treating Asthma with Allergen Immunotherapy

In addition to the direct treatment of your pet's allergies by removing the allergens from the environment itself, your veterinarian may recommend a treatment program that aims to increase your pet's tolerance of the allergen. Allergen immunotherapy is a relatively new treatment method, but it has seen great success. Generally, allergen immunotherapy has proven to eliminate or reduce allergies in about 70% of cases.

Allergen immunotherapy works by gradually introducing larger and larger quantities of the offending allergen into your pet's system, along with moderation techniques designed to reduce his reaction. Over time and with repeated treatments, your pet's body will gradually become accustomed to the presence of the allergen in the air, and the reaction will diminish gradually.

Because asthma has a variety of different causes, including factors both internal and external to your cat's system, there is no guarantee that allergen immunotherapy will be entirely effective at addressing your pet's asthma. Rather, it is better to include combination of treatments. For instance, antihistamine medicines can be helpful at reducing the inflammation of the lungs and airways that is common to asthma cases.

Be careful also that you work to change your pet's environment in response to the triggers for his asthma. Many pets are sensitive to smoke, so take care not to smoke indoors while your pet is in the area. Between allergen immunotherapy, appropriate changes in environment and lifestyle and the use of other drugs that can help to reduce symptoms, you and your veterinarian can work together to eliminate or reduce your pet's asthma.