My Mom's 10 yr old diabetic cat has constant itching unless a steroid shot is given every few weeks. The vet wants to try Atopica instead. what's the answer?
Pet's Gender: Female
Pet's Age: 10
given steroid shots over the last few years, every couple of months. Also have her on diabetic food, but have never given her insulin. She was my elderly mother's cat until she died recently. The kitty is now at my brothers and is doing well except for itching.
Hello and thank you for asking your question on just answer. My name isXXXXX will try to help.
Has she been tested, with a blood test, to see what she is allergic to?
Have you tried antihistamines like benadryl?
What parts of her body itch the most?
Does she have any hair loss?
She has been tested specifically for allergies, but vets believe the itching/allergy is because of diabetes. Her scratching is mainly around the face, with her ears and eyes being the worst. She has had some loss on her head from that, but otherwise her shedding seems normal for a cat. I don't know if any benadryl has been given.
The current vet wants Atopica started and steroids stopped...but I'm having a hard time agreeing with that.
Diabetes does not cause itching. That is not one of the symptoms of diabetes. I think you may have misunderstood what the vet said. Sometimes we throw a lot of information at you at once.
Steroid injections, can cause diabetes type symptoms and the actual disease of diabetes.
Sometimes, when you stop the steroid injections, the diabetes will resolve.
Atopica is a good idea because it does not cause the side effects like steroids. Atopica does not make diabetes worse, or cause diabetes like symptoms. So your vet is correct that it would be much better for her to go off the steroid injections, and on to the Atopica.
The Atopica does take about two weeks to get to the full effect. It usually works just as well as the steroid injections.
Food allergies often cause lesions, and itching, on the head, ears, and neck. I would ask the vet if you can try putting her on a hypo-allergenic diet. There are hypo-allergenic diets that can be given to diabetic cats.
A skin scape should also be done, on her lesions, to make sure she does not have mange.
In addition, a fungal culture should be done to make sure she does not have ringworm which is a fungal infection. This is done by plucking hair from an affected area and culturing it on a special growth gel. If positive, she can be treated with oral or topical medication.
14 years in Companion Animal Practice and SPCA