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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Veterinarian
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Experience:  35 years in practice
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Can Alaway (ketotifen fumarate) be used in cats for their allergy

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Can Alaway (ketotifen fumarate) be used in cats for their allergy symptoms? My cat has long had an issue where she sneezes alot around allergy season, very snotty nose, and seems to swallow a lot like she has post nasal drip. The vet has stated she has nothing in her throat causing the swallowing, and when she sneezes....eewww! Lots of snot. This really becomes a problem around this time of year. The cat has some good response to homeopathic saline eye drops for the problem, but I would like something that lasts a little longer than a few hours for her. She is about twelve years old and generally bright eyed and bushy tailed.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 5 years ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Bob.
I'm very sorry to read of your cat's condition.
The condition you've described is chronic sinusitis. This is an extremely stubborn disease to treat and the saline drops you're using may well be the best you can do for her. Any thing that causes any further insult to the already narrowed nasal passages will worsen the already bad symptoms even more.
The Alaway should be safe to use. Although it's not approved in cats, it is an antihistamine, and these rarely cause problems of any kind. It may even offer relief from the additional symptoms brought on by allergy season. Watch closely when using it, to be sure you don't see side effects like loss of appetite, restlessness, diarrhea, etc.
The only treatment modality that seems to offer some hope for this condition at this time is the therapy laser, a relatively new device gaining popularity among veterinarians and human physicians. It works by reducing the swelling and allowing the body's defenses to be re-established. They're not widely available as of this writing, but hopefully a veterinarian near you will have or soon get one. It's worth calling around to try to find one.
If you should have further questions, please let me know.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Dr. Bob, your answer was very helpful. Is there some kind of governing body with a web site that can direct me to the clinics or vets who have or use this laser? It sounds like a good idea...they should have one for my husband too. ;)
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 5 years ago.
Hello again. No, sorry I know of no "governing body" that refers to clinics with therapy lasers. It's a great idea, though!
Chronic sinusitis is a frustrating problem to try to treat and this is the first glimmer of hope that it might be somewhat amenable to therapy.
Here is a website with a video about therapy lasers:
You might try contacting the Companion Therapy laser company, and requesting a list of veterinarians near you who have one in their practices.
Best regards,
Dr. Bob
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