My 7 year old cat was given a steroid shot a few months ago for dermatitis, I've noticed she's scratching again, is there something I can do to help her besides another shot?
Carla, dermatitis has a number of causes and if your cat responded to a steroid shot (which has an anti-inflammatory effect) it’s possible she is being treated for allergies. There are two ways of managing allergies.
The first is to identify what she’s allergic to and reduce her exposure to it. The second is to treat her body to stop it responding to what’s making her react. Common allergens include fleas, food and dusts/pollens in the environment. Your flea control should be meticulous. Talk to your vet about doing a food trial to test for food allergies. There’s a specific way to do this that involves feeding something your cat has never eaten before; prescription hypoallergenic diets are the easiest way to do this. It’s more challenging to keep her away from dusts and pollens.
Treating her body involves skin testing to identify what she’s allergic to and giving her desensitizing injections. These are very small doses of allergens that don’t cause symptoms but allow her body to learn to tolerate them. Medications such as antihistamines and steroids can be useful. Fish oil may have an anti-inflammatory effect and can help.
Make an appointment to talk to your vet to firstly confirm what the diagnosis is and if it is allergies, chat about which of these alternatives may be best suited to your cat.
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