Allergic Reaction to Insects in Cats

Allergic Reaction to Insects in Cats

Warm weather months often include run-ins with bees, wasps, and mosquitoes. Very often bites and stings produce an allergic reaction that adds to our misery. This is also true with our pets. Allergic reactions are just as common in our pets and can occur in cats of any age, breed, or sex. It generally takes several exposures before a reaction occurs, and reactions can vary from mild to severe.

Diagnosis of Allergic Reaction to Insects in Cats

There is no diagnostic test for anaphylaxis or urticaria, but your veterinarian can determine the presence of an allergic reaction by doing a quick physical examination. A history will reveal recent exposure to stinging insects.

Treatment of Allergic Reaction to Insects in Cats

Anaphylaxis is an extreme emergency and it occurs soon after being stung. Your veterinarian will begin immediate emergency life support. This will include establishing an open airway, administering oxygen, and intravenous fluids to increase blood pressure. He will probably administer drugs such as epinephrine and corticosteroids. Animals that survive the first few minutes usually return to normal health.

If your cat is known to be allergic to stinging insects, your veterinarian may recommend that you administer Benadryl® (diphenhydramine) in the early stages of the allergic reaction. Unfortunately, oral medication may not be sufficient, and you will have to take your cat in for examination and treatment.

Preventive Care

In general, there is no way to predict if your cat will have an allergic reaction. If he has had a reaction before, make sure your veterinarian knows about it and it is in your pet’s records. Since each reaction becomes more severe you should keep epinephrine available and know how to use it in case a reaction occurs. Ask your veterinarian about an “epi-pen” to keep on hand or take with you when you travel. This is a special syringe and needle filled with a single dose of epinephrine.

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