Mojo had been working with the dermatology department at the vet school, and we saw the benefits of the immuno therapy. We decided to give it a try for Smokey too. You can read about his testing and see results at this previous post.
Another special challenge for Smokey is that he also has herpes in his eyes. When he flairs from his allergies, all the scratching, and stressing about the itching lead to ulcers. Which burn, so he rubs, etc...it is a vicious cycle! We realized that Smokey is a worrier. He internalizes everything and stresses. This causes his herpes flair ups most of the time. We have him on an anti-anxiety med for that, and it has truly helped him to be a more relaxed cat. We worked with the dosing until he would not worry, but still had all of his normal personality. He actually needs very little of this med to stay stable. It has been a miracle drug for us!
He has been taking his allergy shots now for almost 3 years and we have seen fantastic results! His shot schedule is one shot every two weeks. He went from needing steroid shots and antihistamines regularly, even though they weren't really working, to nothing at all. We have very small flairs in the summer. We saw it last summer, and this summer too. I am going to speak with his doctor about either testing for something else, or seeing if we can increase the frequency of the shots in the summer to keep him clear. At least we know what to do if we see some swelling or winking. That is a big relief, to know how to address a problem is half the battle.
Here is what he looks like with a slight flair. Notice how the skin around the eyes is puffy. Sorry the quality of the photo is not that great.
This picture is just a few months ago and you can see how his eyes look now. This is what we see most of the time, and hope to continue to see, once we get the summer thing worked out with the dermatologist.
We love our vet school, and feel very fortunate to live so close to it. The doctors are wonderful and really work hard to find the right combination to help your pet.
I don't like that my boys have these special problems, but I do take my role as their advocate for the best care possible seriously. I research their problems and speak with several friends, who are vets, about them. I am willing to do something a bit out of the ordinary if it will benefit my boys and provide them with good quality of life. I also don't have a problem with stopping a treatment if that quality is suffering and trying something else, or at least requesting a different option.
How do you handle medical issues if they come up in your cats? What 'weird' things have you seen or dealt with?