Tabby with sore on her face

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I have a Tabby cat, now 4 yrs. old, that I rescued off a busy street when she was 3-4 mos. old. She looked and acted healthy and my vet checked her the day I found her and said she was. I had her spayed within the first month I had her. She willingly stayed indoors for the first 2 mos. Then slowly began exploring the area immediately surrounding my home. About a month later I noticed an angry looking sore on her face. Thought it was a cat fight wound. My vet said to give her antibiotics. Sore cleared. About a month later another one appeared. This time the vet gave her a steroid shot. The sore cleared. A month later another one appeared and seemed to be spreading.

I was referred to a veterinary dermatology specialist. To make this already long story less long. She had both blood tests and intradermal tests for allergies with positives a mile long. For three years shes been on antigen shots. Constantly adjusting the volume of the shot and/or the duration between shots with no real help. I kept her inside for a month. No change. I’ve tried several different steroid applications for a short term. Still no lasting help. Her sores are mainly on her face and mouth area, but not inside the mouth. She also gets occasional outbreaks on her paws. The specialist says she should probably start on a daily steroid. Probably for life. I know steroids can cause diabetes. (I already have one insulin dependent cat.) Also there’s the danger of the compromised immune system. I have already spent thousands of $$$ on tests and antigen which haven’t helped her. The addition of steroid treatment would be more expense, not to mention the health risk is more than my meager pension can handle. They say not to stop the antigen in any case. I’m almost out of antigen and really scratching my head about what to do next. Stop or continue the antigen? Start steroids? She’s such a sweetie. Can you offer any suggestion so I can help her?

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Asked on May 26, 2015 6:39 pm
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Our experience at DELTA with antigen allergy has been very good. Sometimes there is no response. If you have not seen any response to the antigen therapy over a three year time period you probably will not see any in the future and I would not continue. Our experience at DELTA with steroid use for the control of allergies has been very good. There are risks, including diabetes and liver problems; however, we monitor closely and make appropriate dosage changes as needed. The key is to use the minimum medication necessary to control the symptoms. We have successfully treated many cats with no serious side effects. It will cost less to treat with steroids than with antigen therapy.

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Posted by Dr. Gaylord Brown
Answered on May 26, 2015 6:39 pm
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