Anaphylactic shock in cats: how to recognize it, causes and remedies

Do not know what to do in case of anaphylactic shock in the cat? Here’s how to recognize them and the right moves to save its life.

Cats can give us a lot of concerns about their health: one of them is definitely anaphylactic shock. But what does it consist of and what are all the symptoms to recognize it? Once the causes, or rather the trigger, have been discovered, it will be easier to avoid it the next time. You need to know what to do and what are the right moves to save the life of the feline in case of anaphylactic shock in the cat.

Anaphylactic shock: what is it

Before understanding what can provoke anaphylactic shock in the cat, it is important to know what we are talking about. It is a strong allergic reaction, also called ‘anaphylaxis’, to a certain allergen, a foreign protein or some other toxic substance. It has a rapid appearance and, in the worst cases, can even lead to the death of the four-legged. The cat’s organism may come into contact with the ‘offending’ substance or through inhalation, ingestion or direct contact (such as insect bites or toxic saliva from other animals). Blood pressure is lowered and damage to organs and tissues develops, with specific and also quite noticeable symptoms.

Symptoms of a cat in anaphylaxis

How do we hypothesize that our cat has been stung by some insect and is developing a serious reaction such as anaphylactic shock? Unfortunately, we just have to look at it.

  • Show breathing problems: due to bronchial and throat constriction, the cat will not be able to breathe well;
  • it is restless: the cat shakes in the grip of an unusual agitation;
  • has itching: the muzzle or the area affected by the allergen tends to swell and be very itchy;
  • has a rapid heartbeat;
  • suffers from hypersalivation;
  • have pale gums and episodes of vomiting.

If not treated immediately, anaphylactic shock can lead to loss of lucidity, difficulty walking, but also convulsions up to a comatose state, which can degenerate into the death of the animal.

How anaphylactic shock of the dog occurs: the causes

There is no common cause that can trigger the allergic reaction of the cat, since it depends on the specific reaction of his organism: it is not said that a factor that triggers the allergy in him has the same effect on another feline. Even vaccines can trigger reactions of this kind! But despite this there is a list of ‘imputable’ or otherwise strongly ‘suspicious’ elements:

  • drugs
  • products for fleas and ticks,
  • saliva of insects,
  • antibiotics
  • pollen
  • mildew
  • food allergens.

Once you have identified the element responsible for the allergy, you will have to keep as far away from the cat as possible – this is actually the most effective method of prevention.

How to treat anaphylactic shock in cats

It will be up to the veterinarian to act quickly and decisively. It is likely that the expert decides to put an intravenous catheter to the cat, to counteract the lowering of blood pressure: intravenous epinephrine will in fact increase the heart rate. You can also use drugs to solve respiratory problems, inserting a tube into the feline throat with an endotracheal intubation, or by incising the trachea, with an operation called ‘tracheostomy’. During the next 48 hours the cat will need to be monitored and kept under strict control.

What we can do: the right moves to save its life

In reality, the most onerous task will be up to the veterinarian, who will certainly know better than us how to intervene. However, if we see that the cat is in the grip of an anaphylactic shock, we can try to act with some right moves.

  • Do not give them water or food;
  • put it on its side or otherwise so that the blood reaches the brain,
  • give him a heart massage (but only if the heart does not beat),
  • practice artificial respiration (if the gums are white or cyanotic),
  • buffer any bleeding.

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