Angioedema in cats can cause a very sudden difficulty in breathing, severe abdominal pains, as well as a very sudden swelling of the eyes and mouth.
Although it is often confused with hives, it is much different in many ways and can be much more severe.
It also goes by two other names; Angioneurotic edema and perhaps something much more familiar to most owners, welts.
Although hives and Angioedema often occur together, it is possible for your cat to suddenly contract Angioedema without hives.
Angioedema in cats is similar to hives because of the swelling that it causes, but instead of being on the surface of the skin like hives, it is affects the deep layers of the skin.
For this reason alone, it is consider much a much larger danger to your cat, especially if it becomes severe enough.
It is an allergic reaction that also can affect a lot more areas of your cat’s body as it can not only affect their eyes and mouth areas, it can also affect their feet, throat as well as their tongue.
During this attack, histamine as well as other forms of chemicals is rapidly released by your cat’s immune system, where they then enter into the bloodstream.
This reaction is a natural immune reaction, but it can and often does overpower the system.
The causes of Angioedema are still not fully understood, but the list of what is believed to be the underlying cause goes far beyond just allergies to pollen and dust.
In the vast majority of cases, these potentially very dangerous welts will go away on their own.
However, if they do affect your cat’s throat and tongue area, they have now become a life threatening situation.
If the welts do become severe, it may be the first sign that you have that your cats may have a much more serious condition referred to as anaphylaxis.
However, once you do see any signs of the welts developing, you should still seek professional care as soon as possible.
Although the actual cause of Angioedema in cats is still not fully understood by the medical community, is widely held the true underlying cause if from allergen.
Allergen is the most likely cause to trigger the massive release of histamine into your cats system.
However there are also other potential causes that are believed to also trigger this event.
Outside of pollen, the most likely cause is from a reaction drugs or a recent vaccination.
Antibiotics such as penicillin as well as any medication that contains sulfa may trigger this condition, as well as blood pressure medicines such as ACE inhibitors.
However, there is one issue that is not commonly discussed with Angioedema in cats if the cause is from a sulfa reaction.
Sulfa antibiotics have been suggested for several years to be the cause of this condition, as for this reason have not been used a widely in humans as antibiotics.
However, this is not always the case when it comes to antibiotic used on cats.
If your cat has more than one reaction and develops Angioedema again, you should be extremely concerned.
You should ask your veterinarian if the antibiotic that has been used is indeed a sulfa based drug.
Lupus, leukemia, as well as lymphoma can also be triggered by Angioedema.
The potential damage, however, does not end there as it can also lead to blood damage in your cat.
It can affect various blood cells that result in a decrease in the white blood cells, problems with red blood cells, as well as platelet problems.
The next possible cause of Angioedema in cats may be from what is referred to an animal dander, which are the scales of your cats shed skin.
Exposure to water and excessive sunlight, as well as extreme heat or extreme cold may also be the underlying cause.
Fish and dairy products may also be the cause of this condition in some cats.
Angioedema in cats, much like hives, has some very definitive symptoms, but there is one thing very important to understand.
Because this is a deep skin reaction as opposed to an upper skin reaction, the symptoms and signs should be taken very seriously.
The first symptom that you will see, much like hives, is a very sudden development of swelling.
It will shock you in most cases as one moment your cat is fine and shows absolutely no signs that anything is wrong, and the next minute they are swelling up and in pain.
Than the welts start to form, and are the next symptom you will see.
These warts will be both very painful as well as extremely itchy to your cat.
If they become irritated by your cat scratching them or by you touching them, they will turn pale in color and become even more irritating and painful for your cat.
However, this is only the beginning of the symptoms, as your cat eyes and mouth will also become swollen.
In most all cases they will also develop into a condition referred to as chemosis.
This is a situation where the lining of your cats eyes also start to swell and they will have a very difficult to seeing when this occurs.
Abdominal pain is also one of the signs, as well as difficulty in breathing if it is severe enough.
If you see any indications that your cat is having difficult time breathing, you need to seek professional care as quickly as possible.
Most owners will naturally assume and even ask that allergy testing be done on their cat, but in most cases this is extremely rare.
The reason for this is that your veterinarian has no idea what to test for; no one does.
If the symptoms are mild in nature, they are generally not treated as they will in most cases go away almost as rapidly as they occurred.
However, if your cats throat is not thoroughly examined, you need to insist that it is, just to make sure there is no swelling in their throat or on their tongue.
However, if the symptoms are considered to be even moderate in scope, your cat will be treated.
If they are having difficulty in breathing, they may have to undergo an emergency surgery to open to their air passages.
Angioedema in cats is the result of histamines being released into their system, and the first mode of treatment is usually with anti-histamines to counter this release.
Anti-inflammatory drugs may also be recommended such as corticosteroids.
They can be dangerous on their own account to cats, this may be the only effective form of treating the swelling.
Angioedema in cats is often confused with hives, can occur in conjunction with hives, or can occur on their own.
But there is one thing very important to remember with this condition.
It is a deep skin infection once the warts develop, you should place a halo on your cat to stop your cat from irritating any further.
They may go way on their own, but you will have to watch your cat very closely and still seek medical attention.