Showing posts with label dog allergies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dog allergies. Show all posts

Tuesday 16 January 2024

Neglect your cat or dog's allergies long enough and you can be convicted of a crime

This is a story about a dog but it could be about a cat. It is also a story about a not untypical pet health problem namely allergies through allergens in the air or in what they eat. So were talking about a typical cat or dog caregiving situation. 

And in this story which comes from Australia, a fly-in fly-out (FIFO) worker (usually mining) and his wife failed to deal with their dog's allergies to the extent where the dog lost a lot of hair and had raised lumps and thickened, cracked and flaking skin. The dog had also developed an ear infection which was possibly associated with the allergy.

We don't know what kind of allergen caused the allergy but they are difficult to deal with and this dog required veterinary treatment at an early stage and perhaps ongoing veterinary treatment. But she was found in the backyard which was covered in faeces because the wife didn't like clearing up faeces.

The neglect was reported to the RSPCA of Western Australia probably by a neighbour. The couple were taken to court where they pleaded guilty to failing to take reasonable steps to prevent an animal from suffering harm. They were convicted therefore of animal cruelty and fined AU$2500 each and banned from owning any pets except for the three cats that they already had in their care.

The dog concerned, Ella, was taken off them and has been rehabilitated and rehomed. She is described as a sweetheart and everybody loved her at the RSPCA. It is hard to think about her suffering as occurred simply through a careless approach to pet caregiving and their lack of funding to deal with veterinary treatment.

The owner agreed that she had suffered with allergies her whole life. He appears to have excused himself to a certain extent by saying that the veterinary bills would have been too expensive.

Comment: what do we learn from this little story? Firstly, you got to have the money to do a good job of cat or dog caregiving. You cannot do it without sufficient funding. And that issue needs to be dealt with before you adopt a pet. It requires some seriously hard questions and answers by the person who wants to adopt a pet.

Secondly, simple neglect which might not feel like anything severe by the cat or dog owner but which becomes severe over a long period of time can be described as criminal behaviour. It'll be a sliding scale from minor neglect which would not be criminal to long-term neglect which can be and often is criminal.

Pet owners should realise that. It's a slippery slope perhaps. But there's no need to embark on that slippery slope. If a cat or dog owner faces the problem and deals with it honestly in admitting that they don't have the will or the money to care for their dog or cat properly then they should rehome the animal as soon as possible. 

They should surrender the animal ideally to an adopter of their choosing through a private arrangement as long as I know for sure that the other person is going to be a good cat or dog caregiver or through a shelter which should be of good quality and where euthanasia is a genuine last resort.

The bottom line is that this couple could have rehomed their dog years ago which would have avoided the pain and suffering she experienced. It would have also avoided their conviction for criminal behaviour and lastly, it would have eased their conscience if they have one for causing this cruelty. It required an honest self-appraisal.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Monday 26 May 2008

Dog Allergic to Cat

Pollen - once source of a dogs allergic reaction photo copyright massdistraction

A dog allergic to a cat? Yes, just as humans can be allergic to cats, dogs can be allergic to cats too. I am slightly allergic to a stray boy cat that pops in for food. It is the first time that I have sensed this. It is quite uncomfortable. I've only got to look at him, almost, and I start to feel itchy. I always wash after touching him.

Dogs allergic to cats cannot rationalize the problem like humans and as far as I can see there is not much one can do about it that is really effective. First though, if your dog is scratching it may be due to a wide range of sources. A dog may even be allergic to us as we produce allergens in the form of skin particles. Cat allergens are skin particles and/or dried saliva left on the after grooming.

It may be difficult to track down the source of irritation. There is the question as to whether you tackle the problem from the dog end or the source end (i.e. pro-action or reaction). I would have thought that prevention is better than cure so tracking down the source is important.

Potential sources other than your cat could be for example, the food he eats. It may be due to the type of protein in the food. You could try different types of dog food. Apparently the type of grain in the food can (rarely) be a source of allergic reaction. Food allergy generally, seems to be relatively rare, however. Mold spores is another possible source. I guess you'd know if you have a mold problem as it is very visible. If your dog is itching and you have mold somewhere in or around the home the two could be associated.

Cat allergens have a long life and can be present in the home for long periods attached to furniture etc. My research indicates that the best way to deal with cat allergens is to wash them off the cat, but most cats will find this unpleasant (some cats like water however - Bengal being one example). If this is done regularly (once monthly) it may assist. I'd certainly try and see. It could be a good way of testing the source. Wash you cat and see if your dog does less scratching.

There are products on the market that seal the cat dander to the body, preventing contact with it. I don't know how effective these are but I would have thought not very effective. There is quite a big market in hypoallergenics including breeding hypoallergenic cats (Allerca pets). One product is Danderseal®. It doesn't seem to be widely available and is limited it seems to the North American market (USA and Canada).

Another product is Allersearch X-Mite®, which neutralizes allergens in or on the carpet. You sprinkle it on and hoover it up - no idea how effective it might be. This also seems to be exclusively a US product.

As cat allergens are airborne a free standing air filtration unit may help. BlueAir are good quality but more expensive than some. There are lots on the market. If you can hire them (probably) it may be wise to hire for a week and "suck and see". If your dog improves you would have found at least one potential source. I'd have thought the testing process could be carried out for each potential source to gauge the reaction.

The cause could be pollen (a seasonal allergy). If your dog scratches seasonally then I guess it could be pollen. Your vet can carry out a test if this source is indicated. If it is not pollen it could be due to the vastly increased number of insects flying/walking around during the warmer seasons. An insect bite can cause an allergic reaction from the insects saliva deposited in the skin.

If you can't track down the source you'll have to treat the symptoms with drugs such as antihistamines such as Benadryl®. Once again I am nor sure how effective they are for pets and I'd be extremely careful (get vet advice). Another symptom reducer would be steroids (possible long term side effects - I'd personally avoid these).

The best route is obviously prevention, which will take more time to resolve and requires running tests. Dog allergic to cat might be dog allergic to something else.


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