Cat Mosquito Bite Hypersensitivity
Cat Mosquito Bite Hypersensitivity
Most people, including cat lovers, probably are unaware that cats themselves can have allergies, especially to mosquito bites.
Occurring mostly during the hot summer months in warmer climates, mosquito bite hypersensitivity is a moderately common disease in cats, as it was first described during the beginning of the 1980s.
Mosquito bite hypersensitivity is an intense overreaction of a cat’s immune system to a mosquito bite. Because a cat’s immune system works as its defense mechanism, when something foreign is occurs, such as contact with mosquito saliva, their immune system immediately attempts to repel it from the cat’s body.
In the event of hypersensitivity, however, a cat’s immune system does not stop trying to repel the foreign matter and, in fact, will make the situation much worse.
Sign and Symptoms
Lesions such as scaling, areas of crusts and raw ulcers are a few of the more common signs of mosquito bite hypersensitivity in a cat. These lesions are mostly predominant on a cat’s nose or its ears.
Hair loss and color pigment changes around the bite may develop in the long run on cats that have mosquito bite hypersensitivity.
Another sign is swelling of the underside of a cat’s foot. The pads of their feet may also become tender, red and may have fissures. A few cats may even present with a fever and swollen lymph nodes.
If the cat does not interact with mosquitoes consistently after the first infection, symptoms may improve on their own. If symptoms persist, looking similar to roundworm or other diseases, your vet will be able to determine exactly what is going on by taking a biopsy. If need be, the vet can prescribe a corticosteroid to reduce the animal’s discomfort.
In cats mosquito bite hypersensitivity is usually diagnosed by a qualified veterinarian. Since it can also look a lot like many other types of skin disorders and allergies, it is important to have a veterinary examination to rule out a Cat Food Allergy, Cat Ringworm, eosinophilic plaque, lupus erythematosus, squamous cell carcinoma, or simply a bacterial infection.
However, there are other factors that are considered before a final diagnosis is given, such as the season of the year, the signs and symptoms, biopsy results and whether or not the skin lesions had improved after a cat had been placed in a mosquito-free area for around 4 to 7 days.
In most mild cases of mosquito bite hypersensitivity in cats, the lesions will resolve in their own time. It is encouraged that a cat remain in a an area that is free from mosquito’s during this recovery period, such as inside the house.
Those cases that are more severe, however, may be treated with a corticosteroid that is either injected or digested orally.
Unfortunately some cats who are easily affected by mosquito bite hypersensitivity receive treatment intermittently throughout the mosquito season with low doses of steroids. There are more safer, holistic remedies for mosquito and other Cat Bug Bites.
Mosquito bite hypersensitivity can easily be prevented by limiting a cat’s access to mosquito prone areas. Therefore, it makes sense that cats should not be exposed to mosquitoes. It’s healthiest for cats-and other creatures-to remain indoors for many other reasons (they could drink or eat something poisonous, they could get hit by a car, and they can wreak havoc on bird populations), and now here’s another good reason to keep your cat inside, especially during early morning hours and during dusk, because those are times when mosquitoes are quite active.
If you feel strongly that your cat should go outside and enjoy the fresh air once in awhile, you could purchase what is known as a cat tunnel or outdoor cat run. These are large, long, mesh enclosures that cats can lounge in during the day. These should prevent the entrance of mosquitoes, depended upon the size of the mesh. Additionally, you can feel secure knowing the exact location of your pet.
Conversely, control the mosquito population in your backyard is also extremely important. Never allow rain water to sit still for long periods of time.