Atopica is a medication that treats a common skin problem in cats called allergic dermatitis. If you own a cat, you might have come across this term before. It occurs when your cat is suffering from an allergy, resulting in skin problems. This is kind of hard to diagnose. Thus, only a few percent of cats are diagnosed and treated by veterinary dermatologists. In this post, we’ll list and provide a quick overview of the top alternatives to Atopica for cats.
Cats with allergic dermatitis are also allergic to the same allergens that affect humans: pollen from leaves, weeds, moulds, and dust mites. While these allergens in humans can cause watery eyes and a runny nose, cats respond differently.
In addition to these allergens, they sometimes experience skin inflammation. The medication takes about two weeks to initially start working. Then it can be as long as four to six weeks before the skin conditions become manageable.
Indoor and outdoor environmental conditions play an important role in exacerbating symptoms. Atopica is the second most common skin problem in cats. Only 10-15 percent of cats are diagnosed with Atopica, and they are treated by dermatologists.
Some prominent signs are itching and a possible history of skin or ear infections. Itching can create abrasions, which are large areas of fur that have been licked away or pulled out in clumps. According to Rod A.W. Rosychuk, DVM, DACVIM, cats can have multiple clinical forms of atopy.
This can include alopecia with or without self-trauma dermatitis, head and/or neck pruritus, pruritic military dermatitis, eosinophilic plaque, indolent ulcer, eosinophilic granuloma, otitis externa, chin dermatitis, rhinitis, conjunctivitis and asthma.
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Best Alternatives to Atopica for Cats
Corticosteroids are synthetic and include prednisone, prednisolone, dexamethasone, and triamcinolone. They work by binding to the glucocorticoid receptor, which up-regulates the expression of anti-inflammatory proteins, and represses pro-inflammatory proteins.
Corticosteroids include oral medicines (given by mouth), medicine that is delivered directly into a vein (intravenously or IV), muscle (intramuscularly), and medications in spray form to reduce inflammation and itching. When steroids are given, there might be some side effects (short-term and long-term) such as: an increase in hunger, increase in thirst, calcium deposits (calcinosis cutis), and loss in energy.
Antihistamines like Benadryl can be used. They work best as a preventive measure before the cat is exposed to the allergen. Unfortunately, there is no current antihistamine with proven efficacy in cats for the treatment of allergic skin disease.
“Cetirizine, a second-generation antihistamine, has given satisfactory results in the management of atopic dermatitis,” says a study published in the Canadian Veterinary Journal. Some side effects of antihistamines include lethargy, anorexia, diarrhoea and seizures.
3. Natural therapies
There have been many cases where natural therapies have worked to tackle atopic dermatitis. No specific therapy works on every single patient, but there are a number of options.
Some natural therapies are as follows:
- Omega 3 fatty acids – They help in reducing protein content and inflammation in the body. Fatty acids strengthen the skin and hair, and reinforce the epidermal membrane by controlling leukotriene and prostaglandin synthesis.They also preserve the natural composition of skin lipids and modulate the roles of lymphocytes.
- Herbs – Herbs are another great therapy that help in reducing inflammation. They also aid in detoxifying. Some herbs such as gypsum, anemarrhena, burdock, and rehmannia have shown anti-inflammatory and anti-pruritic activity. It is a natural alternative to corticosteroids.
- Homeopathics – Homeopathics have been used in combination with other various supplements to cure atopy. But the drawback is that they work less in cats than they do in humans. Some of them are useful, like sulfur, pulsatilla, Arsenicum album, Rhus tox and Hepar sulfur.
- Hygiene – One of the most important things that can be done to relieve an itchy pet is to bathe them using the right shampoo. Bathing periodically, sometimes every day, reduces allergens, scales and odours, and can cure minor secondary infections.
Dietary food experiments should be done as well. In many atopic cases, a food allergy is common and it can exacerbate the atopy. An 8-week trial is enough time to distinguish between the causes of 90 percent of cases. Food intolerance symptoms are identical to and can co-exist with the treatments of atopica inhalant allergies. So, your doctor can prescribe a diet shift if necessary.
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5. Ointments and creams
Tacrolimus may be cheaper than Atopica, but topical medications alone may not be as effective in some dogs for the treatment of atopica. Topical corticosteroid ointments and creams, recommended for the treatment of moderate cases of pemphigus-induced canine skin lesions, can be beneficial on their own, but are prescribed in extreme cases in accordance with oral immunosuppressants.
The underlying dose of Atopica for cats is 3.2 mg/lb/day (7 mg/kg/day) as an everyday portion for at least 4 weeks or until the disappearance of clinical signs. Following this day-by-day treatment period might be too much for some cats.
The portion of Atopica for cats can be lessened by diminishing the recurrence of dosing to every other day or twice a week, which will still keep up the ideal remedial impact. At whatever point conceivable, Atopica for cats ought to be regulated on a steady timetable as to dinners and time of day. It should not be prescribed for more than once a day.
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Precautions to be taken while using Atopica for cats:
- Try not to smoke or utilize smokeless tobacco while taking care of cats.
- If there is an emergency, look for clinical help promptly and give the package label to the doctor.
- Individuals who are sensitive to cyclosporine should keep out of contact with Atopica.
I’ve been living with cats since 2008 and I can confidently say I have more feline friends than humans lol. I currently live with 5 cats in different life stages; two of them are less than one year old, one is 2-ish years old and the oldest two are 9-ish years old. I’ve developed a strong bond with cats over the years and I’m eager to share my experience through this blog. You can learn more about my cats here.