Emergency conditions

Allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock in dogs and cats

Dogs and cats can be allergic to many substances. Allergies are divided into three main groups, and the manifestations include: allergies to flea saliva, food allergies, and atopic dermatitis. The changes that occur in these groups of allergens generally lead to minor or major changes in the skin and/or in the digestive system. For the treatment of the same, a detailed dermatological and allergological examination is required, as well as the determination of adequate therapy and the cause of the allergy.

Injured cat

A condition in dogs and cats that worries us especially, and occurs as a hypersensitive (allergic) reaction, and which can lead to the death of the animal and requires urgent veterinary intervention, is anaphylactic shock. It occurs as a consequence of exposure to certain antigens (allergens) and represents a pronounced, potentially lethal hypersensitivity reaction of the organism. The most common causes of anaphylactic shock in dogs and cats are vaccines, insect bites, antimicrobial drugs, NSAIDs, opiates, other drugs, food, transfusions, etc. There are several types of anaphylactic reactions, and the most common is a reaction to an antigen to which the animal has previously been exposed (sensitized), where the body has created certain molecules (IgE) that bind to cells in the body (basophils, mast cells), which are activated upon re-encountering the antigen and releasing a large number of mediators of the anaphylactic reaction.

In dogs, anaphylactic shock most often causes symptoms on the skin (urticaria, erythema, pruritus, and angioedema) and in the digestive system (vomiting, diarrhea), and later, as the reaction progresses, there is a disturbance in the respiratory system (difficulty breathing and suffocation).

In cats, the respiratory system is the first to respond to anaphylactic shock, with pronounced secretion in the respiratory tract, difficulty breathing, but there are also symptoms of the impaired gastrointestinal tract.

It is very important that if you have a pet, you always have the contact of the veterinarian on duty and the emergency room on hand, who will be able to provide the necessary help in a short time as soon as the organism reacts because any delay in treatment increases the chance of death.