My cat developed an allergy to my dubia roaches

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My cat developed an allergy to my dubia roaches

Postby DorgEndo » Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:18 am

If you are asking if cats can even get allergies. Yes, unfortunately they can. One of the perks of being a mammal.

Depending on the allergy you mostly want to prevent exposure. I know a cat allergic to mosquitoes. Needs medicated cream whenever that poor kitty breaks out in hives from any mosquito contact.

Anyway. This probably happened from some combination of sniffing the container ventilation openings on the dubia container and I would let my cat Greysie sniff the roaches sometimes, it seemed like good cat entertainment to occasionally put one roach in a bowl and let her sniff and paw at it. No more of that...even then it was maybe 5 times I have done that over 1 year with roaches.

She has swelling over her left eye. The swelling already subsided. The fur fell off where it was swollen. The wet look is due to some antibiotic ointment. The area never ruptured externally in any perceivable way. Greysie is acting completely okay. All her normal habits so at least she isn't bothered that I can tell. Her birthday is March 27th and she will be 14 years old. I love her.

Not sure if anyone else knows any mammal can get an allergy so I thought I'd share

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She/Her. Devlyn my beautiful bearded dragon, approx hatch 8/18, mine since 2/19. Kitty Greysie born 3/06.Charlie the American grey tree frog, found 11/18. MK & Ash the anole sisters. Lots of house plants, I like cacti and succulents.
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Re: My cat developed an allergy to my dubia roaches

Postby DorgEndo » Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:28 am

If it's not clear, I would not have roaches if I didn't have a bearded dragon. So I think this is on topic for the forum.

-April
She/Her. Devlyn my beautiful bearded dragon, approx hatch 8/18, mine since 2/19. Kitty Greysie born 3/06.Charlie the American grey tree frog, found 11/18. MK & Ash the anole sisters. Lots of house plants, I like cacti and succulents.
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Re: My cat developed an allergy to my dubia roaches

Postby Claudiusx » Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:43 am

Hi April,

How awful. I wonder if her age has anything to do with it. We know our bodies start acting differently (especially are immune system) as we get older. That seems like really short exposure to develop an allergy like that, which is why I bring up age.

Still, poor Greysie.

What is your plan now? Just keep her away from the bin or are you thinking of getting rid of the dubias?

Curiously, how do you know for sure it's an allergy to the roaches?

Usually allergies that develop like that start off mild and progress worse and worse. I would have expected to see sneezing and watery eyes at first from playing with the roaches before something like this happening.

-Brandon
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Re: My cat developed an allergy to my dubia roaches

Postby DorgEndo » Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:51 am

So we don't know what caused the allergy. There isn't some test that can be done for cats. Roaches were picked out by process of elimination. There is nothing new in the house. It's winter so she hasn't been outside to get into something new. So I can't be 100% certain, but I'm fairly certain the only allergy causing thing in my house are dubia roaches.

Isolating the roaches behind a door in one of the bedrooms is all I need to do to keep her away completely from them. Roaches can stay for my beardie :)

Her age absolutely could be an influence! She is a very healthy almost 14 y.o. cat. She has gotten by with almost no health problems at all. I saw her, probably, pull a muscle running once, limped a few days afterwards, vet saw no other deeper injury when I took her in. She had a nick in her ear from one of her litter mates, almost unnoticeable now. If this is the only health problem she ever gets she is still beating all the odds to be a very healthy cat
She/Her. Devlyn my beautiful bearded dragon, approx hatch 8/18, mine since 2/19. Kitty Greysie born 3/06.Charlie the American grey tree frog, found 11/18. MK & Ash the anole sisters. Lots of house plants, I like cacti and succulents.
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Re: My cat developed an allergy to my dubia roaches

Postby DorgEndo » Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:59 am

An allergic reaction was the first thing the vet said when she saw her eye. She asked me about outdoor exposure. She was asking questions on if there were bugs as insects bites can cause allergies. I held off on mentioning the roaches until going through other things. The vet admitted she didn't know about dubia roaches specifically. But since it is known to cause allergies in humans....

I hide the roach empire I'm building back for as long as possible in the conversation.
She/Her. Devlyn my beautiful bearded dragon, approx hatch 8/18, mine since 2/19. Kitty Greysie born 3/06.Charlie the American grey tree frog, found 11/18. MK & Ash the anole sisters. Lots of house plants, I like cacti and succulents.
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Re: My cat developed an allergy to my dubia roaches

Postby DragonPete » Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:54 am

My old girl Patches, will be 14 in Sept and she has had seasonal allergies her whole life. Couple weeks in spring and fall, watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose. She has it about the same time I do. 😲 Not much can be done about it, although I hear Zytec seems to be helpful for a lot of kitties. Benadryl didn't help her at all. Fortunately, hers goes away in a couple weeks.
I had a Golden Retriever with hay fever too, but only a couple times.
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Re: My cat developed an allergy to my dubia roaches

Postby DorgEndo » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:53 am

I doubt Greysie needs medication and I don't want to medicate her unless all other methods were exhausted. The only reason her eye still looks funny is because the fur fell off. I think the swelling popped the fur off and it should grow back. But even if she was bald above one eye that is fine too. Antibiotic was just in case there were microtears in the skin from swelling

No sneezing, no runny nose. Vet said her lungs are clear. We didn't do any blood tests, which I might do because I might have her get a dental cleaning. I'm still thinking about it, I probably won't because of the anesthesia. I am going to start brushing her teeth today. I have to go full on crazy pet parent. I already do for my beardie, can't let my kitty fall behind.
She/Her. Devlyn my beautiful bearded dragon, approx hatch 8/18, mine since 2/19. Kitty Greysie born 3/06.Charlie the American grey tree frog, found 11/18. MK & Ash the anole sisters. Lots of house plants, I like cacti and succulents.
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Re: My cat developed an allergy to my dubia roaches

Postby DragonPete » Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:03 pm

Good luck with the cat tooth brushing! 😆 I haven't had Patches dental done since she was 10. Afraid of the anesthesia at her age.
I tried Benadryl with Patches years ago but all it did was knock her out. Now when her allergies act up, I just clean her eyes a couple times a day with a boric acid eye wash until it clears up in a week or 2. It's not bad and really doesn't seem to bother her much.
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Re: My cat developed an allergy to my dubia roaches

Postby MrSpectrum » Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:40 pm

DorgEndo wrote:So I can't be 100% certain, but I'm fairly certain the only allergy causing thing in my house are dubia roaches.

I'd be very surprised if they're the only thing. Just because the cat hasn't gotten out doesn't mean the outside hasn't gotten in, in one way or another. Allergens carry on the wind, get brought/tracked in on clothing & footwear, crawl in through cracks & openings... (e.g. spider bites) Most of our dogs have had allergies: hay fever, wool, fleas, several "unknown"s... and one was just... itchy. It's not going to hurt anything to separate the roaches from the cat, and at least one roach may have gotten a reprieve until Devlyn eats it. :D

We've used antihistamines like Benadryl when the itching got bad (skin lesions, fur loss, weeping), and a few times symptoms have been so severe the vet has had to prescribe steroids (prednisone).
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Re: My cat developed an allergy to my dubia roaches

Postby DorgEndo » Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:29 pm

MrSpectrum wrote:I'd be very surprised if they're the only thing. Just because the cat hasn't gotten out doesn't mean the outside hasn't gotten in, in one way or another. Allergens carry on the wind, get brought/tracked in on clothing & footwear, crawl in through cracks & openings... (e.g. spider bites)

Fair point. Spider bite was on the vet's mind. Even if I don't see spiders there must be a few in the house somewhere. There are always various insects somewhere, even in winter.

It has warmed up the past few days so a sleeping tiny creature could have woken up and bothered Greysie. I'll still be vigellent to keep the roaches isolated. Maybe I can reconfigure their box to be more cat proof. Things to think about
She/Her. Devlyn my beautiful bearded dragon, approx hatch 8/18, mine since 2/19. Kitty Greysie born 3/06.Charlie the American grey tree frog, found 11/18. MK & Ash the anole sisters. Lots of house plants, I like cacti and succulents.
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Re: My cat developed an allergy to my dubia roaches

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