Anaphylaxis in cats is a life-threatening reaction that occurs when a cat is exposed to an allergen after previously being exposed to it. Anaphylaxis is a term used by veterinarians to indicate a life-threatening allergic reaction. IgE antibodies attach to the antigen, prompting the discharge of cytotoxic granules from basophils and mast cells, resulting in anaphylaxis.

A cat suffering from anaphylaxis and sits on the lap

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction in cats to anything that is injected or consumed. Because practically anything can produce an allergic reaction, the condition is unpredictable. Anaphylaxis in cats is usually a serious emergency that can lead to death quickly, therefore immediate veterinarian help is essential. The most typical symptoms arise seconds to minutes after antigen exposure.

Foods, drugs, immunizations, and insect bites or stings can all trigger this acute allergic reaction. If your cat has anaphylaxis, he or she may have facial swelling, a fast heart rate, a weak pulse, breathing problems, throw up, and diarrhea. After the allergen enters the body, clinical signs of anaphylaxis can occur in minutes, causing worsening symptoms such as cold extremities, pale mucous membranes, shock, seizure, coma, and even death.

Causes of Anaphylaxis in cats

  • Insect stings
  • Medicines
  • Food

Anaphylaxis in cats is induced by the immune system’s excessive reactivity to an allergen. The allergen element came into contact with the kitty at some point throughout her life, and it was at this point that the immune system mistook this harmless substance for a threat. Anaphylaxis in cats can be triggered by almost any substance in the environment or consumed. Insect stings, medicines, and food are all possible causes. If your cat is exposed to a serious allergy, its body will usually react violently. There could be a localized reaction or a systemic reaction.

A cat with anaphylaxis receiving treatment

Symptoms of Anaphylaxis in cats

The symptoms of anaphylaxis in cats include:

  • Collapse
  • Low body temperature
  • Cold extremities
  • Trembling
  • Wheezing
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Pale gums
  • Hives
  • Facial edema
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty Breathing

Anaphylaxis symptoms in cats might emerge in a couple of minutes or take up to an hour to appear. In most anaphylactic cases, the feline’s lungs are the first organ to be damaged, resulting in airway congestion and difficulties breathing.

Diagnosis of Anaphylaxis in cats

The veterinarian will be able to diagnose anaphylaxis based on the symptoms a kitty is experiencing when she arrives at the clinic. An allergic reaction in your cat might happen quickly. If many of the most common allergens are suspected to be the source of the problem, skin allergen tests can be done.

A strong response is a medical emergency that frequently necessitates hospitalization. Finding the source of a severe allergy will include a thorough examination of your cat’s medical history, as well as a comprehensive examination of the drugs she is presently on and any vaccinations she has recently gotten. Any changes in your cat’s diet, including treats or table scraps given in the last 24 hours, should be reported.

Anaphylaxis in cats make it to lie down


Anaphylaxis in cats is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate treatment with intravenous fluids and oxygen. Epinephrine is a common drug used to raise blood pressure and open the airways in cats suffering from anaphylaxis. A bronchodilator inhalant, antihistamine drugs, and glucocorticoids may be used by the veterinarian to treat the symptoms of an allergic reaction, depending on your cat’s condition.

A vaccine may be helpful in some cases, but in others, life support and the opening of an airway to allow your cat to breathe normally may be required. Fluids are also frequently given to reduce or prevent shock as well as to hydrate the body.

Although there is no way to predict or avoid anaphylaxis in cats, pet owners can take precautions if the kitty has a history of allergies. If your cat’s allergic reaction was triggered by food or another common allergen, you’ll need to take steps to manage his or her environment.

It’s crucial to remember that anaphylaxis is a rare occurrence. The immune system of the body overreacts to the foreign protein or chemical, causing an overreaction. Anaphylaxis is assumed to be inherited or familial in most cases. An anaphylactic reaction, also known as anaphylaxis, is an allergic reaction to foreign material, most commonly a foreign protein molecule, known as an allergen or antigen.

Anaphylaxis reaction cause bulge on the dog face
credit: animalwised

The immune system triggers an allergic reaction in response to a triggering substance. To combat the perceived infection, the body recognizes the material as hazardous and releases histamines and other inflammatory molecules. The severity and symptoms of allergic responses in dogs vary. This usually happens in response to a well-known allergen that your dog has previously encountered.

Anaphylactic shock, or simply anaphylaxis, is a term used to describe extremely severe allergic responses. When left untreated, this is a life-threatening disease; however, most dogs will recover if given treatment in a timely manner. Allergic reactions can range from a little localized reaction to a widespread systemic failure affecting nearly all of the body’s major organs. In dogs, severe allergic reactions cause severe gastrointestinal and respiratory problems.

However, in anaphylactic shock, the body’s excess histamines cause low blood pressure, smooth muscle spasm, capillary dilation, and edema. Anaphylactic shock affects the lungs in most animals and causes respiratory distress, but in dogs, the liver is the principal organ damaged by the reaction.

If a dog is strongly sensitive to an allergen or antigen, any exposure to it might cause anaphylactic shock, however, the following are the most prevalent allergens.

  • Insect bites
  • Food or chemicals used to manufacture food
  • Medications
  • Injections
  • Insect bites: Wasp, fire ant, and bee stings normally cause only redness and swelling at the sting or bite site, but anaphylaxis can develop if a dog is strongly sensitive to them.
  • Medications: Anaphylaxis can develop if your dog is allergic to a drug and takes it.
  • Vaccines: Vaccines, like pharmaceuticals, can cause adverse reactions in certain dogs. Vaccines contain a variety of chemicals that might induce anaphylaxis in dogs.
  • Food or chemical: There are some foods or chemicals that if ingested by a dog, will trigger anaphylactic shock.
A bee about to sting a dog to cause anaphylaxis reaction
credit: dogtime

Signs and symptoms of Anaphylaxis Reaction in the dog

  • Sudden diarrhea
  • Itching or redness at the contact site
  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty loud breathing
  • Fast heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Weak pulse
  • Pale gums
  • Cold legs

Diagnosis of anaphylaxis reaction in dogs

A medical history of recent exposure to an offending chemical and the presence of distinctive clinical indicators are used to diagnose anaphylaxis. Allergic shock is usually diagnosed by a veterinarian based on the symptoms. Knowing the drug that causes the reaction and your dog’s medical history can also help. In order to save your dog’s life, treatment must begin right away.

Allergies in your dog should be diagnosed and monitored to avoid life-threatening situations. Veterinarians will investigate numerous options by exposing your dog to a little amount of the substances and monitoring his or her reactions. Even if a diagnosis is challenging, medicine can often be used to address the symptoms.

anaphylaxis shock cause the dog to be in shock

Prevention and Treatment

If you know your dog suffers from allergies, the best method to prevent anaphylactic shock is to keep him away from the allergen in question. If you don’t know what your dog is allergic to, keep an eye on him when he’s given drugs or immunizations to make sure he doesn’t have an adverse reaction. Also, when you’re outside, try to keep your dog away from stinging insects.

When a dog is in anaphylactic shock, the veterinarian will give it adrenaline in an emergency dose, usually by injection. Antihistamines and hydrocortisone are also frequently prescribed. To avoid a decline in blood pressure, the dog may require an IV as well as supplemental oxygen. It’s possible that your dog will need to stay in therapy for several days to ensure that all of his systems are back to normal.