Volume 73 (2023) Issue: 2023 No#2

The quality of life of allergic cats, treated with allergen-specific immunotherapy – a retrospective study

Author(s): Tina Kotnik, Matic Leder

Keywords:atopic, cats, immunotherapy, skin

Feline atopic skin syndrome (FASS) describes allergic skin diseases in cats associated with sensitivity to environmental allergens. Allergen-specific immunotherapy (ASIT) aims to reduce or eliminate symptoms associated with subsequent exposure to the causative allergen. The primary outcome of this study was to determine if the quality of life (QoL) of cats and owners improved as a result of ASIT. The secondary outcome was to determine whether the QoL improved in cats treated with ASIT compared with cats treated symptomatically. Eight cats were included in the ASIT group (AG) and 6 cats in the control group (CG). Validated quality of life questionnaires were retrospectively completed by cat owners for the period before and after treatment. The QoL of cats improved significantly with ASIT. Cats were significantly less lazy, nervous, aggressive, restrained, preened less while sleeping and hid less, were less disturbed by consultations, were more playful and interactive with their environment, and had better appetites than before treatment. Owners felt significantly less physically exhausted and less emotionally distressed compared to before ASIT treatment and their expenses were significantly lower. On the contrary various symptomatic treatments did not significantly improve the quality of life of the cats or their owners in any of the terms. No serious side effects were observed with ASIT. The quality of life of animals suffering from chronic diseases is important as it determines the decisions of owners and veterinarians on the modalities of lifelong treatment. Validated questionnaires are still rarely used in veterinary practice and research.

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ISSN: 0567-8315

eISSN: 1820-7448

Journal Impact Factor 2022: 0.6

5-Year Impact Factor: 0.9

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