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Old 01-04-2013, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,502 posts, read 50,599,978 times
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After having been raised with cats all her life, my daughter developed cat allergy when she came back home after a semester away at college. She became congested with watery eyes, the usual respiratory problems. that was 11 years ago and we have dealt with it by having OTC pills here for her whenever she visits. No big deal. She has been in our home approximately every 3-6 months since her high school graduation which was in 2002.

This Christmas (she had not been here since May) she was here for 4 days, took her pills, had no physical contact with the cats. We never let the cats (2) in the guest room. We washed the linens and towels in Tide like we have for 36 years. In other words nothing was different.

Two days after she left here she and her SO were driving to Florida for a wedding when she broke out in terrible rash all over her chest, back and eventually on her arms. Big welts appeared. She was miserable and missed the wedding choosing to stay in the hotel. She went to Urgent care where they gave her steroids and RX and told her to stay cool, avoid hot showers and stay away from cats. I think they told her that because she has convinced herself it was allergic reaction to our cats.

At first she insisted it was shingles but she is way too young for shingles and they usually appear only in 1 concentrated area and not all over.

She does not like our cats or even our dogs and I feel she has decided to make this about the cats and perhaps use this as an excuse not to visit as often which would make me terribly sad cause she has two younger sisters who adore her. We like her too! She is all better now and has decided not to follow up with medical care or tests since it is all gone now. This disappoints me. She at first admitted she had a slight rash at her waist a few days before she came here for a visit but now she says it was only a few bumps.

Have you ever heard of a sudden and severe allergic reaction to cats? When I googled this I found that if a rash appears at all it is usually within minutes or maybe hours after direct contact but certainly not after days.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:16 AM
 
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I agree. I have many allergies, some severe, most not. But I have never had an allergic reaction that was so delayed. Since she was travelling, it makes it very difficult if not impossible to figure out what caused it. But I'd bet anything it wasn't your cats. She may not ever be convinced of that though. I'm very sorry if it puts a strain on your relationship.
I reread your post and you say she doesn't want tests. Does this mean she hasn't had any allergy testing? If I had such a severe reaction to something unknown, I would really want to get tested so I'd be more aware of things to avoid.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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Probably not the cats. Hard to say for sure, but that doesn't sound right. With her not liking the cats and having some whatever reaction before, this is just a jump to irrational conclusion. Looking for an excuse to not visit?

That said, I have a weird cat issue at another house, or at least I think it's a cat issue. It's been hard to pinpoint for certain, but when I visit this particular house, where they have 2 cats, I get a more severe reaction. They even moved to a different house recently, but I tried to sleep there and still had a problem. I don't have this kind of problem at home with my own cat. Only thing that comes into play that seems different is one of their cats is long haired. I don't know if it's possible that I have a more severe reaction to the long-haired cat or not. I don't think there is a large difference in the cleanliness of our two houses, for example, so not sure what else it would be. The two different houses these folks have lived in are quite different, with the new one only being 10 years old or so, and the older one probably dating to the 1950s. I don't know. Anyway, that's my story about having a reaction to a cat in someone else's house. Oh, for what it's worth, when I volunteered at the shelter that sets me off too. So many cats in a confined space, not really surprising I guess. But my own cat in my house doesn't set me off in that way (runny nose, sneezing, and asthma constriction are what I eventually experience when visiting that house).

I can't quite tell for sure how old your daughter is, but I also had a bout with shingles several years ago, I can't remember just how many, but I'm 41 now so it was in my mid-30s, say 35 or thereabouts. I seem to see college and 11 years ago and that it seems would put her age into the 30s, so I would say that is not too young for shingles. It's a little unusual but not too young. Shingles is usually pretty clear cut though as far as how it presents, so I would be surprised if they dismissed it only because of her age if it otherwise looked like shingles. I gather there are a number of other things that could cause a rash, but the idea that it's delayed reaction from the cats seems highly suspect.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Near Nashville TN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Have you ever heard of a sudden and severe allergic reaction to cats? When I googled this I found that if a rash appears at all it is usually within minutes or maybe hours after direct contact but certainly not after days.
No I have not. Not what you're describing anyway. Sometimes, as much as we love our kids and family, they're better off staying at a local motel or hotel. You can get together there, go out to dinner etc. When my brother and his wife used to come down for a visit they chose to stay at a Motel or Hotel for privacy. This way they could sleep late, take long hot showers (we have a septic tank), order breakfast when ready to eat and that sort of thing. It was fine with us. My mother on the other hand chose to stay with us and that was OK too. She had no allergies to cats and dogs.

Or perhaps YOU can go visit them at their home more often.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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Daughter is 29. I agree about the testing. One would think testing would be demanded to keep this from happening again but she says she doesn't have time. I volunteered to pay for it but she still doesn't think it necessary. She has not said anything about not visiting so we shall see but I'm heartsick to think this might keep her away. Even if we got rid of the cats, which we decidedly will NOT be doing, everything we own -except things in the guest room- are permeated with cat cooties!

She and SO live in a tiny studio apartment so any visiting has to be done here. She seems to love it here and enjoys her visits but i know she finds the pets annoying. Bichon and maltese are about as hypo allergenic as dogs can be.

i know different color cats can bring allergic reactions. I'll look for a link and long hair are usually worse than short. our cats are longhaired Ragdolls but they are 1 years old and she has been around them forever. Very strange indeed.

http://www.everydayhealth.com/allerg...allergies.aspx

and

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1345125.html

color of cat and cat allergies

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/0...r-of-your-cat/

Last edited by no kudzu; 01-04-2013 at 08:09 AM..
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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I saw that about the colors recently. Apparently dark haired cats trigger worse reactions. But, my cat is pretty dark, so in my case at least that can't account for the difference with the other cats. And actually your one link says that in a general way the short hair is worse than long. But then it says:

"So, in theory, a female, light-colored, long-haired cat might be less allergenic. However, all these generalizations may be overridden by a specific cat that just makes a lot of the protein, so they are not actually that helpful."

So I guess this is probably what is happening in my case anyway, just a cat that makes more protein. Although, the funny thing is, I've been tested for cat allergy at least twice in my life, and I've never tested positive. What I am positive for is dust mites though, so I suppose it could be related to that....

Oh, I can also tell you that my mother, who always WAS positive for allergy to cat, can visit my house, with guest room that cat is mostly kept out of. She can sleep overnight there without too much trouble these days from what I remember, although it has been a while since she has done so.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:08 AM
 
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Is it possible that the OTC pills aren't helping very much with her non-dramatic allergy symptoms but she feels funny offering this as an excuse for not staying in your home, so she has decided, consciously or otherwise, to attribute this more dramatic reaction to your cats? Cats cause me all-over itching, sneezing, runny nose, inflamed eyes, coughing, and mild wheezing, and OTC meds do nothing for this. I have no problem citing these symptoms as a reason for not staying in homes owned by cat owners, but some people would be embarrassed to admit they are put off by something apparently so minor.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,502 posts, read 50,599,978 times
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believe me she has no problem expressing her true feelings about anything so i doubt your theory is right.

In fact when I suggested the cats were not the cause of her problem she claims the OTC kept the symptoms at bay until she got back home. Whatever....
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:34 PM
 
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This is kind of off the wall, but I wonder if she was exposed to bed bugs. You said she developed the reaction when she was back on the road traveling to a wedding. If she stayed in a motel/hotel, she could have been bitten. Some people are very sensitive to their bites and will break out in a terrible rash.

I REALLY doubt it was the cats or anything she was exposed to in your home considering the time frame.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:16 PM
 
Location: NW Penna.
1,758 posts, read 3,599,127 times
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Is she allergic to any antibiotics? My mother is extremely allergic to anything in the penicillin family. She has broken out in a rash at times, after eating chicken or beef. Chicken causes her more problems, but sometimes it's beef. It's hit or miss. She blames it on antibiotics in the animals. Her doctor kind of scoffed at that, but it's happened enough times now that is does seem it's the meat.

The probklem with getting your imune system stirred up, especially with skin reactions, is that it takes a long time for it to settle down. And when you are sensitized to one thing, anything else that normally would be a negligible irritant can provoke an more intense reaction than usual.

I'm allergic to mold. I sometimes get hives or rashes if I've been in someplace mold for too long.
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