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Cat allergy anaphylaxis

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I got a call from the PE teacher this am just after the bell stating that a student look like she was having a reaction.  I was set to go to her, but he said she was already on the way to me.  Hives all around her mouth and chin and spreading to her cheeks as we were talking, also c/o throat "itchiness" and lips were looking a little full.  I asked her what she thought she may have been exposed to, as this wasn't a child with an allergy plan and she said she was playing with a kitten and is allergic to cats.  I'd say so.  

So, stock epi administered, and s/s began to resolve.  By the time EMS got there, hives were mostly faded and she said she was feeling a lot better.  I can say that in my almost 2 decades of nursing, i've never before seen such a reaction to cats.  I know it's always a possibility.  I did discuss with the parent when she got there that a visit to an allergist is in order and to expect an allergy panel may be done to help rule out that it wasn't something else.  Anyone ever see anaphylaxis from an animal?

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MHDNURSE has 21 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN, NP and specializes in Pediatrics, Community, and School Health.

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Wow!  I have seen severe SOB, wheezing and only hives if the cat licked the person. I am going to ask my husband who is an allergist if he has every heard of such a strong reaction.  Pretty scary if that is the case.

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

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What the what? 

Never seen anything like it. Although if her immune bucket is "full," (she's allergic to the environment, has asthma and/or eczema, diabetes or any other condition that chips away at your immune system) it's....possible.

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Thanks!!  I'll be interested in his thoughts.  I did mention to the parent that it is a possibility that something else caused the rxn.  Student said she had a blueberry muffin for breakfast, but has had them before - not that that means anything.  

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MHDNURSE has 21 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN, NP and specializes in Pediatrics, Community, and School Health.

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14 minutes ago, Flare said:

Thanks!!  I'll be interested in his thoughts.

I'll report back as soon as I hear back- likely lunch time-ish.

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LikeTheDeadSea has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing.

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I've seen some crazy eye/face swelling from riding/contact with horses.

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7 Followers; 3,340 Posts; 23,251 Profile Views

I anaphylax to cats too and it does hideous things to my eyes.

Also, it's not the dander it's the saliva.

Edited by Wuzzie

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

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1 hour ago, Wuzzie said:

I anaphylax to cats too and it does hideous things to my eyes.

Also, it's not the dander it's the saliva.

Odd question - do you have an Epi Pen for this? Or any other meds? I am asking because this isn't something we normally see and therefore are not normally prepared to deal with.

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7 Followers; 3,340 Posts; 23,251 Profile Views

Yes and the thing that sucks is I have to carry it literally everywhere-even cat free environments due to peoples' clothing. I can't go to friend's houses if they have more than one cat and even then they have to vacuum and put the cat in a room. I have to sit on a kitchen chair that has been wiped down or if I'm feeling lucky on a sheet on the couch.  Allergy shots did not work. Oddly enough I can be around Burmese cats but any other, especially Siamese, cause me to blow up. My Dad is the same way. Fortunately most of my friends have dogs and my best friend's cat never comes out of the basement. 

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

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Whelp Flare - yes, there is such a thing!

Wuzzie, that's terrible but than you for sharing. I learned a thing today.

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rnsrgr8t specializes in Peds Urology,primary care, hem/onc.

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I do not get anaphylaxis from cats but close. When I was younger, my eyes would swell shut, would get hives around my eyes and get a scratchy throat and my asthma would kick up. Luckily antihistamines worked when I got an acute reaction (never needed epi) and as an adult allergy shots and xolair where life savers for me. I own 3 cats now and they sleep with me and I am fine. When I was a kid though it was miserable. As a previous poster said, I could go in to a house that a cat previously lived (even if they vacuumed and cleaned well and the cat no longer lived there) and react that way. It runs in my family. My Dad does the same thing and one of my cousins (paternal) did the same thing when she came to visit me. 

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2 Followers; 5 Articles; 4,122 Posts; 35,199 Profile Views

@rnsrgr8t  if you presented like that in my office, you’d probably end up with a leg full of epi.

I had no doubts that it could happen,  with it being uncommon, I thought I’d get the thoughts of my virtual nursing unit. I’ll be interested to follow up with her tomorrow if she’s in. 

Thanks for your thoughts and experiences everyone!!  You guys are terrific. 

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