What is Orijen Allergy?
Orijen offers a cat food that is made of ingredients that are produced responsibly and delivered daily to where the food is manufactured. The dry cat food is free of grain and packed with meat. The food is considered to be biologically appropriate for cats, with meat, cartilage and plants so that cats get the same nutrition as if they caught their own prey. The food does not contain grains, fillers or artificial ingredients.
An allergy can occur to Orijen cat food if a cat’s immune system has an excessive response to one or more of the proteins present in the food. Should this occur, your cat’s skin will become itchy and inflamed and chronic ailments like wheezing and ear infections can develop.
An allergy to a particular food occurs when a cat’s immune system overreacts to one or more of the proteins that make up the food he has ingested.
Symptoms of Orijen Allergy in Cats
If your cat has an allergy to Orijen, you can notice symptoms of the reaction in his skin. In many cases, the skin symptoms will be under his front legs, around his face and groin and between his toes. Symptoms can differ based on what ingredient the cat is reacting to. When it comes to a food allergy, you may see:
- Hair loss in patches
- Dry, flaking skin
- Rubbing his face
- Shaking his head
- Runny eyes
- Excessive licking
- Paw biting
- Skin rashes and infections
- Chronic gas
- Chronic ear infection
While it is rare, a food allergy can cause anaphylactic shock. This is life threatening and will require immediate medical attention. Symptoms of anaphylactic shock include:
- Cold limbs
- Breathing difficulty
- Increased heart rate
- Pale gums
- Sudden diarrhea or vomiting
Orijen offers a variety of cat food to include:
- Cat and Kitten
- Six Fish
- Regional Red
- Fit & Trim
The foods include different protein sources, some with and some without grains, and dry and freeze dried options. As with any cat food, your pet may be allergic to one or more ingredients in the product.
Causes of Orijen Allergy in Cats
The immune system cells of your cat are mainly present in his gastrointestinal system. Should his immune system overreact to a protein that he consumed, it is considered an allergy.
Upon digesting his food, your cat’s system will break it down into amino acids. Enterocytes will absorb and transport these amino acids into his bloodstream. If the proteins are not broken down the way they should be, they are seen as intruders by the enterocytes, which will attack the proteins, causing the allergy response. This response can occur quickly or develop over a long period of time.
Diagnosis of Orijen Allergy in Cats
Upon noticing symptoms in your cat, you will want to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. A physical examination will be conducted and your veterinarian will ask you for information about the symptoms you have observed, when you first noticed them and whether there have been any changes. You should be prepared to provide information regarding your cat’s diet, any supplements he takes and any recent behavioral changes.
Your veterinarian will check your cat’s vital signs and get a close look at his nasal passages, eyes and ears to see if there is any infection or irritation present. Should your cat have sore, inflamed skin, a skin scraping may be done so that samples of your cat’s skin cells can be viewed under a microscope. This will help to rule out parasites, yeast and bacteria as a cause of his symptoms.
Your veterinarian will likely recommend blood testing and a urinalysis to determine if there is an underlying condition that may be causing symptoms in your cat, to include liver or kidney problems. Should these other possibilities be ruled out, your veterinarian will consider a food allergy and will likely suggest a dietary trial. In this trial, you will feed your cat a novel diet; this means that you will want to feed your cat a diet that does not include any of the suspected ingredients that he may be allergic to. Should you see his symptoms resolve. you can then reintroduce the food he was eating before beginning the diet. If the symptoms return upon the food being reintroduced, you can confirm that the food is the cause of his symptoms.
Treatment of Orijen Allergy in Cats
Treating a food allergy requires avoiding the food that your cat is allergic to. While your cat is fed the novel diet, it is important that you avoid feeding him other foods, treats and supplements that your veterinarian has not approved. Through the novel diet you hope to confirm what is causing the allergy and by eliminating that food, stop the reaction from occurring. Your cat will likely experience symptoms as he begins the elimination diet. These can be treated with corticosteroids and antihistamines (for the itching) should you and your veterinarian choose.
It may be helpful to not minimize symptoms so as to be clear on what is causing the allergy. Special shampoo can be helpful for your cat once the allergen has been determined. Should your cat develop a secondary infection as a result of the excessive licking and biting, antibiotics will be prescribed and an ointment may be helpful to alleviate his symptoms. Once you confirm what ingredient or ingredients your cat is reacting to, you will want to avoid these in your cat’s diet.
Recovery of Orijen Allergy in Cats
When designing the elimination diet with your veterinarian, you will want to avoid any ingredients that are present in your cat’s current food, whether Orijen or another brand. Often allergies are to a family of foods; this means that if your cat is currently consuming beef, it makes sense to switch to a protein other than red meat. As you are looking to determine the allergen that is causing your cat to react, it is key to avoid giving him table scraps so that you can be sure of what food he is eating and narrow down what is leading to his symptoms.