Eliminate Your Pet Allergy!
We will explore common pet allergy symptoms, pet-related allergen triggers, allergy control tips, allergy treatment options, and more...
pet allergy is estimated to affect 10% of the U.S. population, and with 100,000,000 domestic animals out there, many Americans have animal related reactions.
Pets provide people with companionship, security and a sense of comfort. Children often learn responsibility and lessons about life and death from pets. However, people with animal related reactions should be cautious about animals in their home.
What Are the Most Common Pets?
The common domestic animals are dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, rabbits, mice, gerbils, rats and guinea pigs. Horses, goats, cows, chickens, ducks and geese can also cause reactions because their hair can collect pollen, dust, mold and other allergens which travel into your home.
pets and their allergen triggers
Pets dander, or skin flakes, as well as an animal's saliva and urine, can cause reactions. Animal hair is not a very significant allergen.
Below, we present a variety of domestic animals and their respective allergy triggers. cat allergen is the most prevalent cause of animal related symptoms for people.
Cats: Skin, Saliva
Dogs: Saliva, Skin
Guinea Pigs: Saliva, Urine
Rabbits: Saliva, Urine
Gerbils: Skin, Serum
allergy free pets
People think shorthaired animals cause fewer allergic reactions than longer haired pets. It is actually animal dander (skin scales) that causes the significant reactions - not the amount of hair on the pet.
There are no truly "hypoallergenic pet breeds;" that is, breeds that are hypoallergenic for everyone. There are, however, breeds such as poodles and schnauzers that produce less dander than other breeds. Click here for detailed information about hypoallergenic dog breeds
Cat fur color may affect allergies. A recent study suggested the color of a cats fur may influence allergic symptoms in people exposed. The study indicated a greater amount of allergy symptoms (such as sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes and itchy skin) from dark cat hair.
pet related allergy symptoms
domestic animal allergy can affect your eyes, nose, ears, throat, lungs, and skin. Reddened or inflamed skin is usually caused by the scratch or lick of a cat. If a rash appears on the face, neck, or upper body, this indicates respiratory allergy.
Respiratory symptoms usually occur between fifteen and forty minutes after exposure. However, reactions can occur several days after exposure.
The most common symptoms related to domestic animals are:
• red, itchy, or swollen eyes
• Reddened areas on the skin
• runny nose
• nasal congestion
• ears that become stuffed-up or itchy
• post nasal drip
• itching and horseness in the throat
• coughing and wheezing
• frequent bronchitis
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Domestic animals that cause significant reactions may need to be removed from the home of patients with serious reactions. If the family is unwilling to remove an animal, it should be kept out of the patient's bedroom and, if possible, outdoors. Allergic individuals should refrain from hugging or kissing their pets.
Here's some allergy management ideas:
• Use reputable allergy reduction products throughout your home
• Restrict your animal to as few rooms in your home as possible
• Consider using a HEPA filter on your forced air heating/AC unit
• Consider installing a central air cleaner on your central air unit
• Use a vacuum that contains a HEPA filter
• Clean the walls of your home, especially in the rooms that you frequent
• Wash your animal with water to reduce the amount of allergen exposure
• Do not place litter boxes near the air vents in your home
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pet allergy treatment
Conventional treatment of animal related symptoms are similar to those recommended for other types of allergies:
Medication for pet related allergy includes: bronchodilators, oral antihistamines, corticosteroids, and topical nasal steroids. Discuss with your doctor which might be appropriate for you.
Click for more information about allergy medication
This involves injections in gradually increasing dosages and includes extracts of allergens. Individuals can develop a tolerance to an allergen.
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Edelman, Norman H. Family Guide To Asthma And Allergies, Time Life Media, Inc., 1997.
Kwong, Frank & Cook, Bruce. The Complete Allergy Book. Naperville, Ill: Sourcebooks, Inc., 2002.
Lipkowitz, Myron & Navarra, Tova. Allergies A-Z. New York, NY: Facts on File Inc., 1994.
Reader’s Digest. Fighting Allergies. Pleasantville, N.Y.: The Reader’s Digest Association, 2000.
Reader’s Digest. The Allergy Bible. Pleasantville, N.Y.: The Reader’s Digest Association, 2001.
Ross, Linda. Allergies Sourcebook. Frederick G. Ruffner, Jr., Publisher, 1997.