PET ALLERGY

People who are allergic to pets do so because of a protein found in the dead skin cells of animal pets. These dead skin cells are called dander. Many people show allergic reactions to the waste products of some birds — especially the ones kept as pets. These allergy-triggering proteins are carried by particles that may not be seen with the naked eye in the air. When an individual who is allergic to pets inhale these particles, their allergies are triggered. Pets such as dogs and cats possess this said protein.

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Hence no dog nor cat is allergy-free. Although some breeds of cats or dogs are considered allergy-friendly. This is not because they do not carry this protein, but because they are well-groomed and much of their dander are occasionally removed. In contrary to popular belief, dogs’ and cats’ hairs do not cause allergies. Instead, it is the protein they contain which is responsible for allergic reactions.

SYMPTOMS

Sneezing, red, itchy or watery eyes, itchy nose, cough, itchy throat and roof of the mouth, postnasal drip, facial pain, swollen skin under the eyes, nasal congestion are some of the symptoms of pet allergies. In the cases of little children, they may be seen rubbing their nose frequently. In a case where pet allergies contribute to asthmatic conditions you may find it difficult to breathe, experience chest pains when exhaling, you may give an audible whistling sound. You may also have difficulty in sleeping as well as coughing loudly.

Skin Symptoms

Skin symptoms are also experienced by people with per allergies. Skin symptoms are a pattern of allergic dermatitis — this reaction causes skin inflammation. Allergic dermatitis may be triggered by direct contact with an allergy-causing pet. This eventually leads to signs and symptoms such as hives, eczema and itchy skin. Cats and dogs are responsible for most pet allergies.

CAT ALLERGIES

If you keep a cat as a pet and you observe you have a runny nose or watery eyes or you begin to sneeze and wheeze after touching the cat, you are likely allergic to cats. Exposure to cat allergy can occur at different places — work, school and other environments — even in the absence of a cat.

Cats produce proteins that can cause allergies which are known as allergens. These allergens are usually found on the fur and under the skin of cats. They can be found in their saliva as well. All cats can cause allergies because they can all produce allergens. The higher the number of cats in your home, the higher the risk of having pet allergies. The length of a cat’s hair, the amount of time the cat spends indoors, the sex or age of a cat does not determine its allergen levels. Some people may notice they began to experience an allergic reaction when they come in contact with a cat but may eventually discover that they do not have pet allergies. This could be as a result of inhaling the pollen grains that are present in the cat’s furs inadvertently — hence, their allergic reactions.

Symptoms Of Cat Allergies

Cat allergies may be mild or severe. The extent to which an individual reacts to a cat allergy depends on the level of sensitivity of that individual or the level of exposure to allergens. People who are very sensitive to cat allergens may develop symptoms such as breathing problems or rashes just after they touch a cat or enter a house where cats are kept as pets. Other symptoms may include sneezing, runny nose, facial pain, nasal congestion, coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, red, watery and itchy eyes.

Cat Allergy Management And Treatment

The most effective way of preventing cat allergy is to avoid cats entirely. For people with severe cat allergies who own cats as pets, they should remove the cats from their homes. Although it is quite difficult to part ways with a pet you have become very fond of. Here are a few things to do to prevent your symptoms and still live with your cat.

i. Keep the cat out of your bedroom. If possible, create a room for the cat or restrict its movements from one room to another.

ii. Do no pet, kiss or hug the cat. If you eventually do these, make sure you quickly wash your hands with soap and water.

iii. Using High-efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) cleaners can help reduce the allergen levels in your home.

iv Use high-efficiency vacuum cleaners regularly. This can help reduce the allergen levels in your home.

v You must bathe your cat at least once a week.

Treatments

Cat allergy treatments vary depending on the symptoms. An allergist is in the best position to help you determine the best treatment for your cat allergic reactions. You can treat nasal symptoms with steroid nasal sprays, oral antihistamines or other forms of oral medications. You can treat eye symptoms with antihistamine eye drops from the recommendation of your allergist. Inhaled corticosteroids or bronchodilators can be used to treat respiratory or asthmatic symptoms. Immunotherapy is also an ideal option for the treatment of cat allergies. Through the gradual injection of allergen doses over time, tolerance for the allergen is slowly built.

DOG ALLERGY

If after touching or playing with a dog you begin to sneeze and have a runny nose or start wheezing, it is an indication that you may have a pet allergy. And in this case, to dogs. Like cats, dogs produce proteins called allergens that are responsible for your allergic reactions. All dogs also produce allergens. And they usually have high allergen levels when they are mostly indoors or restricted to a particular room. In some cases, dogs may have pollens and dust on their furs or coats that may be responsible for allergic symptoms.

Symptoms

Symptoms of dog allergy include sneezing,  nasal congestion, wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, skin rashes or hives. Some individuals develop rashes when stretched or licked by a dog.

Dog Allergy Management And Treatment

The best and most effective way of managing dog allergy is avoidance. You may decide to stop keeping dogs as pets if you are allergic to dogs, or may take some precautionary measures to prevent the symptoms. Here are some tips you can harness in preventing dog allergies:

i. Do not keep the dog in the same room you sleep in. If possible, create a kennel just outside the house where the dog can live.

ii. If you touch your dog for too long or even hug them, make sure you wash your hands with soap and water to prevent the allergens from entering your body.

iii. Bathe your dog at least once in a week and extensively wash off its furs.

iv. Use High-efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) in your living room or bedroom. This will help reduce the allergen levels in your home.

v. Using a Central vacuum cleaner regularly can reduce allergen levels in your home drastically.

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