Pet Allergies

Despite being a nation of pet lovers, for some, owning a pet just isn't feasible

A pet allergy occurs when the immune system develops an abnormal response to our animals.

This classically triggers rhinitis (sneezing, runny nose), nasal congestion, conjunctivitis (itchy, runny eyes), eye swelling (angioedema), rashes and urticaria (hives) and for some, it triggers respiratory symptoms such as cough and wheeze. It can also cause a worsening of eczema.

Some individuals with pet allergies choose to put up with their symptoms in order to keep their beloved animals, but caution should always be exercised if our pets are triggering uncontrolled asthma requiring increasing medications, steroids or hospital admissions.

Pet allergies can be confirmed by an allergy skin prick test or blood test to check the specific IgE (immunoglobulin E cell) to that animal.

Whilst many breeders market their animal as being ‘hypoallergenic’, sadly, there is no such pet. It is usually the saliva and urine of an animal which we react to. Animals which shed less fur (ie. hypoallergenic animals) may be better for some as there is less of the fur covered in saliva (from where they have licked) about the house. However, many individuals with pet allergies will still react to these breeds.

If you think you may have a pet allergy, book an appointment with Dr Helen today.

woman sneezing due to pet allergy

Take caution if pets are triggering uncontrolled asthma

Despite being a nation of pet lovers, for some, owning a pet just isn't feasible

A pet allergy occurs when the immune system develops an abnormal response to our animals.

This classically triggers rhinitis (sneezing, runny nose), nasal congestion, conjunctivitis (itchy, runny eyes), eye swelling (angioedema), rashes and urticaria (hives) and for some, it triggers respiratory symptoms such as cough and wheeze. It can also cause a worsening of eczema.

Some individuals with pet allergies choose to put up with their symptoms in order to keep their beloved animals, but caution should always be exercised if our pets are triggering uncontrolled asthma requiring increasing medications, steroids or hospital admissions.

Pet allergies can be confirmed by an allergy skin prick test or blood test to check the specific IgE (immunoglobulin E cell) to that animal.

Whilst many breeders market their animal as being ‘hypoallergenic’, sadly, there is no such pet. It is usually the saliva and urine of an animal which we react to. Animals which shed less fur (ie. hypoallergenic animals) may be better for some as there is less of the fur covered in saliva (from where they have licked) about the house. However, many individuals with pet allergies will still react to these breeds.

If you think you may have a pet allergy, book an appointment with Dr Helen today.

woman sneezing due to pet allergy

Take caution if pets are triggered uncontrolled asthma

Avoidance methods for Pet Allergies

Like all environmental allergies, the main management strategy will often be avoidance of the allergen (ie. animal) where possible. However, many patients with animal allergies choose to keep their pets and cope with their symptoms.

Having children with animal allergies, two dogs and a cat, Dr Helen very much understands this viewpoint. However, if pets are being kept at home, it is sensible to keep them out of the bedroom and wash them in anti allergy shampoo. Frequent hoovering with a hoover which has an adequate HEPA filter is also advised.

If an individual has troublesome asthma, avoidance is likely to be advised as the most sensible cause of action.

Medications for Pet Allergies

Medications for Pet Allergies

If an individual with pet allergies needs medication to manage their symptoms, there are several which can be used. These include;

  • Saline nasal rinses to wash the nose from the allergens
  • Once daily antihistamine medications
  • Nasal steroid sprays
  •  Eye drops

Pet Allergy Immunotherapy Treatment

Immunotherapy is available to treat those dog, cat or horse allergies.

These medications are given daily as a drop or spray to change the immune system and modify the response to these animals which are meant to be harmless.

Immunotherapy or ‘desensitisation’ is given daily for 3 years to ensure long term benefit is achieved.

Dr-Helen-Allergy-dandelion-white-80

For any allergy questions or issues that you may have, contact us as soon as you can so you can get the correct diagnosis and treatment

Dr-Helen-Allergy-dandelion-white-80

For any allergy questions or issues that you know or even think you may have contact us as soon as you can so you can get the correct diagnosis and treatment

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