Itchy eyes, stuffy nose, sneezing and wheezing are treatable symptoms of dog and cat allergy.
Allergies in dogs and cats are a common problem. Cat allergies are twice as common as an allergy to dogs. It can be very distressing if a family member develops an allergy to a loved cat or dog. What can you do? Is there a solution?
Dog and Cat Allergy Symptoms
The symptoms of allergy are frequently red itchy eyes, itchy stuffy nose, watery catarrh, sneezing, coughing, wheezing and sometimes hives on the skin. These symptoms often appear gradually but can become more constant from continuous contact with a pet. Pet allergy symptoms often affect people who already have an allergy to airborne allergens, such as pollen and house dust mites. This is because people with allergies tend to have an oversensitive immune system.
Although some breeds of dogs and cats are marketed as better for allergy sufferers, there is no truly hypoallergenic pet. It is commonly thought that the allergenic reaction is due to the hair or fur of the animal. The real cause of the pet allergy, however, is often a protein that is in the saliva and urine of dogs and cats. This protein sticks to the dead, dried flakes (dander) of the dog or cat's skin. If the pet has less hair or fur to shed, the allergy-causing dander that sticks to the fur doesn't get released into the air or onto the floor as much as it would with a shedding dog or moulting cat, hence the thought that some breeds are more suitable for allergy sufferers.
Testing for Dog and Cat Allergies
Dog and cat allergy testing is simple. Skin prick tests or a blood test (Immunoglobulin E antibodies to dog or cat dander - RAST) give accurate results.
Treatment for Dog and Cat Allergies
Apart from separating the dog or cat from the family, or keeping them outside the house, for instance in kennels, which most animal lovers don't want to do, the best and most effective treatment is to build up one's immunity and prevent the chain reaction of the allergy. This can be done by means of a method of Desensitisation or Immunotherapy that we offer at The Burghwood Clinic, known as Enzyme Potentiated Desensitisation and Sub-Lingual Immunotherapy. Immunotherapy influences the very start of the allergic chain reaction, unlike any form of prescribed medications, which aim to suppress its symptoms, such as antihistamines, nasal sprays or inhalers.
These allergy treatments are extremely safe and affordable. Pet allergy sufferers can expect to become free of symptoms after a few months of immunotherapy and to reach a long-term remission of symptoms after 3-5 years of treatment.
Contact us if you have further questions or to make an appointment for a consultation.