Who doesn’t love animals? We all do and especially when it comes to children, they surpass all in their fondness. They get amused by animals and therefore, children are always willing to visit Zoo. It has been a usual trend for many decades to keep a pet animal in the house. In United States alone, half of the households have dogs or cats as their pets. It is never a problem to keep pets if you can take good care of them. Usually, pets are harmless. However, pets can be a source of serious irritation if a person starts developing allergies due to them. Pets never know if they are causing you a problem but you may get angry on your pet if it becomes a source sickness for you. An estimated 10 % of the population may be allergic to animals. Similarly, people, who are already suffering from other allergies, are more susceptible to develop pet allergies.
What is pet allergy?
Pet allergy, like other allergies, is simply our body’s response (also called “histamine reaction”) to proteins found in animal’s skin, saliva, dander or urine. In other words, it occurs when our bodies become hypersensitive because of some allergens found in the pets.
What causes pet allergy?
Cats and dogs are the most common pets everywhere. In United States, six out of ten people come in contact with either cat or dog. Therefore, dog and cat allergies are too common. However, cat allergies are twice as common as that of dog allergies. Dogs and cats shed dander which can cause allergic reaction. If your pet licks you, you may develop pet allergy because dogs and cats have protein in their saliva which is known to cause allergic reactions. Similarly, animal hair and fur are not deemed as allergens but they may trap other allergens such as dust and pollen and become a source of allergy for the person.
Five cat allergens have been described in medical literature. The two major allergens are Fel d 1 (secretoglobin) and Fel d 4 (lipocalin). The minor allergens include Fel d 2 ( albumin), Fel d 3 (cystatin), and cat IgA (Immunoglobulin A).
How is it identified?
Swelling, inflammation in eyes, itch, tearing eyes, coughing and stuffy nose are the common symptoms. Furthermore, your skin area licked by the pet can turn red or develop rash. While pet allergies are usually mild, pet allergies can aggravate the condition of asthma patients. Pet allergy is diagnosed by RAST (radioallergosorbent test) blood test. Other common diagnosis method is to add cat in patient’s environment several times to see the patient’s reaction.
How is pet allergy treated?
You can get rid of pert allergy by keeping those pets which don’t have fur, feather or a problem of dander-shedding. For instance, you may keep fur-free dogs or turtles as pet animals. Furthermore, if you still want to stick to cats or dogs, you may keep them outside your home. You should make sure that you wash your pets very often. Try not to come in contact with them. The most viable way of preventing yourself from pet allergy is to avoid exposure to the animal as much as you can. Prevent cats and dogs from entering your bedroom, vacuum floors, ventilate your living areas, use pet hair removing rollers on furniture.
And, you should also make sure you avoid bad foods such as sugar , corn syrup, alcohol, products from white flour and limit exposure to salt, coffee and other nervous system stimulants. Exercise and take rest.