Pet Allergies and their Causes
People can become allergic to pets because of proteins from animal hair, urine or saliva. Pets which can cause allergies are dogs, cats, chicken, mice, rats, cows, horses, hamsters, guinea pig and birds. Allergic reaction can attack the respiratory system, eyes which can result in hay fever, urticaria, asthmatic symptoms, eye symptoms or eczema.
Hay fever makes the patient develop itchy eyes, runny nose and sneezes. Asthmatic symptoms are wheezing, prolonged expiration, rapid breathing, over inflated chest, and fast heart rate. Urticaria, nettle rash, hives or uredo is a skin condition where the skin develops raised red welts. They can appear on any part of the body. The welt can badly itch, burn or even sting. Eye symptoms include watering and itching of the eyes. Eczema or atopic dermatitis is an atopic skin disease. Young children are more prone to getting this disease. The skin becomes hypersensitive when the allergens touch the body parts and becomes flaky and starts itching very badly. It also turns red and can also get further affected with bacteria.
Allergens from pets are proteins. They either contact the skin directly or also by breathing in. This contact triggers an allergic reaction and makes the body to produce histamine. This histamine irritates and swells the airways, which results in asthmatic symptoms and hay fever. The condition can worsen if the person is exposed to tobacco smoke, polluted air, car fumes or environmental allergens. Some people can also be allergic to the food the pet eats. The allergy worsens when asthma worsens; symptoms include insomnia, cold, and ear infections.
The allergens come from direct contact with an animal, or even from people who have been in direct contact with the animal. In most of the cases, people are allergic to pet because of hereditary reasons. Also kids having asthmatic bronchitis and which grow with pets such as cats are more prone to be allergic to cats as adults. Furless cats produce low allergens.
People allergic to pets should be extra careful when renting a new house. There can be a possibility that the previous occupants have had pets. The allergens present in the environment can trigger allergic reactions and it will take more than a year to reduce the effect of the pet allergens. If a person suspects allergic reactions because of pet allergens, they can test it by staying away from home for more than two weeks. If the symptoms still continue, pet allergens aren’t responsible. Also a doctor should be contacted immediately who can conduct test and diagnose the condition. Blood and skin tests should be taken to confirm the diagnosis. The doctor can then prescribe medicine for controlling the allergy. Patients can also take vaccination against the allergen.
Pet owners should also participate to help other people with pet allergies. They should bathe their pets regularly. They should be dried completely after that. Researches have proved that monthly baths decreases the pet allergens in the house. Guinea pigs and rabbits have allergens in their urine. These animals should be shifted outside, if they have been living within the house. Anti-allergen filters are also available in the market which helps to purify the air of allergens. Pets should be strictly kept out of bedrooms so as to not to be become pet allergen carriers, pet owner’s can wash their hands soon after contact with the animal.