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what is pets allergy? the causes and how to protect your self?

Pets Allergy


pets allergy
pets allergy

Pet allergy is considered as an immune reaction after exposing to animals, which appears as symptoms of allergy if the immune system has responded to some of the animal proteins.

This the immune response stimulates the inflammation of the lining membranes of the nasal passages, and of its symptoms are sneezing, runny nose and other signs and symptoms that are usually associated with hay fever.

Pet allergy may be for some people is the primary cause of the inflammation of the air passages and lung contractions (asthma attack) that result in a wheeze in the chest, shortness of breath and other breathing difficulties related to humans.

Any animal that has fur may be a source of this type of allergy, the cats are considered one of the most animals that cause allergy to humans likewise dogs, rodents, and horses. Despite the fact that the sensitivity of animals occurs within the limits of the house, but it is possible to affect the people that work on farms, in zoos or even in laboratories.

The only way to avoid pets allergy is avoiding exposure to animals as much as possible, also medicines are very necessary to alleviate the symptoms.


Pets allergy symptoms.

Symptoms of animals sensitivity as a result of inflammation of the nasal passages, may include the following:

  • Sneezing.
  • Runny nose.
  • Eye itching with redness and tears.
  • Nasal congestion.
  • Secretions of the sinuses.
  • Itching at the nose and the roof of the mouth or the throat.
  • Cough.
  • Pressure in the face with pain.
  • Insomnia.
  • Swelling of the skin under the eyes and change of their colour to blue.
  • The young child wakes up frequently with the rubbing of the nose.

If the symptoms developed into the attack, you will see the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Tightness in the chest with pain.
  • Wheezing sounds when you exhale.
  • Difficulty at sleeping because of the shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing.
  • Bouts of coughing or wheezing become worst with a viral infection of the respiratory system, such as colds or flu.

Skin symptoms:

There are some people who suffer from pet allergy and the symptoms appear on their skin which described as a sensitivity in the skin where the immune response causes inflammation, and with touching animals or direct contact (which cause allergic reactions to people) leads to the appearance of the following symptoms:

  • Itching skin.
  • Rash.


The causes of pets allergy.

Like any kind of allergies, the symptoms of pets allergy stimulates the excessive response of the immune system in the human body. So, when a person is exposed to animals protein like in skin cells, saliva, urine or inhaling it, the body recognizes it as a foreign objects invading the body, and there will find the antibodies to fight that strange substance in a form of inflammation in the nasal passages and lungs, After the stop of exposing to the allergens, the body continue at the secreting of these antibodies that with any exposing to the allergens subsequently will stimulate the immune system to the same response.. This response stimulates the body to secrete chemicals which are histamines that cause itching, tears, runny nose, sneezing and other allergy symptoms.


Cats and Dogs.

Allergens are present in the dogs and cats skin cells that appear as dandruff or in saliva and fur that they have, the dandruff is considered a problem because it is very small in size and remains suspended in the air for a long period of time, it also remains in the tissues of the furniture and clothes.

As for the saliva of cats and dogs, it can be on carpets, upholstery, furniture and clothes, also the air may carry the dry saliva.

There are certain types of dogs that cause an allergic reaction but with low rates, because it does not have fur, however, the risk of exposing to an allergic reaction still remains.


Rodents and Rabbits.

Rodents like Mice, Hamster and Pigs cause an allergic reaction to the man, and usually the fur is a cause of allergy in addition to dandruff, saliva, and urine, also the dust emitted from straw mulch holds the allergens similarly.

The allergens in rabbits are in dandruff, saliva, and fur.


Other animals.

Rarely, the animals like birds, fishes, and reptiles that have no fur to cause allergies to humans?


Risk factors.

The sensitivity of the different types of animals is common, but the risk factors increase if there were other types of allergies or asthma between family members.

The researches that conducted on the impact of early exposure to animals in childhood its results were not fixed, some of the researches indicates that the early exposure at childhood to cats may reduce the risk of allergies later when other researches acknowledged that the early exposure to dogs has no effect of being allergic in future.


The Complications.

  • Sinus infection: Chronic inflammation of the tissues of the nasal passages that caused by animals sensitivity may hinder the sinuses, and this may lead to a bacterial infection that causes inflammation of the sinuses.
  • Asthma attacks: People who suffering from chest allergy and animals allergy often find it difficult to control the symptoms of the attacks, in addition to increasing the risk to exposure to these attacks that may need emergency medical care.


Seeing the Doctor.

Pets allergy symptoms like sneezing or a runny nose are similar to the symptoms of common cold, and it may be difficult to determine the difference between them. But if the symptoms persist for more than a week must contact your doctor.

If there were signs of a rash or severe symptoms of allergy – such as pain, difficulty in deep sleep and whizzing must contact your doctor. Resorting to the medical emergency if the whizzing or shortness of breath is getting worse rapidly or the functions of breathing are at the less efficient to them.

If the person has symptoms of a runny nose, sneezing, wheezing or shortness of breath and other symptoms related to allergies, he has to resort to the doctor.


What can the patient of pets allergy do?

  • Write down the symptoms and the period that lasted in them. With a noticing, if he was suffering from any other symptoms related to allergies.
  • List of medical information, such as health disorders, the types of medicines, the family history of allergies or thoracic attacks.
  • Write a list of medications that taken by the patient in addition to vitamins and dietary supplements.
  • Ask the doctor about the need to stop certain types of medications, such as, antihistamines, which could change the results of the skin tests to detect allergies.
  • Writing the important questions that the patient is willing to ask the doctor about, and the following is the most common questions .. Do not hesitate to add more questions to the list if there is something not clear and you want to ask about:
  • Do the symptoms that have emerged are the symptoms of allergies or is it just symptoms of a common cold?
  • Does exposure to animals is the cause of the symptoms of this allergy?
  • Are there any other potential causes for these symptoms?
  • How will be the diagnosis?
  • How will you deal with pets allergy?
  • Do we need to perform tests of allergy?
  • What are the best types of treatments?
  • If proven that the patient is allergic to animals, Can he keep the animal that causes allergy?
  • What is the information that should be known about the pets allergy to keep the child safe?


Important matters for asthma patients:

If a person already suffering from a severe asthma attack, the doctor should talk to him about the possibility of the suffering of an attack because of other types of allergies are likely to be exposed to it. Because of the other types of allergies are a major cause to stimulate asthma attacks, but this does not be clear.

The effects of pollen allergy are easy to observe because they are seasonal and for a short period in the summer. The animals sensitivity on the other hand, depends on the exposure to the animals even if you was not rear him, because he may expose to him in the homes of other people or transfer it with them in the workplace, schools or in their clothes, and here the patient does not know the cause of asthma attack because he is not aware of the existence of the allergens indirectly.


Tests & Diagnosis.

Always the main thing at diagnosis for the doctor is to know the first symptoms and signs, then examining the nasal lining with a luminous tool if it shows a swelling in the lining of the nose or appears pale and tends to blue in the case of pets allergy. The doctor will recommend to make some tests for the skin or blood to prove the allergy, and the tests such as:


Skin test.

In this test put a certain amount ( small drops ) of allergens of animal proteins, then put it on the skin of the arm or the back after a scratching them, and leave it for 15 minutes.

If the person is suffering from an allergy to these stimuli, then will happen a swelling at the skin test place (rash).

The most common side effects with this test are itching and redness of the skin, which disappear after 30 minutes.


Blood test

There are some cases that can not make a skin test because of disorders happen to the human as a result of the interaction of the skin to some medicines. As an alternative to this test, the doctor recommends a blood test.

The blood test measures the immune system’s response to the allergens by measuring a specific amount of the antibodies in the bloodstream that known as (IgE). The blood sample sends to the lab for analysis and testing it if he is sensitive to a particular type of proteins, the blood test shows the severity of the allergy.


Drugs & Treatment.

The best way ever to treatment is to avoid the stimuli but that is almost impossible, especially that the animals allergens could be transmitted through the clothes of the people that contacts with animals.

Due to the lack of a definite way to treat animals sensitivity, there are medications that reduces the severity of the symptoms, including:

  • Antihistamines: These drugs help alleviate itching, sneezing and runny nose, its work lies in the inhibition of histamine, which is the chemical that causes inflammatory and secreted by the immune system during allergy attack, which is available in pharmacies without prescribed by your doctor, the new species of histamine may be better than the previous species that was causing drowsiness for the majority of cases. Also, it comes in a form of drink which is available for children in pharmacies.
  • Corticosteroid through the nose: It is a spray treats the nasal inflammation that caused by animals sensitivity to the upper respiratory system. There are many drugs with significant efficacy, these drugs begin its effectiveness after a few days of the start, and there is no improvements appears on the patient except after a week or more, usually these drugs are safe to be used for the long terms, unlike the pills.
  • Decongestants: working to reduce the swelling of tissue in the nasal passages, what makes it easier for the person to breathe through the nose, the pills are available in pharmacies and contains antihistamine likewise. As the antihistamine pills may raise the blood pressure rates, it must be avoided for who is suffering from high blood pressure or disorders of the blood vessels, also the men who are suffering from Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia should take care when they use this drug because the drug may make the situation worst. They should talk to their doctors before using it.
  • Cromolyn sodium drug: This drug is available in pharmacies as a spray of the nose, it must be used for several times throughout the day, as it helps in easing the symptoms of pets allergy and preventing the secretion of histamine. Its effectiveness lies in using it as soon as the symptoms begin and before it gets worst, and does not have any side effects.


Other treatments for pets allergy.

  • Immunotherapy, this therapy is a series of doses of the protein that causes allergy, to train the immune system not to be sensitive to animal proteins. The patient takes a small single dose or two doses a week, increasing gradually over 3 – 6 months. Then stimulatory doses every four weeks over 3 – 5 years, the immunotherapy is resorting to when the simple treatment does not treat the allergy.
  • Washing the nose, in order to relieve the symptoms of the nasal congestion, where the doctor recommends to wash the nose with saline that is available in pharmacies or you can make it at home by dissolving one teaspoon of salt in two cups of hot water .. This treatment is very effective in relieving the nasal congestion.


Lifestyle and home remedies.

The treatment as we mentioned above is avoiding the animals as much as possible, but what to do if a family member is fond of this hobby ( raising animal ), Does it enough to buy a new home for the animal to get rid of the allergens?

The answer is No, even this solution does not help and does not preclude the presence of allergens inside and throughout the home that will last for several months.

  • Hygiene, you have to keep the entire house clean always, including the walls and roof.
  • You have to change the upholstered furniture or to remove it from the bedroom, because the cleaning is not enough to get rid of the allergens.
  • Always change the carpets if it’s possible, especially in the bedroom.
  • changing everything in the bed of sheets, blankets, pillows, and blankets.
  • Use air filters to reduce the amount of dandruff or hair scattered in the air of the room.
  • Clean the animal and washing it weekly.
  • specifying a place for the animal ( the pet ), a place special for the animal like a room or a specific part of a room.
  • Reconsider of choosing the floor to be from wood or tile instead of carpets, and in choosing the upholstered furniture and the presence of any tissues in the house such as curtains.
  • Clean the animal’s place, be careful when you clean to be not allergic to animals or if it was a woman to be not pregnant.
  • Leave the pet outside the house, let your pet outside if there was a place to stay away of the vagaries of the weather.


Do not buy a pet if you was suffering from asthma or there is a doubt of being allergic to animals.

You can test your self by spending a day with a friend raising a pet at home, to see your immune system response.

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