Top veterinarians in Charlottesville explain how to manage if you are allergic to dogs?
38% of households in the USA are allergic to their pets, mainly cats and dogs. Pet allergy is caused when the human immune system perceives pet dander as a hostile agent whenever any part of the body comes in contact with it. It triggers an allergic reaction to expel the hostile substance out of the human body. To do so, the body goes into overdrive and rapid sneezing starts to take place. A runny nose, watering of eyes, wheezing, and difficulty in breathing are some of the common signs of having an allergic reaction to a dog.
The cause of this allergic reaction is attributed to a protein found in the cells, saliva, or urine of the animal. For most people, the allergic reaction is triggered when they come in contact with the dead flakes of skin that animals shed. These flakes are called pet dander. This article will explore the possible scenarios where a dog is the cause of an allergic reaction and how to deal with it.
What Are The Symptoms of Dog Allergies
The symptoms of dog allergies can be mild, medium, or severe. Some of the most common symptoms of having a dog allergy are:
- Swollen and irritated nasal and conjunctival membranes.
- The appearance of red marks after coming in contact with the dog’s saliva.
- The appearance of rash on face, neck, or chest within 15-30 minutes of coming in contact with the pet dander.
- An onslaught of a severe asthma attack for people who already suffer from asthma.
- Children who are allergic to dogs will develop eczema along with the above symptoms.
How To Manage and Deal With Dog Allergies?
Dog allergies can be prevented and managed with the right medication and by making a few changes in lifestyle, as stated follows.
Listed below are the most effective medicines for treating dog allergies:
- Antihistamines like Benadryl, Claritin, Allegra, and Clarinex are over-the-counter medicines that are very effective in relieving flu-like symptoms such as itching, sneezing, and runny nose.
- Nasal corticosteroids like Nasonex help deal with inflammation.
- The use of nasal sprays such as cromolyn prevents the development of allergic symptoms if taken before the allergic reaction kicks in.
- Decongestants alleviate breathing problems. They reduce the inflammation of the nasal passage.
- Another preventive way to deal with any allergy is to develop immunotherapy by getting allergy shots. This is done by exposing the body to allergen i.e. the animal protein. By doing so, the body develops immunity against the allergen, and when the body is exposed to the real allergen, the effect is minimized.
- Saline or salt water rinses are known to clear nasal passages and remove allergens. It also helps with postnasal drip.
Along with these medicines, making the following lifestyle changes helps deal with pet allergies.
- Declaring a certain area of the home as a dog-free zone. No pets are allowed in that area.
- Asking a non-allergic person to bathe your dog once every week. This will help get rid of pet dander.
- Getting rid of all household items such as carpets, rugs, blinds, curtains, and upholstered furniture that may attract pet dander.
- Installing high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifiers in your home. They help get rid of allergens.
- Choosing a dog that comes from a hypoallergenic breed of dogs.
This information has been brought to you by Autumn Trails and Veterinary Center. They provide medical services and boarding facilities for pets in Charlottesville, VA.