Pet Allergy

While dogs and cats provide loving companionship to millions of American families, their dander (dead skin) can trigger an allergic reaction ranging from mild sniffles to asthma attacks.

Symptoms

A highly allergic person may experience symptoms within minutes of inhaling or contacting pet dander. Someone with a minor pet allergy may not realize it because symptoms emerge days later. The wide-ranging symptoms of pet allergies include:

  • Inflamed, itchy, watery eyes
  • Rash or hives
  • Eczema
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose
  • Cough
  • Facial pressure
  • For asthma sufferers – wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness

Causes

Exposure to animal saliva and urine can sometimes cause allergic reactions, but pet dander is the most common source of pet allergies. Your immune system believes it needs to fight the offending allergen and overreacts, causing the unpleasant symptoms.

Diagnosis & Treatment Options

If you are concerned about a possible pet allergy, schedule an appointment with Greater Austin Allergy. Our comprehensive diagnostic approach includes a medical history, physical examination, and allergy testing.

If you are found to have a pet allergy, ideally you will remove pets from your home and reduce or eliminate contact with pets in other places. If, however, you cannot imagine a pet-free life, we will help you come up with a medication plan to manage your symptoms. Many patients also respond well to immunotherapy (allergy shots), which builds up tolerance to specific allergens. Patients who go the allergy shot route frequently receive a personalized, tailored Cluster Immunotherapy plan from our doctors, which provides faster results than traditional immunotherapy.

Pet Allergy Facts