Friday, January 20, 2012

Allergic to Dogs - Symptoms

Allergic to Dogs - Symptoms

If you are allergic to dogs, symptoms may include stuffy nose and runny eyes, or skin rashes, or both. This information will help you understand the condition better...

It is terrible to be a dog lover who is allergic to dogs. However, even if you aren't a dog lover but live in the US and have a dog allergy, where there are about four pets for every 10 people, life is still not easy. The stuff you are allergic to (dander) is almost everywhere, including places where a canine has never been. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, there are detectable levels of pet dander are in every home in the U.S!

What Causes an Allergy to Dogs?

Dog allergies is a fairly common, widely prevalent problem. People think that they are allergic to the hair/fur of a dog, and thus conclude that some breeds trigger dog allergy symptoms while others don't. People also often think that short haired dog breeds will not cause a problem. However, in reality the source of the allergy is often a protein contained in their saliva and urine, that sticks to the animal's dead, dried flakes of skin (dander). This allergy-causing dander, sticks to the fur and then gets released into the air when the fur is shed. It may then settle on surfaces, or adhere to walls and clothing. An allergen may not lose their strength for a long time, sometimes for several months. When it comes into contact with people who are allergic to dog, their body perceives it as a threat, and attempts to destroy or flush it out.

Allergic to Dogs Symptoms

In situations where allergen levels are low, or the persons sensitivity is minor, it is possible that symptoms may not appear until after several days of contact. Dog or pet allergy symptoms differ in severity and reactions from one person to another. Why in some, it may appear like other any other nasal allergy, others may have skin reactions. A few unfortunate people will have both kinds of reactions. When exposed to a dog, some people begin to cough and wheeze. Then may then begin to sneeze, or their nose may get stuffy or runny. It is also common for the eyes to water, or turn red and itchy. Among those who are allergic to dogs, symptoms may appear in the form of skin reactions, causing a break out where a dog licks them. Their skin may start itching, or red rashes may appear. People who have more severe allergies may develop hives on their face or chest. People with asthma who have a dog allergy, are susceptible to serious reactions.

Detection and Treatment

To confirm that you are allergic to dogs, your doctor can recommend either a skin test or a blood test called a RAST (radioallergosorbent test). Alternately, you must be removed from your pets environment (not the other way round), to see if the symptoms go away. Unfortunately, the best form of treatment is to avoid contact with cats or dogs or their dander. Keep dogs and cats out of your home and avoid visiting people who have them. If you have a dog, then you may want to clean your home thoroughly every week, for up to two months after you have found your dog another home. However, if you decide to keep the pet, ensure that you do not allow it access to your bedroom. Remove wall to wall carpeting and any furniture that your dog has spent a lot of time on. Clean the entire house, including walls and woodwork thoroughly.

Read more on:

Cat Skin Allergies

Dogs for People with Allergies

Hopefully, even if you are allergic to dogs, symptoms may disappear with all these measures, and you may not need medication. If you need them, your doctor may give you standard allergy drugs, or recommend an allergy shot.


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