Animal dander (skin shedding or epidermal scales of animals) is an important cause of allergic reactions to pets. Exposure to the saliva, fur, and the urine of pets can also result in allergic symptoms. Many people have beloved pets in their household and despite allergy to them, do not realistically want to get rid of these pets. In cases of mild sensitivity, keeping your pet outside the home and removing your pet from the bedroom will likely improve your allergic symptoms. It is important to remember that even if a pet is completely removed from the home, it often takes several months until the animal dander is no longer a problem.
Allergic conditions like allergic asthma, nasal and sinus allergies, and eye allergies are often made worse by a pet in the home. HEPA filters and HEPA vacuums can help remove animal allergens from the air and carpeting. Cats are typically more allergenic than dogs and the cat allergen called Fed-D1 will attach to clothes and furniture. It is important to keep the cat?s litter box away from the home. Washing and brushing your pets at least once weekly can also help to decrease your allergic symptoms.
Allergy to dogs, cats, rabbits and other pets can be diagnosed by allergy skin testing. When high level allergy is identified, environmental control measures, medication, and allergy shots may help to alleviate symptoms caused by your pet. If the allergy is severe enough and a more severe allergic condition such as asthma has developed, there are times when pet removal from the home may be the most reasonable option. However by working with your allergist and instituting the steps outlined above, removal of your pet from the home in most cases can be avoided.
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