Allergies to Animals
Animal allergies are often a respiratory allergy and rarely a skin allergy.
Indoor pets can spread Reference allergens Opens New Window throughout your home. Some common pet-related allergens include animal dander (dead skin or scales from animals), urine, and dried saliva. Cats in particular spread dried saliva, but other small animals such as mice and gerbils can spread it too. Hair is often not the problem. Short-haired animals are no less of a problem than long-haired ones.
Animal allergies produce symptoms of:
- Hay fever (Reference allergic rhinitis Opens New Window), such as itchy, watery eyes; sneezing; runny, stuffy, or itchy nose; headache and fatigue; dark circles under the eyes; and Reference postnasal drip Opens New Window.
- Wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing. These symptoms may mean a person has an Reference allergic asthma Opens New Window condition.
When allergies are worse around pets, there are some things you can try to reduce your allergy symptoms.
- Keep the pet outside of the house or at least out of the bedroom.
- Bathe your pet once a week.
- Ask a family member who does not have allergies to clean your pet's litter box.
- Keep a caged pet, such as a gerbil, outside your home in a garage or shed.
- Consider finding your pet a new home if your symptoms are severe.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: April 29, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Reference H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine