Pet allergy is an allergic reaction to the proteins found in a pet’s dander, skin flakes, saliva and urine which also aggravate asthma symptoms in some people. Also, pet hair or fur can collect pollen, mold spores and other outdoor allergens.
A pet lover’s story
I am an ardent pet lover, especially of cats and dogs. I have had my cat since I was in college. She always follows me around the house and sleeps with me every night. I took our cat along when I got married. But one incident made me decide to take her back home to my family.
Every time my cat entered our room, my son would begin to vigorously rub his eyes and it becomes watery. He would also have a runny nose, cough, and sneeze constantly. The first time it happened, we reckoned it was just the cold weather, however, we noticed that every time our cat would come near him, the same symptoms seemed to reappear. So we decided to take him to the hospital where the doctor confirmed he was allergic to cats.
I would really like to keep my cat, however, I do want my son to be able to feel better around her. If only there was a way to handle this situation in a better way.
Allergy is a damaging immune response by the body to a substance/allergen to which it has become hypersensitive.
Hypersensitivity (also called hypersensitivity reaction or intolerance) is a set of undesirable reactions produced by the normal immune system including allergies and autoimmunity. These reactions may be damaging, uncomfortable, or occasionally fatal.
An allergen is a normally harmless substance that triggers the immune system to overreact in people with allergies.
Your immune system produces proteins known as antibodies. These antibodies protect you from unwanted invaders that could make you sick or cause an infection. When you have allergies, your immune system makes antibodies that identify your particular allergen as something harmful, even though it isn’t. When you inhale the allergen or come into contact with it, your immune system responds and produces an inflammatory response in your nasal passages or lungs. Prolonged or regular exposure to the allergen can cause the ongoing (chronic) inflammation associated with asthma.
Pet allergy is triggered by exposure to the dead flakes of skin (dander) which a pet sheds.
What people with Pet Allergy may experience
Pet allergy signs and symptoms caused by inflammation of nasal passages include:
- Runny nose
- Itchy, red or watery eyes
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy nose, roof of the mouth, or throat
- Postnasal drip
- Facial pressure and pain
- Frequent awakening
- Swollen, blue-colored skin under your eyes
- In a child, frequent upward rubbing of the nose
If your pet allergy contributes to asthma, you may also experience:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest tightness or pain
- Audible whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling
- Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
Some people with pet allergies may also experience skin symptoms. Allergic dermatitis is an immune system reaction that causes skin inflammation. Direct contact with an allergy-causing pet may trigger allergic dermatitis signs and symptoms, which may include:
- Raised, red patches of skin (hives)
- Itchy skin
Pet allergy symptoms appear during or shortly after exposure to the animal. The symptoms may linger long even if the animal is gone. This is because the dander remains in the air, on furniture or on your clothing.
How to diagnose Pet Allergy
You or your doctor may suspect you have a pet allergy, but allergy testing performed by an allergist/immunologist is the best method to diagnose exactly what you are allergic to and to develop a personalized plan to manage your symptoms.
Allergy skin test
Your doctor may suggest an allergy skin test to determine exactly what you are allergic to. You may be referred to an allergy specialist (allergist) for this test.
In this test, tiny amounts of purified allergen extracts — including extracts with animal proteins — are pricked into your skin’s surface. This is usually carried out on the forearm but it may be done on the upper back.
Your doctor or nurse observes your skin for signs of allergic reactions after 15 minutes. For example, If you’re allergic to cats, you’ll develop a red, itchy bump where the cat extract was pricked into your skin. The most common side effects of these skin tests are itching and redness. These side effects usually go away within 30 minutes.
In some cases, a skin test cannot be performed because of the presence of a skin condition or because of interactions with certain medications. As an alternative, your doctor may order a blood test that screens your blood for specific allergy-causing antibodies to various common allergens, including various animals. This test may also indicate how sensitive you are to an allergen.
Modern Medical Approach
The first line of treatment for controlling pet allergy is avoiding the allergy-causing animal as much as possible. When you minimize your exposure to pet allergens, you should expect to have allergic reactions that are less often or less severe. However, it’s often difficult or impossible to eliminate completely your exposure to animal allergens.
Your doctor may direct you to take one of the following medications to improve nasal allergy symptoms:
- Antihistamines reduce the production of an immune system chemical that is active in an allergic reaction, and they help relieve itching, sneezing and runny nose.
- Corticosteroids delivered as a nasal spray can reduce inflammation and control symptoms of hay fever.
- Decongestants can help shrink swollen tissues in your nasal passages and make it easier to breathe through your nose.
- Cromolyn sodium prevents the release of an immune system chemical and may reduce symptoms.
- Leukotriene modifiers block the action of certain immune system chemicals.
My pet allergies has made me unsociable:
I have severe allergies when I am around or near animals. It is so severe that even when I enter a house which has pets, I constantly start sneezing, coughing, my eyes become watery and itchy. My doctor prescribed me certain medications to suppress my allergic reactions, but sadly none of those medications seemed to provide any relief as my symptoms continued to persist.
This has been a major flaw and a reason for much concern especially when I have to visit any of my friends or family who own a dog or a cat. I would just like to be able to visit people’s homes without worrying about breaking into my allergies.
With us, we will get to the root cause and identify the allergen which is causing the allergy — in this case, the animal dander.
We use Muscle Response Testing (MRT) to confirm the presence of allergic reactivity. Once identified, the practitioner will use spinal manipulation, acupressure, and/or acupuncture procedures to eliminate the allergy. The treatment is geared to reprogram the brain’s negative responses towards the allergen(s) to a positive response whenever these substances are contacted in the future.
Testing Owner’s Allergy to an Animal
You can check your allergy to your pets, and your pet’s allergy towards you using the same method.
The owner’s muscle is tested by the tester while the owner holds the allergen (animal dander) on her hand.
The owner holds the allergen in her right hand while the practitioner pushes on the raised left hand. If the muscle response test is weak, the owner is allergic to the pet. The owner can get treated by keeping the allergen in his/her hand while the practitioner is administering the treatment.
A Life-long Cat Allergy Eliminated
I wanted to tell you about an amazing and wonderful event in my life this week. Ever since I was a child I was remarkably allergic to cats. It only got worse over the decades. I couldn’t even go to someone’s house who had a cat. Within a few minutes, I would be wheezing, sneezing, itching, and dripping and have to go home.
I did several NAET treatments for various aspects of cat allergies including cat hair, cat saliva, cat urine, and kitty litter.
Since having NAET, I am now able to pet my cats which is very enjoyable. I still had not gotten enough courage to brush a cat. The idea just seemed to be pure folly. Remember, I have had a lifetime of allergy issues with cats.
Then last week I realized that my long-haired cat was shedding his winter coat and had developed quite a few mats. I was unable to convince my husband that he should brush the cat to get the mats out. So I bravely decided to tackle the project myself. Soon I found myself sitting in a sea of cat hair with hair swirling in the air around me and sticking to my clothes in big clumps.
Amazingly, this did not trigger a huge allergy attack. I am simply amazed that NAET has worked very well! It’s really beyond my wildest dreams. There is no amount of drugs that could have kept a major allergy attack from occurring under those circumstances.
Besides solving the cat allergy, I can now eat a wide variety of foods without getting a headache. I never thought that would be possible. NAET is just a wonderful, effective, painless, and inexpensive treatment modality. I highly recommend it to anyone with any kind of allergies. It can truly change a person’s life.
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