Do your pets make you to sneeze and your eyes are watering? Having a pet allergy, it is whether to dogs or cats or even to birds is quite common.
Most of the people believe that pet allergies are triggered by the fur of dogs and cats.
In most of the cases pet allergy is not due to pet’s fur or feathers.
The main cause of pet allergy is due to small, invisible flakes of animal dander.
Less frequently pet saliva may also cause allergic reactions in some people. Some dogs and dog breeds can produce less allergen than others.
Pet allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe. In some people pet allergy symptoms can appear within minutes after exposure to the pet but in some people it takes 12 hours to a day to start the reaction after the exposure to pets.
Cause of pet allergy:
The tiny dander particles on your pet have the ability to stick to your cloths and the things like the carpet and the furniture in your home. They can also flow easily in the air. Similar to the dander, pet saliva can also stick to your carpet, bedding, furniture and clothing.
A primary cat allergen is felines, it is a glycoprotein found in the sebaceous glands of the cat’s hair roots and in their sublingual salivary glands. It can also found in the urine of male cats.
Horse can also cause allergy reactions. Patients are usually allergic to horse hair and dander. Some animals like rodents, include rats, mice and pig can also cause allergic reactions.
Rodent’s urine has a high concentration of protein, which is the primary cause for allergic reactions. After the urine dries, its proteins become airborne and are inhaled, leading to allergy symptoms.
Pet dander and pet saliva are harmless substances to most of the people. But, if you have sensitized immune system and these allergens enter your body while breathing or through the membranes that line your eyes and nose they can cause pet allergy symptoms.
During the sensitization process, your immune system considers these allergens as harmful invaders and it produces immunoglobulin E or IgE antibodies.
After the release of antibodies, if you are exposed to the pet’s dander and saliva, your immune system can cause an allergic reaction. The IgE antibodies can cause the release of an inflammatory chemical called histamine. The histamines can cause the mucus membranes in your nose, eyes and sinuses to swell.
Even after the cat is removed from your house, relatively high concentration of cat antigen can remain up to several months to years.
Pet allergy signs and symptoms:
If you have pet allergy, you may exhibit signs and symptoms of hay fever or allergic rhinitis. Allergies symptoms can get worsen after contact with pets. Dog allergy symptoms are not severe when compared to cat allergy because the dogs are often kept outside. Signs and symptoms of pet allergy are:
- Runny and itchy nose
- Nasal congestion
- Skin rashes or hives
- Swelling of roof of the mouth or throat
- Postnasal drip
Asthma patients when exposed to pet allergens the allergic reactions can become severe. Increased signs and symptoms of asthma are:
- Chest tightness
- Difficulty in breathing
- Lung congestion