You may be wondering why allergies can be triggered by certain pets.
Sure, they may shed and leave their hair all over, but is it the hair itself which you are allergic to? Not exactly.
What is specifically causing this allergic reaction is called pet dander and it is caused by proteins which are found in the hair, saliva, or even urine of the pets.
When this protein in the pet dander touches you or becomes airborne, it will come into contact with your body’s immune system, which mistakes this form of protein as something which might be harmful to your body.
Your body will then begin producing antibodies to fight this protein, even though it is not something harmful. These antibodies will be what cause the allergic reaction to the protein from the dander.
Some of these antibodies will be milder, causing itchy eyes, a runny nose, or coughing. While these are a large inconvenience, they pose no immediate danger.
More severe reactions, though, could cause constriction of the airways and inflammation which could offset an asthma attack.
The severity of this attack will depend on how sensitive you are to pet dander, but this is the type of allergic reaction which could cause serious problems. In both cases, however, avoiding pets which cause these reactions should be recommended.