Animal Allergies

Horse Allergy

Patients often overlook and mistake allergy to horses, for allergy to pollens or molds. These patients are usually allergic to horse hair and dander. Treatment for this allergy would include medications, horse avoidance and/or allergy immunization to decrease the sensitivity to horse allergen.

Rabbit Allergy

Patients become allergic to rabbits due to exposure to these animals in their daily work. The most common people at risk are veterinarians, laboratory technicians, and pet owners . The rabbit's saliva and fur are the common allergen.

Cat Allergy

Patients allergic to cats, are allergic to the cat's saliva. However, typical allergic symptoms are not as a result of coming in direct contact with the cat's saliva. Instead, when the cat grooms itself by licking its fur and skin it deposits its saliva. They saliva dries, leaving behind the protein antigen that are the source of allergy to cats. These allergens (cat saliva antigens) are very light-weight and are easily aerosolized. Once air-borne the antigen can spread to clothes, furniture, carpeting, or any other household item.

Once cat allergy is confirmed, the best way to decrease allergy symptoms is to remove the cat from the home. However, relatively high concentrations of cat antigen can remain, even months after the cat is removed. Thereby it is important to clean or replace the carpeting, furniture, and all other material that may harbor the cat saliva antigen. Also, there are less dramatic means to improve or eliminate cat allergy symptoms, this includes the use of medications and allergy immunization.

Dog Allergy

Patients allergic to dogs, are allergic to the dog's saliva. However, typical allergic symptoms are not as a result of coming in direct contact with the dog's saliva. Instead, when the dog grooms itself by licking its fur and skin it deposits its saliva. They saliva dries, leaving behind the protein antigen that are the source of allergy to dogs. These allergens (dog saliva antigens) are very light-weight and are easily aerosolized. Once air-borne the antigen can spread to clothes, furniture, carpeting, or any other household item. Allergy to dogs is not as problematic as allergy to cats, primarily because:

  • Dogs are usually kept outside
  • Dogs are kept outside of bedrooms
  • Dogs are washed regularly

Once dog allergy is confirmed, the best way to decrease allergy symptoms is to remove the dog from the home. Also, there are less dramatic means to improve or eliminate dog allergy symptoms, this includes the use of medications and allergy immunization.

Rodent Allergy

Patients become allergic to rodents due to exposure to these animals in their daily work. The most common people at risk are veterinarians, laboratory technicians, and people who live in close quarters with rodents (such as pet owners and those who live in rodent-infested homes). Some example of common rodent that humans come in contact with include mice, rats, and guinea pigs. The rodent's urine has a high concentration of protein, which is the primary allergen to humans. The urine is often sprayed rather than deposited, thereby increasing human exposure. After the urine dries, the urinary proteins become air-borne and are inhaled, leading to allergic symptoms.

Is it an Allergy or a Cold?

You wake up one morning with a stuffy nose and it just doesn’t seem to getting better. Is it an allergy, viral respiratory infection or a bacterial sinus infection?

Here are some helpful hints to identify what you may have and some clues you can provide your busy doctor to prescribe or recommend the correct treatment.