Tips for Health

Animal Allergies

By on March 20, 2012 in Diseases, Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

Allergy to Animals

Virtually, all animal fur or feathers can cause allergies in people. However, it is required to share common environments for long periods with these animals for a person with a genetic predisposition to develop allergies true allergic reactions to them. Therefore, the animals most frequently involved in allergies in humans are the dog and the cat for being the most live with him as pets.

Allergy to these animals (cat and dog) occurs in approximately 15% of the population. However, the percentage rises to over 20% for people with asthma. In general, cats are more allergens that dogs (frequency and severity).

Certain animal proteins found in saliva, dandruff (scaling of the skin) or in the urine of an animal may be allergenic for humans. People are not allergic to the hair itself from an animal as many believe. These proteins derive from the skin or are dried and pulverized (in case of urine and saliva) and are carried by the air as very small dust particles, which will eventually contaminate the interior of homes and the dust of those houses, and generally, the more time spent in that house the animal, the greater, proportionally the concentrations of these allergens in the home. These allergens are airborne and can be contacted by the surfaces of the eyes or respiratory tract (nose, bronchi) causing allergic symptoms there or even in locations distant from the site of entry of these particles. The skin may also react directly with allergy (hives or itching) in contact with these allergens, especially those in the saliva of these animals. While there may be delayed reactions (more than 12 hours), symptoms usually occur within minutes after contact with animal allergens (direct contact or by air). For some people, symptoms can develop over several hours and be more severe 12 hours after it has ceased contact with the animal.

The most frequently reported symptoms are rhinitis (sneezing, itchy nose, mucus, liquid, nasal blockage), with or without conjunctivitis (redness, whining, itchy eyes, etc..). However, the reactions may be more severe: asthma (bronchospasm and difficulty breathing, with coughing, phlegm in the chest, etc..) Or may even cause urticaria, angioedema (swelling of various body parts), contact dermatitis , generalized pruritus or anaphylaxis (severe reactions to attack various organs or body parts, with or without low blood pressure or shock).


The best treatment for cat and dog allergy is to remove the animal from the home and avoid other types of contact whenever possible. The leave animals outside the home alone is only a partial solution, since studies have shown that pets in the courtyard houses still contaminate the inside slowly and may reach concentrations similar to allergens in homes with animals.

If your child is allergic (to others) and has rhinitis and/or asthma, he/she should not acquire a pet. Pets like rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, hamsters, monkeys and all kinds of birds (chickens, parrots, canaries, doves, pigeons, sparrows, parakeets, etc..). If they insist, try to choose pets without hair or feathers, though not so popular: turtles, crabs, fish, snakes, iguanas, chameleons, etc..

If for any reason, they decide not to dispose of the animal, (although this is not the most desirable), they can still do things to minimize contamination by these allergens in the home.

Preventive Measures

Keep the pet out of its fourth offensive. Since you spend many hours of sleep a day in the room, merely keeping the pet out of this room will reduce exposure significantly. Each time the animal enters, the room stops allergens, so the pet should stay out of the room (at least) all the time.

Keep your pet all the time outside the home. Buy or build them a house to protect them from weather and not have to put them in that cause.

Bathe with soap or shampoo at least once a week. There is recent evidence that bathing the animal weekly will reduce the amount of allergens that are distributed in the environment.

Brushing your pet’s hair on the outside as frequently as possible. You should not do the allergic person. This will help remove loose hair and allergens from your pet, reducing the amount that is deposited on the inside.

Wash or clean the house or pet cage with some frequency, this reduces the allergen especially in the urine of the animal, which is usually the principal source of allergen in small species such as rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs.

A cat or dog produces a certain amount of allergen per week. This amount varies greatly from one animal to another. Allergens accumulate in areas such as carpets, mattresses, pillows and even on vertical and horizontal surfaces of a room. Since particles of allergens can penetrate fabrics, it is suggested that mattresses and cushions are placed in plastic sleeves with zipper to prevent the release of allergens when compressed.

The use of vacuum does not help much in the allergy problems home particles (dust, mites, fungi, animal dander) and that does not extract the dust from the underside of the carpet, and in fact can make them to stay in the air, unless it has high efficiency filter. Steam cleaning of carpets may be better than dry vacuuming, but this favors fungal growth underneath it, which may also be allergenic. The best solution is to have a tile or wood floor with removable mats can be washed.

A suitable preventive option to reduce aero-allergens in the indoor environment are home air filters because they reduce (not eliminate entirely) the allergenic particles suspended within the houses. These may help eliminate some of the pet dander and other allergens in your home.

Replace bedding and carpets with animal dander. It can take weeks or months for fabrics to eliminate allergens. In some homes, animal allergens may persist for a year or more after the animal has been removed. It is preferable to keep animals out of his room and bedding used and new carpet.


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