An estimated 10 million people in the United States suffer from pet allergies. Pet allergies are caused by your immune system’s overreaction to proteins found in your pet’s saliva, urine, and dander (dead skin cells). These tiny proteins are easy to breathe in as they travel through the air. All cats and dogs carry these proteins, so it is possible to have an allergy to short-haired and hairless breeds. You can also develop an allergy to most furry and feathered pets, including birds, hamsters and horses.
Ongoing exposure to the pet you are allergic to can cause symptoms such as:
- Sneezing, runny or congested nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Itchy rash or hives
- Worsening of asthma symptoms
Mild pet allergy symptoms can usually be managed by over-the-counter antihistamines, avoidance of the animal, or the use of a HEPA filter in the home. Those suffering from more severe allergies or those unable to avoid the pet may require additional testing and treatment.
At Columbia Allergy we can provide allergy tests such as skin prick and intradermal testing to identify which pets you are allergic to. Your treatment plan may include subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots) or sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) to desensitize you to the pet proteins that are causing your symptoms. You may also be a candidate for our ultrasound-guided intralymphatic immunotherapy (ILIT) treatment in Fremont, California that can provide faster results! If you are suffering from a pet allergy, call your nearest location or schedule an appointment online today!