Animal dander allergy
You can be allergic to a wide range of animals, including cats, dogs, horses, guinea pigs, rabbits, rodents, and birds. Allergies to dogs and cats are common, with cat allergies being twice as common as an allergy to dogs. It is commonly thought that the allergenic reaction is due to the hair or fur of the animal. However, the real cause is often a protein that is in the saliva, or more rarely the urine of dogs and cats. This protein sticks to the dead, dried flakes (dander) of the animal’s skin when the animal licks itself.
If the pet has less fur to shed, the allergy-causing dander that sticks to the fur, doesn’t get released into the air or onto the floor as much as it would with a molting cat or dog. Because of this, some breeds are marketed as better for allergy sufferers, although there is no truly hypoallergenic pet.
Symptoms can include one or more of the following:
- a runny or blocked nose
- itchy throat, mouth and nose
- itchy, red or watery eyes
- sneezing and coughing
- licking can cause redness or hives
- wheezing (particularly with cats and horses)
We can provide comprehensive testing to a wide range of animals, and provide advice on how to reduce allergic symptoms. If symptoms are severe, animal dander desensitisation can be highly effective.