Pet allergies such as dog allergy can trigger severe reactions. This is true for those who have asthma. Luckily, there are lifestyle alterations and medications that can help manage the allergies.
It is important to note that dogs release proteins that ends up in dander, urine and saliva. A reaction arises if the immune system of a sensitive individual erroneously reacts to the harmless protein. Various dog breeds produce different dander; thus, it is likely for one to be more allergic to some dogs than others. The allergen can gather in carpeting, walls, clothing and upholstered furniture. In addition, the dander can remain airborne for extended periods of time.
What are the indications of a dog allergy?
The indications of a dog allergy can range from mild to severe. The symptoms might not arise after several days after being exposed to those with low sensitivity.
Some of the indications that the individual might have dog allergy include the following:
- Itchiness and swelling in the membranes of the nose or around the eyes
- Skin redness after being licked by a dog
- Shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing within 15-30 minutes of exposure to allergens
- Rashes on the neck, face or chest
- Severe asthma attack
Children with dog allergy often end up with eczema aside from the stated symptoms.
The only effective way to control dog allergy is to eliminate the pet from the house. Nevertheless, there are other ways to reduce exposure to the allergens and symptoms for those who do not want to part with their pet.
Some of the medications and treatments that can manage the condition include the following:
- Antihistamines to alleviate sneezing, itching and runny nose
- Nasal corticosteroids to reduce the inflammation and control the symptoms
- Decongestants works by shrinking the swollen tissues in the nasal passages to allow easier breathing
- Cromolyn sodium is an over-the-counter nasal spray that can minimize the symptoms especially if used before they arise
- Allergy shots or immunotherapy involves gradual exposure to the animal protein responsible for the reaction and help the body become less sensitive, thus reducing the symptoms.
- Leukotriene modifiers are recommended if the individuals could not tolerate nasal antihistamines or corticosteroids