Pet allergies are common, affecting up to 20% of the world’s population. Pet allergy symptoms vary but can be severe and may be the underlying trigger of your asthma. At South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group, with offices in San Jose, Los Gatos, Mountain View, and Redwood City, California, the board-certified allergy and immunology physicians specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of pet allergies. To schedule an evaluation, call the office nearest you or use the online booking tool.
Pet allergies result from an overreaction of your immune system to a protein in the skin cells, saliva, or urine of an animal. When exposed to the protein, your immune system causes an inflammatory response that may affect your nose or lungs.
In most cases, pet dander triggers pet allergies. Though cats and dogs are the most common pets responsible for the allergic reaction, any animal with fur may trigger the immune system response.
Pet allergy symptoms can vary in type and severity. Many people with a pet allergy experience symptoms similar to hay fever, which are generally limited to the nose and may include:
For some people, a pet allergy triggers their asthma and may cause symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest tightness, or wheezing. Your pet allergy may also cause skin symptoms, referred to as allergic dermatitis, such as hives, eczema, or itching.
The allergy specialists at South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group conduct comprehensive evaluations to diagnose pet allergies.
Your doctor first reviews your symptoms and takes a thorough medical history. To confirm or rule out a pet allergy, they conduct an allergy skin test or a blood test.
To alleviate your symptoms, it’s not uncommon for allergists to recommend complete avoidance of the pet or animal that causes the allergic reaction.
South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group understands that pet avoidance is not always an option, and they don’t want you to live without your furry companion.
When developing a pet allergy treatment plan, your doctor makes every effort to control your allergic reaction, so you can keep your pet.
To manage symptoms, South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group may recommend:
Your doctor may also suggest immunotherapy, which trains your immune system to be less sensitive to the allergen to reduce or completely eliminate your symptoms.
During treatment, you’re given a series of shots that exposes your body to small doses of the pet allergen that’s gradually increased over time. After completing your initial immunotherapy treatment, you’re given monthly maintenance shots for 3-5 years.
More and more people are developing allergies to pets. To see if your symptoms are due to a pet allergy, call South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group or book an appointment online today.