With the help of our Austin allergists, your family may be able to live with pets
Pet allergies can create problems for families with pets or when people visit other families with pets. While there may be some cases where a person simply must avoid pets at all costs, in many cases, our Austin allergists can devise a personalized treatment and management plan to help with pet allergies.
Symptoms that may indicate pet allergies
When some people are exposed to a pet such as a cat, dog, rodent or horse, they begin to experience allergy symptoms due to exposure to proteins found in the pet’s dead skin cells, or dander, as well as saliva and urine. The symptoms can last long after exposure to the pet because their dander can get on clothing, on furniture and remain in the air.
When allergens inflame the nasal passages, people may experience symptoms such as:
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Postnasal drip
- Facial pain and pressure
Some people may find that pet allergies cause hives or itchy skin or trigger their asthma symptoms.
Allergy testing under the care of our Austin allergists
Our board-certified Austin allergists conduct allergy testing to determine exactly which allergens are causing your symptoms. The most common method of testing is skin testing. This is relatively painless, and involves a small skin prick to place amounts of purified allergen extracts on the skin. Our physicians then closely observe the reactions they cause.
Treatment and management options
Once our Austin allergists determine what your triggers are, they will develop an individualized plan to help treat and manage your pet allergies. Your plan may involve immunotherapy, a series of allergy shots that expose you to small doses of the allergen(s) and increase the dose for approximately three to six months. After this initial period, we then administer a maintenance dose on a regular basis.
Your treatment may involve medications, such as antihistamines, corticosteroids or decongestants, to alleviate nasal allergy symptoms.
Preventing exposure to pet allergens
- People should wash their hands immediately after petting an animal, and avoid hugging or kissing them.
- Bathe and brush pets often to cut down on dander.
- Replace carpets with hardwood floors.
- Use (HEPA) air filters and vent filters.
- If you have indoor pets, do not allow them in your bedroom.
Our Austin allergists can offer you more helpful tips if you suspect that you or your family member may have pet allergies. We understand the important role pets can play in our lives, and welcome your questions about treatment options to help manage symptoms. Contact us for an appointment.