Who doesn’t love pets? According to a recent National Pet Owners Survey, almost 62 percent of American households own pets, and more than 161 million of these are dogs and cats. These numbers are unsurprising, given the innate cuteness of these furry friends that one can’t simply ignore.
Unfortunately, for some of these pet owners, they have an allergy to their animals. This is why it’s important to seek urgent care services for your pet allergies before you experience a severe allergic reaction.
What are the allergens found in pets?
A million of these pet owners find that they’re allergic to the proteins found in their pet’s skin cells, saliva, or urine. Most of the time, allergic reactions are triggered by their pet’s dander and skin flakes. At times, however, people find themselves having an allergic reaction to pollen, mold spores, and other outdoor allergens collected by their pet’s fur or hair.
The risk of anaphylaxis
While most pet owners experience allergy symptoms like sneezing, sniffling, and itchiness, others might not take allergens too well. Some people may be susceptible to a life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. While anaphylactic reactions occur from foods, insect stings, latex, and medications, it may also occur from pet allergies.
Symptoms and treatments for anaphylaxis
Symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction include itching, constriction of airways, swelling of the tongue or throat, or even nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or fainting. These symptoms often occur within minutes of exposure to an allergen, yet there are times when these occur a half-hour or longer after exposure. Having allergies or asthma, along with having a family history of anaphylaxis, can further increase your risk of a life-threatening allergic reaction.
Managing your pet allergy
Of course, prevention is always better than cure. When it comes to managing your pet allergies, spending time away with your furry friend is not always the best option. There are numerous allergy medications that your doctor at an urgent care clinic may prescribe you with, including antihistamines, decongestants, corticosteroids, and the like. You may also be subjected to other treatments, like immunotherapy and nasal irrigation, to improve your nasal allergy symptoms. With your pet allergy kept at bay, you can enjoy the days with your furry friend with fewer worries.
Anaphylaxis, American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology
Pet allergy, Mayo Clinic