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Allergic To Your Pet?
Approximately one in five Americans is allergic to one kind of animal or another. Unfortunately, the allergy victim may not find out about his or her sensitivity until a pet comes into the home. Usually allergy sufferers can live in harmony with their pets if they are willing to work at it. Try these suggestions.
First, see an allergist. Symptoms of sneezing, wheezing, skin rashes, and itchy eyes can mean a virus or an allergy to any number of things you might be allergic to. If you are allergic to animals, a series of shots to desensitize you might be prescribed.
An allergy can build up very gradually at any age or can strike very suddenly. So don't think that just because you have always been around animals that you cannot become allergic to them. There is even an organization for veterinarians who are allergic to animals through which they share their knowledge in coping with their common problem.
There are many over the counter and prescription medications to help relieve the drippy nose or throbbing head. While these drugs may help those who have mild or occasional allergy symptoms, usually the best solution is changing the environment.
The most effective way to minimize the allergy is to keep your pet clean. Most people are not actually allergic to animal fur, but to the dander (dead skin flaking off) and pollens on the animal's coat. Allergies to cats are most often due to the dried saliva on the cat's coat that is left after grooming. You can control these by keeping the coat healthy, clean, and free of dander. Food supplements and topical preparations are available at your veterinarian to help prevent dry skin and excessive shedding. Brush your pet at least twice a week with a bristle brush. Wire brushes often just loosen up more dander.
Keep the animal and the allergy victim apart as much as is possible. This means not only sleeping in separate beds but in separate rooms. Keep the animal out of the allergy sufferer's bedroom at all times. Creation of other "animal free" areas of the house may also help a great deal.
Some other tips to help alleviate allergies, particularly in the allergy victim's bedroom are: remove indoor "dust collectors" like carpets, drapes, and upholstered furniture; use hardwood floors and furniture made of wood, metal, or vinyl; cover mattresses with plastic; use only pillows made of synthetic materials; cover heating vents with cheese cloth; change or clean filters on heating/air conditioning units frequently; remove books and stuffed animals; vacuum and dust every day. Air cleaners are also becoming more and more popular.
There are many different solutions to try before deciding to get rid of your pet. Contact your veterinarian's office for more information
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