If you or a loved one have begun showing allergy symptoms around household pets, it is important to get tested for a possible pet allergy. Sometimes pets who spend time outdoors bring environmental allergens indoors. At Frontier Allergy Asthma and Immunology, our allergy specialist can help you determine the cause of your allergy symptoms and devise a plan for treatment and prevention.
Cats and dogs are the most common triggers for pet allergies, but any animal with fur can cause a person to experience allergic symptoms. The protein that causes these allergic symptoms resides in the dander (dead skin flakes), saliva, and urine of these animals. However, pet dander is a particular problem because it can remain airborne for long periods of time, can stick to clothes, can cling to walls, and gathers easily in upholstered furniture.
Diagnosis of a Pet Allergy
If you believe you may be suffering from a pet allergy, our staff at Frontier Allergy Asthma and Immunology are here to help. During your visit, your allergy specialist will discuss your medical and family history, perform a physical examination, and recommend allergy testing.
A common test that your allergy specialist may perform is a skin test. At least 4 days prior to your scheduled skin test, you will need to hold all antihistamine-related medications and supplements. These medications can interfere with the skin test results. A skin prick test involves placing a drop of an allergen onto the skin and scratching the area with a sterile plastic applicator to ensure the skin is well-exposed to the allergen. If the skin prick test does not yield conclusive results, your doctor may recommend an intradermal test, which involves the use of a small needle to inject the allergen just underneath the skin. Both of these skin tests require observation for a skin reaction. Your doctor will look for raised, red, itchy bumps (wheals) over the tested areas of the skin. The wheal size correlates to your sensitivity to a particular allergen.
There are several cases in which a skin test cannot be performed adequately. This includes patients who are very young, such as infants and young children who may protest the multiple scratches or needles skin testing requires. This also applies to patients with skin conditions or who cannot discontinue certain medications that may interfere with results. During a blood test, a small number of vials of blood will be taken to test for the level of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies of pet-specific allergens.
Regardless of your testing method, our experienced allergist will be able to diagnose your pet allergy and work with you to create a treatment plan to manage your symptoms. If you are indeed allergic to animal dander and would still like to keep pets in your home, your allergist will discuss changes in lifestyle, certain medications, and immunotherapy options that can help you better manage your symptoms.
Next stepsIf you are interested in further discussion about your specific needs, Dr. Reshamwala is happy to see you and answer any questions you may have. Please call 512-382-1933 or email email@example.com to schedule an appointment today! Book an appointment
Written by: Dr. Neha Reshamwala
NPI number: 1780874578
Page last reviewed: 03/20/21