Pet allergies are very common, especially in people who have other allergies or asthma. Most pet allergies are associated with cats, dogs, rodents and horses however people can also have allergies to animals with feathers.
Those with an allergy to pets will find that their immune system reacts to certain animal proteins, including those from the hair, saliva or urine. This in turn produces hay fever like symptoms as the lining of the nasal passage become inflamed (allergic rhinitis). The symptoms will usually be sneezing, runny nose, itchy red or watery eyes and possibly a cough. Some people may also experience skin inflammation (allergic dermatitis).
Those with a pet allergy should ensure that any animal that lives in the house is kept clean and groomed.
Ensuring that the house is also kept clean by using a vacuum cleaner with a special HEPA filter can be found to help reduce the allergy symptoms.
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Information written by the talkhealth team
Last revised: 6 December 2012
Next review: 14 August 2014