Treating Pet Allergies According Board Certified Allergist Dr. Tina Abraham

Dr. Tina Abraham is a board-certified adult and pediatric allergist and immunologist. Dr. Abraham specializes in the treatment and management of an extensive spectrum of allergic, respiratory and skin disorders in both adults and children, including asthma, seasonal allergies/hay fever, sinus problems, postnasal drip, chronic cough, recurrent infections, immunologic diseases, rashes, hives, angioedema, eczema, as well as food and drug allergies. Through close collaboration and communication, Dr. Abraham’s patients are empowered to make better healthcare decisions as we together formulate an individualized evidence-based treatment plan which takes into account the specific needs of each patient.

Pet allergiesPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

Per the American Veterinary Medical Association, about 68% of US households own pets. The overwhelming majority of these pets are cats and dogs who have, quite understandably so, become a vital component of the family construct in these respective households. So what causes allergies to these furry friends?

Allergens are usually harmless molecules that the immune system identifies as foreign and decides to mount an allergic reaction to rid the body of this “foreign invader. In the case of pet allergies, specific proteins found in a pet's dander, the flakes of skin, urine and saliva, can cause an allergic reaction as the immune system processes these allergens as foreign. These symptoms can include, but are not limited to: itchy, runny, watery eyes, runny stuffy nose, postnasal drip, rashes, hives, coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. It is also important to remember that pet fur or hair can carry outdoor allergens like pollen and mold, therefore individuals sensitized to these environmental aeroallergens can mount a similar reaction from this as well.

Allergies can be genetic and there are various hypotheses as to why one can become sensitized to things in their environment. If you have a family history of asthma, allergies, or eczema, there is a higher likelihood of having allergies yourself.

Michigan Allergist Dr. Tina AbrahamPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

Treatments to remedy symptoms of pet allergies include environmental controls such as: washing your pet frequently, HEPA filters in the home, and keeping ones living environment tidy. Aside from environmental controls, making an appointment for a consultation with a board-certified allergist/immunologist will help tailor treatment specific to you. This type of physician has gone through years of specialized training and experience to provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment plans which may include medications and specific immunotherapy to desensitize you to specific allergens to manage symptoms and keep your furry members of the family.

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