Household pets are the most common source of allergic
reactions to animals.
Many people think that pet allergy is provoked by the
fur of cats and dogs. Researchers have found, however,
that the major allergens are proteins in the saliva. These
proteins stick to the fur when the animal licks itself.
Urine is also a source of allergy-causing proteins, as
is the skin. When the substance carrying the proteins
dries, the proteins can then float into the air. Cats may
be more likely than dogs to cause allergic reactions
because they lick themselves more, may be held more,
and spend more time in the house, close to humans.
Some rodents, such as guinea pigs and gerbils, have
become increasingly popular as household pets. They,
too, can cause allergic reactions in some people, as
can mice and rats. Urine is the major source of allergens
from these animals.
Allergies to animals can take 2 years or more to develop
and may not decrease until 6 months or more after ending
contact with the animal. Carpet and furniture are a
reservoir for pet allergens, and the allergens can remain
in them for 4 to 6 weeks. In addition, these allergens
can stay in household air for months after the animal
has been removed. Therefore, it is wise for people with
an animal allergy to check with the landlord or previous
owner to find out if furry pets lived on the premises.
Courtesy: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
|| San Antonio, Texas
Introduction to Allergies
What is an allergy?
What is allergic rhinitis? (Hay Fever)
Why are some people allergic?
What is an allergic reaction?
What Is Food Allergy?
Introduction to Asthma
What are Hives?