Treating People with Pet Dander Allergies

Pet dander allergies occur in about 10% of pet owners. Pets cause allergies; however even if the common belief is that pet hair produces allergies, the truth is that pet dander is the major culprit. Urine and saliva of cats and dogs may also cause allergic reactions. The treatment for pet allergies may consist of corticosteroid therapy, antihistamines, immunotherapy or dietary supplements.

Corticosteroid Therapy

Corticosteroids are hormones that can manage the pet dander allergy symptoms such as skin rashes, itchiness, runny nose, sneezing, swelling or watery eyes. All these symptoms are caused by a protein that is present both in cat and dog dander.

Corticosteroids may be taken orally or through injections. Topical ointments are also available for the skin allergies.

However, the administration of corticosteroids over a long period of time may lead to side effects such as drowsiness, incapacity to concentrate, stomach uneasiness, mood swings and ultimately liver damage.

The treatment with corticosteroids must be alternated with other treatments to prevent other health complications. Antihistamines

The protein in the cat and dog dander causes an excess secretion of histamines, substances that provoke the allergic reactions.

A trial period of several antihistamines is necessary, as some drugs may work for some people and be ineffective for others.

Also, once an effective antihistamine is detected, it must be administered for a maximum of 3 months and alternated with other antihistamines to prevent the immunization to the drug compounds. Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is the administration of allergy shots under the skin of the allergic person. The shots contain a small quantity of the protein causing the allergy.

In the first month, 2 to 4 shots will be administered; after that the amount of injected allergens will be increased and there will be only one shot per month.

Depending on your sensitivity and immune system response, you may have reduced allergy symptoms in 6 months to 3 years. Cases of pet allergies that were completely cured with allergy shots were recorded.

If the allergy symptoms are reduced or gone, you still need an immunization booster once every 6 months to prevent the reoccurrence of the symptoms caused by pet dander.

8 out of 10 people respond well to immunotherapy. Supplements

Pet allergies occur mostly in people with a weaker immune system. The dietary supplements are meant to boost the immunity and reduce the allergic symptoms.

If you are allergic to your pet, get some supplements of fatty acids, antioxidants and selenium.

Ideally, a person allergic to pet dander should keep away from pets; however pet owners care about their pets too much to be able to eliminate the "allergen", so pet dander allergy treatment is imperative.

Talk to your physician about the best solution to keep your allergic symptoms under control. Each person is different and the response to a particular treatment cannot be predicted. Try a few treatment options and see which is the most suitable for you.

Meanwhile, bathe your pet more frequently to reduce the amount of airborne dander and vacuum your home regularly.