Animal Allergy, What Is It That Makes You Itch?
Does your nose run every time you are close to a dog or are you unable to stop those waves upon waves of sneezes,
every time a cat comes to fondle you? Sadly, chances are that you might be having a pet animal allergy. Pet animals are adorable, and no one can deny these loveable creatures who are quite the center of attraction in any place and will evidently claim your love too. However, not everyone can have these furballs at home because their owners mi
ght have pet animal allergy. Some of us have severe reactions to their presence and there is nothing that we can do about it. You may wonder why animal allergy is such a big issue for you and not for anyone else? Well, the reason behind it can be simply explained in terms of your body’s reaction to these animals and their fur. So, what really is Animal allergy and how do you know you have it? The following guide will answer this question, read on to find out:
Numerous peoples have dogs as pets but do not show any type of animal allergy reactions. You, however, start sneezing uncontrollably as soon as you play with or pet a dog. Your nose seems like an endless water fountain that just wouldn’t stop. Yes, you might be having a dog allergy. So what is the mystery behind this condition and are there any explanations? Here, we unravel the reason behind it to let you know exactly what dog allergies really are.
Why are people allergic to dogs?
Well, it’s because all dogs produce allergic proteins that cause your body to over-react as soon as you come in contact. These allergens are present in high quantities around the dog itself in its fur, saliva, and urine as well as the places or rooms that he is allowed to visit. Furthermore, pollen and dust can accumulate in the dog’s fur and can also cause allergies if you are sensitive to them. So, in reality, it is not the dog who is causing you to blow your nose out, the culprits are actually the pesky proteins around him.
Why does the dog allergic reaction only happen to you?
A new question arises; why don’t these proteins affect others? You may grope around for an answer, but the real reason is your genetics. Your body has been programmed to be intolerable to these proteins which make you hypersensitive to them. How? Well, every person has a special antibody called Antibody E in their body to protect themselves from nasty proteins of the outside world. Normally these come into play in diseases or in cases where the real harm is expected. People who have an animal allergy and are allergic to dogs, however, contain higher levels of antibody E than normal, which makes them react even to the littlest exposure. So, some proteins from a dog that may not even cause a stir in the person with normal levels of antibody E will cause your body to react very severely. This causes the release of another chemical called histamine which dilates the blood vessels and causes them to leak water into the tissues of your nose as well as all over the body to cause the symptoms that you always experience when near dogs.
What are the dog allergy symptoms?
You may have experienced some of these or all of them, depending on how severe your allergic reaction was. As a rule, these allergies are exposure oriented. The longer you are in contact with the dog the more proteins go into your system and the more your body will react to them producing symptoms of a greater severity. The symptoms that you can experience due to an animal allergy include:
- Uncontrollable repeated sneezing
- A runny nose or it can also be stuffy
- A cough, that can be paired with a tightness in your chest
- Red eyes that water continuously and may also itch
- Skin redness with rashes and hives
Dog skin problems
The other symptoms of animal allergy are manageable, but the skin problems that come with it can be quite disturbing. Those red uneven spots on your skin and the red rash are all due to the allergen proteins. The skin may also severely itch. These symptoms are caused due to the chemical histamine, as mentioned above. The histamine causes dilation of the blood vessels and makes them leaky which is why your skin gets the rash and the raised bumps. however, the condition is not permanent and will go down with time so rest assured.
You may be a cat person or a dog person, but what if you can’t be either? Many people suffer from intense reactions to these feline creatures and can’t bear to stand near them. Not because they don’t like cats, but because their body simply doesn’t allow them to be anywhere near these animals without overtly reacting. Some say it is a myth and just a passing phase; on the contrary, cat allergy is actually a medical condition so rest assured, you aren’t suffering from an imagined phenomenon. Actually, cat allergies are quite common. So, what really is the disease and what’s the mystery behind it? Here we explain the whole condition to give you a better understanding of what you are really dealing with.
Why are people allergic to cats?
Well, just like dogs or, let’s say any other living organism, cats produce multiple proteins too. These proteins are allergenic that is they have the potential to cause allergies. These allergens are present in the cat’s fur, its skin, and saliva. What’s more, you can have a cat allergy even if a cat is not around. This is because its proteins scatter around the house and stay there so even if you are not directly interacting with the animal you are nevertheless in contact with the allergens. The fact that these allergens are higher in houses that have more than one cat only confirms it further. However, the length of fur, the sex of the cat or the time that it is allowed to spend indoors does not relate to the levels of allergens in the house. Another way cats can result in allergies is by carrying dust and pollen on their fur, which can cause a different kind of allergy.
Why does cat allergy only happen to you?
Not everyone is having animal allergy reactions to cats. You may have seen many people who keep cats as pets but do not show any reactions to them. Well, that is because your body has a genetic issue. In dog allergies, you have a specific antibody E that is reactive to the cat allergens, in very high quantities. So, the proteins which are very normal for the other people prove disastrous to you.
How does the allergic reaction to cats occur?
As soon as the allergens enter your body, they are greeted with an entire army of antibody E. This causes them to react with each other giving rise to the reaction that is characteristic of cat allergies. The reaction results in the production of histamine, which is the chemical that causes blood vessels to dilate and become leaky. This results in the fluid from your blood system to leak into the tissues causing your skin to swell and itch. It is also the reason behind that irritating rash that you often develop when near cats.
What are the cat allergy symptoms?
Well, to begin with, these symptoms depend on the severity of your body’s reaction to proteins. Some people react more severely, whereas others only suffer mildly. Also, they depend on where the allergens came into contact. For example, if the cat licked or scratched your leg, the most likely symptom will be hives on your legs, however, if you pet the cat and accidentally touch your eyes with the same hand you may get red watery eyes. All in all, the symptoms that could result from a cat allergy include:
- A runny nose, which can be stuffy sometimes
- Continuous irresistible sneezing
- Chest tightness
- Breath wheezing with inability to properly breath
- Red eyes that water profusely
- Red rash on your skin
Understandably, it can be pretty difficult to deal with the animal allergy conditions. What with so many people having pets in their houses you may be subject to these allergens unknowingly. There are some medications that can help you reverse these symptoms, but the best method is to just avoid contact with cats and dogs. This may make things difficult for you, but not being able to visit an aunt who has 3 cats is far better than having to deal with a red bumpy skin for a week. Having an animal allergy means that you may have to apply some changes to your life, but remember these changes are for your own good. Having this condition doesn’t mean you are any less healthy than others. On the contrary, it’s just that your body is overprotective, in its attempts to keep you safe. Everybody is different it’s just that your body is different on another level. All you need to do is respect that.