Treatment for Dog Allergies

Dogs are the best pets anyone could have. Unfortunately, there is a section of individuals who are allergic to dogs. Their immune system react to the proteins found in dog saliva and skin dander and puts the body in an auto immune mode. What follows next are a list of allergic reactions.

What causes Dog Allergies?

The main allergen from dogs is a protein found in saliva and to a lesser extent on skin. It is identified as Can f 1. The other source could be another protein, dog albumin which is found in the blood.

Besides, dogs can have a lot of other allergens stick to their coat. Seasonal allergens like pollen often enter the living space through this route.

This particular allergy is extremely common and has the following physiological mechanism:

The dog proteins enter the body and act as a trigger for the super active immune system. The immune system responds by producing Immunoglobulin antibodies (IgE). These antibodies react with the proteins and the mast cells causing the latter to release histamine. Histamine is a chemical which causes the adverse effects on the body like dilation of blood vessels causing inflammation or irritating the nerve endings under the skin causing itchy skin rashes.

Treatment for Dog Allergies

What are the symptoms of Dog Allergies?

The various symptoms of allergies caused by dogs are as follows:

  • Itchy rashes on skin.
  • Red, itchy and watery eyes.
  • Nasal congestion.
  • Coughing and sneezing.
  • Breathing problems and wheezing.
  • Anaphylaxis could occur in extreme cases. Shortness of breath, wheezing, drop in blood pressure, confusion could occur. However, it is rare.

Treatment for Dog Allergies

  • Antihistamines are the most popular choice of drugs when it comes to treating allergic reaction caused by excess histamine.
  • Atopical ointments can be used for skin rashes and reactions.
  • Corticosteroids and Decongestants are widely used to treat symptoms. However, they are not meant for long term use.
  • In case of an anaphylactic shock, an emergency dose of epinephrine needs to be administered.
  • Allergy shots are another way of getting rid of the said allergy. It is also known as desensitization in which the allergic individual is injected with small amounts of the allergen. This dosage is gradually increased until the immunological tolerance is build up.

Preventive measures

  • Always wash your hands after playing with your dog. If you are suffering from acute dog allergies, then you need to take frequent showers and change clothes more than once.
  • Restrict your dog from going outdoors in the allergy season.
  • Ensure that you include a lot of fats in your pet’s diet. Fat helps in a way that it prevents less shedding of the skin and fur of the dog that can cause allergy.
  • Don’t allow your dog to enter the bedroom as dog allergens could get airborne and pollute every corner of your house. Also don’t allow your dog to sit or hop around on the cushions and beds.
  • Brush your dog more often as it could reduce the propensity to pass on irritant.
  • Bathe and wash your dog more often to reduce the propensity of external allergens sticking to their coat.
  • Wash the belongings of your dog that is, the bed, rugs, etc.
  • Vacuum clean your house and belongings. This is preferred to sweeping as vacuum would trap the dander and not allow it to pollute the air.
  • Always keep dusting your house, furniture and belongings. This will prevent further contamination of the air you are breathing every now and then.
  • Use a HEPA enabled air purifier to make the air dander free.
  • Heavy fabric can capture more dust and dander. So, either avoid buying them or vacuum clean them.
  • Always replace the air filters of your central heating, coolers, etc. This also helps in controlling and removing allergens that are airborne like dander, in the case of dogs.
  • Keep your home well ventilated and airy so as to prevent dust particles to sit on your furniture, bed, etc.
  • Keep away from the habit of smoking as it could aggravate the allergic reactions.