Friday, December 14, 2007

Pets And Your Health

Allergies to pets can arise at any time without any clear reason. Dogs and cats are the most likely be crooked by virtue of their being in and around the home. However, any animal is probably allergenic to persons handling it or coming into contact with its usual troubles. The problem is caused not by the hair of the animal but by powder-fine peel of skin, known as dander, which is present in the coat of the animal and accumulated on carpets, chairs and other places where it may have lain. One may find themselves sensitive to several different kind of animals or conversely to a specific breed within the same kind.

The common symptoms are related to the respiratory system in the form of food fever, running nose, etc. but can also happen as an irritation at the various points of contact. By far the most upsetting symptom can be an asthma attack, which may vary in strength from mild to severe. An ongoing, sporadic asthma condition is likely until the cause is identified and removed. In the case of a pet this would mean banishment from the house and may even require finding it a new home. Some relief of symptoms may be gained if the pet is groomed regularly by another person and away from the house. This would have the effect of minimizing the number of loose danders, which cause the allergy.

Another symptom commonly associated with pet allergies is a rash called papular urticaria. In this case, the allergy is not caused by the dander but by the fleas, which inhabit the animal. The rash, if injured, will cause swelling and affect the skin to harden and darken. An effective treatment is the application of calamine lotion and avoidance of contact with the animal concerned. Regular applications of flea powder to the pet can minimize the problem.

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