Pet Allergy

If you have pet allergies, you’re in good company—so do nearly 10 percent of Americans.

Pet allergies are caused by the human body’s reaction to the proteins contained in animal saliva, skin flakes (dander), and urine.   In a non-allergic person, the immune system simply ignores these proteins.  But the allergic immune system mistakes these proteins as harmful enemies and releases chemicals into the body in order to fend them off.  These chemicals (including histamine) lead to allergy symptoms.

Allergic reactions to pets may include:

  • Swelling and itchiness of the eyes
  • Hay fever-like symptoms (runny or stuffed-up nose)
  • Coughing and wheezing
  • Sneezing

Dog Allergy

Mankind has had a long love affair with dogs, but that relationship can be strained when it leads to allergy symptoms including swollen, itchy eyes, child allergies, never ending cold symptoms, or a rash.

While cat allergy is more prevalent, dog allergy still occurs frequently.  As with cats, some breeders advertise “hypoallergenic” dogs (small dogs, dogs that shed less), but no dog is truly free of the potential of eliciting allergic reactions due to the proteins found in their dander, saliva, etc.

Cat Allergy

Statistics show that you are about twice as likely to be allergic to cats as to dogs.  You may notice your allergy symptoms kicking up immediately after contact with a cat or even hours later.  While some cats are purported to be “hypo-allergenic” (Devon Rex, Sphynx, etc.), all cats have the potential to evoke allergic reactions in some people.  Allergens from the environment can get trapped in cats’ fur, and even if they are “hairless,” they still have proteins in their bodily fluids and skin flakes that can trigger an allergic reaction.

Managing Pet Allergies

But the good news is, there are options for living in comfort with your pets—even if you have allergies.  Allergy immunotherapy has helped many people overcome the effects of pet allergy.  It can be administered through allergy shots or under-the-tongue allergy drops (known as “sublingual immunotherapy”) and helps to desensitize your body to allergens in the environment so that it will stop overreacting to them.

AllergyEasy physicians offer sublingual immunotherapy to help with allergies to pets, dogs, horses and other furry animals. Sublingual immunotherapy operates like allergy shots only the serum is placed under the tongue and absorbed into the bloodstream rather than being injected under the first layers of the skin.  Since it is safer than shots, it can be taken at home.  Contact AllergyEasy to learn more about allergy immunotherapy for your pet allergies.

About The Author

Stuart H. Agren, M.D.

Stuart H. Agren, M.D. completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah and went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1974. He completed additional training at L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah and then established his private medical practice starting in 1975. Dr. Agren completed a mini-residency in Industrial Medicine at the Robert Johnson School of Medicine at Rutgers University and also completed training to become a certified Medical Review Officer.

Dr. Agren was the Medical Director at TRW and McDonnell Douglas in Mesa, Arizona and at Stauffer Chemical and Kennecott Copper in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University.

In his private medical practice, Dr. Agren specialized in family practice and allergy. In his work as a private practice allergist, he was one of the first doctors in the country to prescribe sublingual immunotherapy to his patients as an alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots). He has also been a trailblazer in the field of food allergy treatment and research, developing a program to treat multiple food allergies simultaneously using sublingual immunotherapy. Dr. Agren has been featured on local CBS, NBC, and ABC news affiliates and won the peer-nominated “Top Doc” award from Phoenix Magazine.

After 20 years in private practice, Dr. Agren became the Founder and President of AllergyEasy, which helps primary care physicians around the country offer allergy testing and sublingual immunotherapy treatment to their patients. Over 200 physicians in over 32 states use the AllergyEasy program to help their patients overcome environmental and food allergies and asthma.