By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

– Not a week goes by where I don’t get a question regarding some
sort of family pet. And it’s either parents
who want to get a pet for a child who already
had other allergies or they own a pet and want to
know if they can keep the pet. Usually, it’s pretty obvious when a child has a pet allergy because the symptoms come on so quickly
after exposure to that pet. So they play with the
dog or they pet the cat and they immediately start
coughing or wheezing, or their nose starts running. The problem is when you
live with a cat or a dog every single day, day after day after day, those allergies can turn
into more of a chronic phase, and you seem to have
allergies all the time. So even when you leave the house, the allergies continue
and you don’t see that your allergies get better
when you leave the house and they don’t get worse when
you come back into the house so you just assume you
don’t have a pet allergy. But that’s not always true. Another thing that
parents will do is they’ll try to give away the pet for a weekend. They’ll give it to a cousin or an uncle and the problem with that
is that the cat or dog hair could last in your house for at least six or even nine months after
the pet is out of the house. So just removing the
pet for a couple of days without resolution of
symptoms doesn’t mean that you weren’t allergic to the pet. So sometimes it’s a little bit difficult and we do have to oftentimes
do pet allergy testing. And that’s probably one
of the results I look least forward to give
to families because then they have to decide whether
they want to keep the pet or get rid of the pet
that’s already become a member of the household.

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