Dog hair allergy symptoms recognize and treat focus arztsuche

Does your nose run as soon as a dog is around? Then you could be allergic to dogs. Read how to recognize and treat a dog hair allergy.

Definition: What is a dog hair allergy??

Currently, almost twelve million dogs live in German households. They are – after cats – the most popular pets in this country. But the joy of the four-legged friend is quickly clouded when it turns out that a family member or roommate is
allergic to dogs is. Often there is an important decision to be made: Must the dog be given up? Or can it remain, as a dog allergy can be treated?

In order to react appropriately, you should first understand how a dog allergy develops in the first place. Because it is often suspected that it is an allergy to the animal hair. But this amption is wrong: it is not the dog hair itself, but certain proteins released by the dog that trigger the dog hair allergy. Usually it is the protein Can f1 that causes the symptoms. These proteins are found, among other things, in skin flakes, in the saliva and urine of the animal and can accumulate in its coat.

The dog's coat itself is not the trigger of the dog allergy, but a carrier of allergens – the substances that cause reactions in allergy sufferers.

Dog hair allergy: What are the symptoms??

When allergy sufferers have contact with a dog, they usually notice the first dog allergy signs immediately. Typical symptoms are:

These symptoms can easily be mistaken for a cold. Therefore, people who often have a cold or who have colds that last for a long time should also be tested for allergies if necessary. If a dog allergy is not recognized and accordingly not treated, this can be in the long run to asthma lead.

Also the skin can react allergic, this shows up in the following complaints:

– a itchy rash (sometimes with wheals) – an allergy can also aggravate neurodermatitis.

Test: how to detect a dog hair allergy?

Doctors can determine a dog allergy with the help of an allergy test. Often comes for this the so-called Prick test to use: In this procedure, the doctor drips various extracts containing allergens onto your forearm. Then lightly pricks the skin under the drop, so that the allergens can penetrate better. Now you have to wait and see: After about 15-20 minutes, it will become apparent which extracts you are allergic to. Your skin swells up a bit in the corresponding areas and becomes red.

If the prick test has confirmed the suspicion that an allergy is present in the patient, it may be useful to additionally perform a blood test to perform. In the process, the doctor takes some blood. Have it tested in the lab for antibodies. It can be used to determine exactly which allergen components you react to.

You can find out which doctor performs allergy tests by asking your family doctor: Either he performs tests himself or he refers you to a specialist doctor. In the case of allergies, this is usually an ENT doctor or a dermatologist. Make sure that the specialist has the additional title "allergology.

Important: Allergy tests should exclusively under medical supervision be performed. Because testing can lead to a life-threatening anaphylactic shock. This is a severe allergic reaction, the patient can develop severe respiratory distress and circulatory arrest within minutes and must be treated immediately.

Treatment: How to treat a dog hair allergy?

When treating a dog allergy, the most important rule is: Avoid the allergens. This usually means leaving the beloved four-legged friend in caring hands. This step is not easy for many animal lovers. Therefore, they look for other ways to treat or even cure their dog allergy.

Treatment: can hyposensitization help with dog allergy?

One way to alleviate allergies in the long term is the Hyposensitization, also Desensitization called. In this treatment, the allergy sufferer is given regular doses of the allergen. Either by drops, which are taken, or via injection, which is why the treatment is also called allergy vaccination. The goal of therapy: over time, the body should become accustomed to the allergens. Only show minor allergic reactions.

Hyposensitization is the only therapy that treats allergies causally. It is intended to relieve symptoms, reduce the amount of medication and reduce the risk of developing asthma in the long term. And yet the method is used rather rarely with dog allergy sufferers.

This is partly because treatment with animal allergens can have many side effects such as itching, redness and swelling. On the other hand, according to the German Allergy and Asthma Association, desensitization is only advisable if you have difficulty avoiding "your" allergen. This is the case, for example, if you are hypersensitive to pollen in the air you breathe. In the case of dog allergy, on the other hand, you can usually avoid encounters with the four-legged friends specifically. No contact with dogs is a priority during treatment.

However, hyposensitization can be a therapy option for allergic people who have to work with dogs professionally – for example, veterinarians, farmers or people with service dogs. The same applies to allergy sufferers who are dependent on a disabled or guide dog. But there is little data on the effectiveness of hyposensitization for animal hair allergy. Therefore, the treatment cannot be recommended in general.

Treatment: What medications are used for a dog hair allergy?

There are situations where it is not possible to avoid dogs, such as on public transport or when visiting dog owners. Dog allergy sufferers should be prepared for these cases: Use anti-allergic medication, which is also Antihistamines be called. It is available as tablets, sprays or drops. They prevent the allergic reaction from taking place in the body.

But: Antihistamines can have side effects. Therefore, they should not be a permanent solution in case of dog allergy, but should be used only in case of acute symptoms. Possible side effects are headaches, dizziness, gastrointestinal complaints or a dry mouth. In addition, the drugs can have a sedating effect, i.e. make the patient dizzy and tired – a danger not only in road traffic.

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