Many dog owners are not actually aware that they might be allergic to that particular dog. Symptoms of this type of allergy can be so mild and seem insignificant that they may go unnoticed or confused with the other conditions.
It is not rare that a person who has never been allergic to dogs gets a new pet dog and starts experiencing symptoms of allergy. Because he or she has never before had dog allergy, they will neglect the symptoms or attribute it to some other factors.
Symptoms of dog allergy
The usual symptoms that indicate dog allergy include runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, hives and trouble breathing. A person who is allergic to dogs is likely to start sneezing several times in a row as soon as a dog enters the room. Rubbing the eyes after touching or petting a dog will lead to itchy and water eyes. Trouble breathing will probably manifest itself as wheezing, similarly to people who suffer from asthma. If the dog licks an allergic person’s hands or face, the skin may become affected by hives, or small itchy bumps on the skin.
A person can be allergic to all dogs or just to certain breeds. If one or more of these symptoms occur when a dog is around, it is almost certainly a sign of allergy.
What to do about dog allergy?
In order to be sure that the symptoms indicate the allergy, it is best to see a doctor. Some doctors, after hearing about the symptoms, prescribe oral antihistamines. If the do it without doing an allergy test, it is recommended to see an allergist.
Tests done by an allergist serve to determine what exactly is causing an allergic reaction. The test is done with small needles that contain a small amount of allergen. If the skin turns red after being slightly pierced with such needle, the test is positive and the allergy can be diagnosed.
Treatment for allergy symptoms
The treatment for dog allergy, just like for any other allergy, is designed to relieve the symptoms. Usually it consists of antihistamines, medications that block natural histamines produced by the body as a reaction to the allergen.
Other options include allergy shots or sublingual immunotherapy. Some people prefer alternative medicine, like homeopathy or naturopathy, or herbal remedies, that can be effective against allergy symptoms.
Unfortunately, a person who is allergic to dogs will have an allergic reaction whenever a dog is around, so in some cases they decide to give the dog for adoption. Kicking the dog out of the house and leaving it on the street is unethical and also illegal.