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Are Dog Allergies Life Threatening

Immediate Treatment Is Required

How dogs are helping save kids with life-threatening allergies l GMA

Pets suffering from anaphylactic reactions require immediate care. Treatments may include:

  • Injectable steroids

  • Intravenous fluids

  • Antihistamines

Intubation to maintain an open airway and oxygen therapy are often necessary for pets experiencing difficulty breathing.

Hospitalization and close monitoring are very important following a severe allergic reaction.

How To Treat Allergies In Children

If you suspect your child has a pet allergy, make an appointment with your pediatrician, who will be able to make an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor will likely perform a physical examination, examine your childs medical history, and order a blood or skin test. After diagnosis, he or she will prescribe the best treatment for your child.

Ultimately, the ideal treatment is preventative: simply avoid contact with furry animals altogether. Unfortunately, its not always that easy. Even if you dont have a pet, your friend or childs playmate probably does. If you can, avoid spending time in homes filled with pet dander, and if you have a pet yourself, try to keep her outside or in the garage only. Your doctor may also suggest medication or other measures to help manage symptoms.

Facial Swelling And Hives In Dogs

The next reaction, in terms of severity, is swelling of the throat or face, including the lips and sometimes the eyelids and ear flaps.

If a dog has swelling of the face, what vets call angioneurotic edema, this is actually a good sign. I say this because the dog has likely passed the time for a fatal reaction to occur, and his life is rarely in danger. The swelling occurs 30 minutes to a few hours after the exposure. A veterinarian will often give dogs with this reaction an antihistamine injection. Untreated, it may take a day or two for the swelling to subside.

A different reaction we see 6 to 24 hours after exposure to the antigen is hives. Also called urticaria, this reaction consists of very itchy swellings in the skin. These are easy to spot in short-coated dogs, but with dogs with long hair, you may be more likely to feel them rather than see them. An antihistamine is again in order to treat the reaction.

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Can Being Allergic To Pets Kill You

Whether you have moderate or severe allergic reactions, speak with your doctor so you dont have to suffer when youre around pets.

If you have pet allergies, you know how bad the sneezing, itching and watery eyes can get. Youve lived through fits of coughing, scratching and feeling like the pain will never end.

Its hard, because avoiding pets in life can be tough, if not impossible:

Regardless of why youre still spending time around pets despite your allergies, youve surely wondered how bad the allergies can get. It sometimes feels like you can barely breathe when youre around them like your airway is being restricted.

So is it possible to die from pet allergies?

Can Dog Allergies Cause Anaphylaxis Or Anaphylactic Shock

When your peanut allergy is life

Its very rare for dog allergies to cause anaphylaxis. The majority of people who have an allergy severe enough to risk anaphylactic shock have an Epi-pen with them.

They also tend to wear some kind of life alert bracelet to alert others regarding their condition in case theyre found while unconscious.

In the past, there have been rare or one-time cases in which humans went into anaphylactic shock following their contact with a dog.

With that said, the majority of allergists dont list anaphylaxis as a potential symptom of dog allergies.

Anaphylactic shock is a life-threatening allergic reaction that can sometimes be fatal. Anaphylaxis affects the entire body. Common symptoms include:

  • Skin flushing
  • Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Total collapse and unconsciousness

A person doesnt have to experience all of these symptoms to go into anaphylactic shock.

Anaphylactic shock occurs for the same reason that other allergic reactions occur. The immune system has an inappropriate reaction to a substance that the system wrongfully interprets to be a threat.

There are a number of allergens that are likely to cause anaphylactic shock. These tend to be insect stings or bites, foods like peanuts and shellfish, or chemicals such as latex.

Vaccinations and other drugs can also occasionally cause anaphylactic shock.

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How To Deal With Allergies Caused By Your Dog


You may want a dog, but are concerned about your allergies or those of a family member. Or you may have a dog and know that your allergy is a problem. The good news is that dogs and people with allergies can live together.

What causes allergies from dogs? Allergies are caused by a reaction to certain proteins found primarily in oil secretions from a dogs skin and in a dogs saliva. It is not hair itself that causes allergies. When your dog sheds hair or its skin flakes, proteins are carried into the environment where they may cause an allergic reaction.

Some people report developing immunity to their dog. Others grow out of the allergy, but don’t depend on it if youre getting a new dog. It is possible that an allergic reaction worsens with greater exposure.

Are there hypoallergenic dogs? Contrary to what you may have heard, “hypoallergenic” dogs do not exist. It is suggested that the hair of some breeds helps prevent more allergens getting into the environment, but many report just as strong a re,action to these dogs. A small dog may provoke less allergic reaction than a larger one simply because he has less skin and hair to shed.

Employ diligence in the home to limit allergies:

Ask your own physician about the possibility of prescribing anti-allergenic drugs or ask for suggestions to manage the problem.

Grass Allergies In Dogs Faqs

What home remedies are available for grass allergies in dogs?

OTC shampoos can be used, as well as medicated wipes . Dogs with allergies can be safely bathed twice weekly without drying the skin. The shampoo needs to contact the skin for 10 minutes, prior to rinsing.

How can I tell if my dog is allergic to grass?

If your dog plays outside in grass, walks outside in grass, or simply lives near a grassy area and experiences symptoms of red, itchy skin or feet, or sneezing and runny eyes or nose, a grass allergy is extremely likely. Your veterinarian can evaluate your dogs skin and help determine if your dog has allergies. The vet may need to do further testing to determine a treatment plan.

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When To Go To The Vet

Sometimes you cant treat dog allergies at home, which is when you should take your pet to the vet. It can happen if the reaction is severe and/or persistent. If your dog is starting to choke and has difficulty breathing call your vet immediately.

Other symptoms that might require your vets attention include:

  • Yeast infections These are characterized by a repulsive, foughty smell.
  • Wounds If your pets scratched itself and created a wound, its best if your vet gives you a prescription topical to avoid infections.
  • Scratching for more than a week If none of the dog itching remedies is helping and the scratching continues, that might be a sign of a more severe condition like an autoimmune disease.
  • Hairfall It might be a sign of an immune system problem.

Choosing The Best Dog Food For Allergies

Special dog may help boy overcome nut allergies

Rarely, some dogs suffer from food allergies. The only way to determine food allergies is to feed an elimination diet in which your dog’s diet is changed to a limited list of ingredients that contain no known allergens. These are commercial prescription diets specifically made for food allergic dogs. No treats or table food may be fed during this time.

We can help determine whether or not your dog has a food allergy by prescribing three possible diets:

  • Limited ingredient prescription diet: We limit the ingredients of your dog’s diet to narrow down the specific allergen causing your dog’s reactions
  • We introduce ingredients your dog has not been exposed to and is, therefore, less likely to be causing the reactions
  • Prescription diet: We prescribe a kibble-based or ingredient specific diet that is designed to contain hypoallergenic ingredients

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These Are The Service Animal And Allergy Policies Of Major Airlines:

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines official policy states that Southwest is required “by law” to transport assistance and service animals, and states that they do not require a passenger traveling with a service animal to inform them ahead of time. However, they said they will try to seat the allergy sufferer away from the animal if given enough notice.

A Southwest Airlines told INSIDER: “If a customer states that their allergy can be life threatening, we require a medical certificate from the customers physician that is dated within ten days of the scheduled date of the customers initial departing flight. The medical certificate must state that the customer is capable of completing the flight safely, without requiring extraordinary medical assistance during the flight even if there is animal dander in the aircraft cabin.”

American Airlines

American Airlines’ service animal policy states: “They must fit on your lap, at your feet, or under the seat, and cannot block the aisle. For security reasons, you wont be able to sit in an exit row when traveling with your service or emotional support animal.”

And if you have an animal allergy? “We work with the passengers, and work to separate them on the aircraft,” American Airlines representative Ross Feinstein said. “If a passenger doesnt feel comfortable flying, we will re-book them on the next available flight.”

Delta Airlines

United Airlines

What Is The Prognosis

The initial prognosis is always guarded. It is impossible to know if a localized or minor reaction will progress to a major crisis.

Since anaphylactic reactions often worsen with each episode, the main goal is to prevent subsequent exposure to the offending substance. If you have a pet that experiences anaphylaxis, you may be given emergency medications to keep at home or instructions on what to do if your pet shows any signs of future reactions.

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Understand Your Pet Allergies

It is important to see a doctor and be tested to determine what allergies you actually have. You may find that you’re allergic to something else and not your pet at all! For example, you may assume that you are allergic to your beloved dog, only to find out through an allergy test that you’re actually allergic to a specific tree pollen that got on his fur during a walk together, and that’s actually what’s bothering you.

If an allergy test shows that you are allergic to your pet, it is important to understand what causes your allergic reaction to them. There are allergy-triggering proteins called allergens in saliva and skin glands that cling to an animal’s dry skin and fur. The fur and dander then stick to walls, carpets and clothing.

The reaction of someone to these allergens is different from one person to the next. The reaction may range from mild sniffling and sneezing to life-threatening asthma. The reaction can be made worse if a person is additionally exposed to other things he is allergic too, such as pollen, dust mites, cigarette smoke, and mold.

Whether someone has an allergic reaction depends on both the individual person and the individual animal. A person with animal allergies may react less to dogs with soft, constantly growing hair, or one specific cat or dog may cause more or less of an allergic reaction than another animal of that same breed.

Natural Remedies For Allergies In Dogs

Just like people, dogs can show allergic symptoms when their immune ...

Allergies that are mild or intermittent can sometimes be treated at home. There are natural remedies that have been shown to help alleviate symptoms of allergic reactions and provide relief to affected dogs. Be sure to consult your vet before trying these home remedies. Some skin conditions can be worsened, or wound healing can be delayed without proper treatment.

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Common Dog Food Allergens

While true dog food allergies may only affect less than 5% of the canine population, it remains an important issue to monitor. Naturally, dogs cant communicate their feelings, so its up to owners to keep an eye out for potential allergies. This is especially important if you suspect an allergen may be an ingredient in your dogs daily food or treats. Below are some of the frequently reported culprits for food allergies in dogs:

  • Cocker spaniels

Symptoms Of Severe Allergies

Most people only experience minor symptoms when exposed to allergens. But some can develop extreme reactions that can be life-threatening.

Signs of a serious allergy include:

  • skin swelling and pain
  • swelling to the extent that the throat closes up
  • severe rash, especially on the neck, upper chest, and face
  • coughing or wheezing
  • having a hard time breathing or catching your breath
  • a feeling of dread or impending doom
  • feeling faint or passing out

People with severe allergies typically develop symptoms within 15-30 minutes after exposure to dog allergens.

Seek medical attention if severe signs of allergies occur. Also, seek medical attention if any allergy symptoms do not improve when someone is no longer exposed to an allergen or responds to medications.

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Is Allergy Testing For Dogs Accurate

If youre wondering whether allergy testing at home can replace expensive skin testing or blood allergy testing at the vet yes, you can. These dog allergy testing are accurate because they determine the cause of allergies, skin problems, etc. However, its essential to find a reliable test brand, which I did in my review.

How To Treat Allergic Reactions In Dogs

Woman Removed From Flight After Claiming Allergies Of Dogs On-Board

Dr. Bartley Harrison is a veterinarian with more than 15 years of professional veterinary experience treating dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, birds, and small mammals, with a specific focus on Emergency Medicine. Dr. Harrison is part of The Spruce Pets veterinary review board.

Just like people, dogs can have allergies to a variety of things. This means that their immune system can be extra sensitive to various types of allergens. Usually when people speak about allergies in dogs, they are referring to a food allergy or something called canine atopic dermatitis. Unfortunately, dogs can also experience acute allergic reactions. Often, when your dog has an allergic reaction to something you won’t know what caused the reactionjust that there is one.

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What To Do If You You Are Traveling And Have Severe Pet Allergies

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America suggests that you

The Federal Aviation Administration federal policy suggests: “You can reduce the chance that there will be an animal in the cabin on your flight. You can fly on an airline that does not allow pets in the cabin. You can ask the reservations agent for your airline if another passenger on the same flight has made reservations to travel with a pet.”

However, the FAA warns that airlines are required to be compliant with Department of Transportation regulations that legally allow any number of service animals onboard.

Other Common Types Of Allergies In Dogs

In addition to seasonal allergies, dogs can experience reactions to things like medicine and food. Many kinds of dog allergies can be challenging for their owners, and the symptoms of different types can overlap. Below are some of the most common types of reactions to watch out for in your pup:

  • Skin atopy. This type of allergy is extremely common. Skin allergies are also known as atopic dermatitis and, according to the Merck Veterinary Manual, affect about 10% of dogs.
  • Food allergies. Dogs that have food allergies tend to be sensitive to one of the protein sources most commonly found in dog foods, like beef, chicken, or pork. These allergies can even affect your dogs digestive system and can develop spontaneously.
  • Medical allergies. Dogs can be allergic to certain kinds of medications. Its also possible that the symptoms you think are allergies can be attributed to an underlying medical concern.

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Causes Of Allergies In Dogs

An allergy occurs when the immune system overreacts to a particular substance called an allergen. The immune system identifies the allergen as a harmful substance and responds by producing antibodies to destroy the allergen.

Allergen particles may be inhaled, ingested, or come into contact with the skin. In dogs, most allergies lead to skin irritation and inflammation. Some dogs will experience upper respiratory symptoms. Allergy symptoms may include:

  • Itching that causes frequent scratching, licking, and chewing of the skin
  • Hives
  • Diarrhea

When To See A Vet

Allergen Alert Dogs For Life

If your dog has an allergic reaction, you need to take them to the vet. Your veterinarian is the only person who can diagnose your dog and get them the help they need. Its always best to check in with your vet so they can help your canine companion feel their best.

A vet will be able to identify the underlying cause of your pets symptoms. Seasonal allergies may be to blame, but general dog allergies can also be caused by food, fleas, and more.

Always see your veterinarian if youre concerned about your dogs health.

If you notice that your pup is extra itchy or has dry skin or open wounds, take them to the vet as soon as possible.

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