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Food Allergies in Animals


An allergen that has entered the human body is immediately attacked by the immune system. After that, the cells absorb into themselves some of the molecules of the destroyed foreign agent. Because of this, they produce an antigen and with the help of circulating blood spread information about the allergen throughout all systems and organs.

In the case of repeated contact with the agent, the cells of the body immediately begin to fight him. In the area of ​​contact with the allergen is the expansion of blood vessels, so that the lymphocytes are going to a dangerous area. The more they are in the place of contact, the brighter will be the symptoms of an allergy to animal fur.

At the stage of clinical manifestations, the respiratory and sometimes the digestive system is damaged. Redness and irritation may occur on human skin. The reaction rate depends on the individual characteristics of the organism. Usually, the first symptoms of an allergy to animal hair begin to appear within an hour and a half from the moment of contact.

How does the disease manifest

The main symptoms of this disease are in many ways similar to those characteristic of pollen allergy. As a rule, the disease is accompanied by tearing, sneezing, nasal congestion and even asthma attacks.

Depending on the individual characteristics of the organism, the symptoms can appear in the period from several hours to six months. It is important that throughout this period the patient is under the supervision of specialists. A person who is prone to allergies to animal hair may experience eczema, urticaria, and neurodermia. In most cases, these patients have severe itching, swelling of the eyelids, shortness of breath and asthma attacks.

Allergies to cats: symptoms in adults

The cause of the development of this disease is usually not the animals themselves, but the secret that is secreted by their skin. Representatives of the cat family carefully monitor the cleanliness of their bodies, so they constantly lick themselves. As a result of these actions, the allergenic protein gets not only on their fur, but also where they sit or sleep.

It is proved that males emit more of such a substance than females. Symptoms of allergy to cats in adults are manifested as congestion and itching in the nose. Also, patients have increased tearing, swelling of the face and frequent dry cough. Often from such patients come complaints of sore throat, urticaria, hoarseness and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, it comes to an asthmatic attack and angioedema.

Dog Allergies

The skin of these pets emit Can F1. High concentrations of this allergen are observed in representatives of short-haired breeds. On the body of shaggy dogs, it is present, but not in such quantities. Even with careful animal care, his skin will not stop producing a substance that causes a negative reaction of the human body. This allergen accumulates on furniture, carpets, curtains and toys. Moreover, its viability is maintained for quite a long period.

Most often, dogs are allergic to dry cough, red eyes, nasopharyngeal edema, and increased tearing. Often in patients with severe skin itching and hoarseness. Especially acutely these symptoms are felt by people suffering from bronchial asthma. In such patients, an attack of asthma and angioedema may occur.

Diagnostic methods

Having figured out how to become allergic to animal hair, you need to say a few words about what tests and studies are prescribed to identify the problem. In most cases, patients are recommended to pass a scarification skin test. This analysis is performed using a special tool that makes a notch on the inside of the forearm.

Also, patients are prescribed prick testing. The technique of its implementation is similar to the scarification test. But in this case, a needle with a stop is used as a tool.

A good method for identifying allergens are considered to be intracutaneous tests. In this case, the reagent is injected with an insulin syringe. The presence of allergies is judged by the size of the blisters that appear.

One of the most accurate and effective diagnostic methods is the computer technique of Foll.

To get reliable results a few days before visiting the treatment room, you must stop taking antihistamines. Contraindications to conducting tests are: tuberculosis, pregnancy and infectious processes. You can not perform such tests in the period of exacerbation of chronic diseases.

Principles of therapy

Those who want to figure out how to cure allergies to animal hair, you need to remember that when the first symptoms of this disease occur, you should contact a specialist. Only in this way can you completely eliminate the health problem and prevent the development of serious complications.

As for treatment, doctors distinguish three main stages, including:

  • Antiallergic therapy. It is the use of antihistamines.
  • Symptomatic therapy involving the use of anti-asthma drugs, eye drops and nasal sprays.
  • Immunotherapy, consisting in the subcutaneous administration of small amounts of antigen.

The most effective pills for allergies to animal hair include drugs such as Suprastin, Loratadin, Claritin, Nasonex, Astelin, Zyrtec, Zyrtec and Flonaz.

What is the danger of this disease?

Allergy to wool is considered one of the most common health problems. It is not peculiar to seasonality, and it can occur at any age. This disease is dangerous not only for adults, but also for children.

With improper or late therapy, allergy to pet hair is fraught with serious consequences. At best, it will cause constant stress, irritability, fatigue, headaches and reduced immunity.

In particularly neglected situations, it leads to the development of chronic bronchitis, laryngitis, rhinitis or asthma. Theoretically, anaphylactic shock resulting in laryngeal edema and the death of the patient is not excluded.

General recommendations

So that the symptoms of allergy to animal fur do not return to your life, you need to follow a few simple rules. First of all, one should avoid all contact with our smaller brothers. If you already have a furry pet, it is desirable to rearrange it in good hands.

If you plan to go to friends who keep dogs or cats, shortly before the intended visit, start taking antihistamines. In addition, ask the receiving party not to let their animals in the room intended for you.

Do wet cleaning more often, paying special attention to corners and hard-to-reach places where allergens can accumulate. Try not to use a vacuum cleaner, as this device lifts up the smallest particles of dust that can linger long in the air. Instead of thick curtains hang light curtains on the windows. Ventilate the living space often and, if possible, get an ionizer, a powerful ventilation system or an air conditioner equipped with an air purification function.

Allergy Free Animals

As a rule, people suffering from this disease, it is very difficult to find a pet. Therefore, many of them are interested in what kind of animal to have, if there is an allergy to wool. In such cases, experts recommend keeping aquarium fish, bald guinea pigs or chinchillas at home.

Also, the list of allowed animals includes exotic specimens, such as Madagascar cockroaches, snakes, lizards, frogs and turtles. However, all these animals, frankly, a great lover. After all, not everyone agrees that there will be a reptile next to him.

Cats and dogs for allergies

If you, in spite of everything, still decided to have a dog, then pay attention to the Mexican bare breed. On the body of these animals there is no wool at all. But this does not mean that they can not cause allergies. To minimize the risk of exacerbation of the disease, wash the animal regularly and make sure that no pieces of its saliva get into your nose.

Among the hypoallergenic breeds are also Yorkshire terriers, poodles, short-haired schnauzers, dwarf spitz-dogs, papillons, Chinese crested, shih-tzu, samoyeds, bichons and maltese.

As for cats, you will have to make a choice between the Devon Rex, Yavanez, Cornish Rex, Don and the Canadian Sphynx. In addition, representatives of Siberian, Russian blue, oriental and Balinese breeds can be attributed to hypoallergenic animals. Many of them have a very specific appearance and practically have no undercoat, and some representatives are completely bald.

Before you buy a four-legged friend, be sure to consult with your doctor. But in this case, you are not insured against the onset of symptoms of the disease. Therefore, having gotten a dog or a cat from the above list, forget about the precautionary measures. Bathe your pet regularly with special shampoos, trim and comb the coat. Try to make sure that the animal does not go into the room in which you sleep. Systematically do the house wet cleaning and periodically ventilate the room.

Food allergies in dogs

In recent years, food allergies in dogs began to occupy not the last place among other diseases. At the same time, the owners should distinguish between food allergies and food intolerance to the use of dogs of certain products from their pets. When food intolerance products in the dog vomiting, diarrhea in the absence of symptoms of food allergies.

Causes of food allergies in dogs

Food allergies in dogs cause foods - allergens. Which include:

  • Beef.
  • Raw and boiled chicken meat.
  • A fish.
  • Egg yolk.
  • Soy and products from it.
  • Oat, wheat and semolina.
  • Products containing yeast.
  • Various sweets (sugar, candy, chocolate).
  • Dairy and dairy products.
  • Everything is salty and fried.
  • Smoked meats (sausage, ham, etc.).
  • Vitamin and mineral supplements.

Hypersensitivity to allergens provokes the systematic use of a dog a large amount of carbohydrates, cereals and flour products.

Signs of food allergies in dogs

The most common signs of food allergies in dogs are:

  • Pruritus, accompanied by combing in dogs.
  • Loss of hair, externally manifested by the appearance of bald spots on the skin.
  • Redness of individual skin areas.
  • Persistent discharge from the eyes, lacrimation.
  • Diseases of the ears in dogs.
  • Discharge from the nose (runny nose in dogs).
  • Unpleasant smell coming from the animal (bad breath from the dog).
  • The dog constantly licks the anal area and its front paws.
  • Wetting of individual skin areas (in the armpits and other skin folds).

Treatment of food allergies in dogs

Treatment of food allergies in dogs should be based on giving the dog a certain hypoallergenic diet. When treating a dog, in addition to the complete elimination of the identified allergen, it is not necessary to give vitamin supplements, chewable toys, high-carbohydrate foods, treats.

As symptomatic agents, antihistamines (diazolin, suprastin, diphenhydramine, tavegil, etc.) and glucocorticosteroids (dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, prednisolone, etc.) reduce the level of histamine, eliminating itching, swelling, are used.

Allergy to animal fur: causes

Most people believe that it is the wool, down and undercoat of domestic animals that can cause allergies. In fact, it is not. Based on this delusion, many allergy sufferers start bald cats (sphinxes), dogs (Chinese crested) and rodents (skinny pigs and naked rats), in the hope that they will be able to avoid allergies to animal hair. However, an atypical reaction of the body still manifests itself, causing the pet owner many problems.

The cause of allergic reactions to pets are special protein-allergens produced by animals. Usually they are not found in wool, but on the skin, dandruff, serum albumin, secretion of sebaceous glands, saliva, urine, animal excrement.

Allergenic proteins such as Fel d 1 m (in cats), Can f 1 and Can f 2 (in dogs) are most often caused by allergies. Due to their tiny size and microscopic weight, allergens are easily transported through the air, fall on human clothing and skin, are able to settle on food. Their ability to spread by air often becomes the reason that allergens are in places where a priori pets cannot be - in offices, educational institutions and even on airplanes.

In addition to the inhalation route, the ingress of allergens into the human body, they can cause harm by such ways as:

  • contact (from contact with animals),
  • alimentary (along with food and drink),
  • during bites (transmission occurs with pet saliva).

What pets can be allergic?

The most dangerous for people sensitive to allergies are such animals as:

  • Cats. Castrated and sterilized animals cause allergies much less frequently than non-exposed animals. At the same time cats are considered more allergenic than cats.
  • Dogs (regardless of breed, size and length of the coat).
  • Horses.
  • Cows
  • Sheeps.
  • Rabbits (both decorative room, and trade).
  • Goats
  • Guinea pigs, mice, chinchillas and hamsters.

The following fact is interesting: the tendency to allergy to this or that animal depends largely on the area of ​​residence. For example, in regions in which animal husbandry is well developed (in particular, sheep, goats and horses), less people suffer from atypical manifestations caused by contact with a cat or dog. However, livestock allergy rates are much higher in these areas.

Are there any pets that do not cause allergies? Yes. For example, these include reptiles, aquarium fish and turtles.

Why is there an allergy to animal fur?

Allergies to animals: symptoms

How does animal allergy manifest itself and for how long can it be understood that you are experiencing sensitization?

The body's response to allergens produced by animals can manifest itself from the respiratory organs, gastrointestinal tract and mucous membranes, and from the skin. Most often, the first symptoms may appear as early as 10–15 minutes after contact with the allergen. However, there is also a delayed reaction scenario: the first signs can appear within 3-4 hours after contact. In this case, the development of symptoms occurs gradually.

The most common symptoms of allergy to animal fur, fluff, urine and other waste products are:

  • Nasal congestion, runny nose.
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat.
  • Dry cough.
  • Asthma attacks.
  • Difficult breathing, shortness of breath.
  • Redness of the eyes, their swelling.
  • Teariness.
  • Burning under the eyelids, photophobia.
  • Rash on the skin, the formation of small papules, itching, burning, hyperemia.

Interestingly, the symptoms can occur not only through direct contact with the pet, but also upon contact with his belongings (a bowl for food, toys, bedding, tray, cage, leash).

Symptoms of animal allergies in children are not much different from those of adults. The only difference is in the time needed for their manifestation: because the child's body is weaker, the first signs of an atypical reaction usually occur much faster than in adults.

Allergy Diagnosis

After you have discovered the signs of an allergic reaction described above in yourself or your loved ones, you should contact a specialist, an allergist or a dermatologist.

The doctor will conduct skin tests (scarification or tests by injection), which will help confirm or refute the assumption that the patient is allergic to the allergen of the animal, and not to any other irritant. For this, a small dose of a standard allergen derived from the hair, dandruff or epithelium of a cat or dog is usually injected. If, as a result of the texts, a papule is formed with a diameter of about 6 mm, then most likely, a person does indeed experience sensitization to allergens of domestic animals.

Immunoglobulin tests or so-called provocation tests can also be carried out.

Prevention and treatment of animal allergies

The main preventive measures for people suffering from sensitization to these allergens will be the abandonment of the idea to start a pet. Если же вы уже завели животное и не планируете от него избавляться, постарайтесь уменьшить контакт с ним и проводите следующие профилактические меры:

  • Ежедневно проводить влажную уборку в помещении и в месте содержания питомца с использованием дезинфицирующих средств.
  • Соблюдать правила личной гигиены.
  • Use a humidifier and an air filter.
  • Ventilate the room regularly.
  • Discard carpeting.
  • Wear rubber gloves when cleaning the cells, cleaning the bedding or combing the undercoat.

With regard to treatment, the doctor prescribes the desired drug by conducting tests. It is usually antihistamine and anti-asthma. To quickly eliminate skin symptoms (irritation, rashes, redness), you can use La Cree emollients - creams, gels and emulsions. They effectively soften and moisturize the skin, relieving itching and burning.

Food allergies in cats and dogs - symptoms

Symptoms for which you can understand that the animal has food allergies:

1. it is primarily reddening of exposed skin (ears, also skin under the arms, discharge from the ears is also possible)
2. After eating, animals may experience vomiting, flatulence, diarrhea
3. animal rubs face, can scratch the skin (severe itching) allergy
4. in a cat with food allergies, the formation of crusts is observed around the neck and on the ears.

If you notice these symptoms, then you need to consult a veterinary doctor and change the diet of the animal. If you do not find a food allergen that causes allergies in an animal, then itching will increase, the animal may tear his body to the ground.

Food allergies in cats and dogs - detect an allergen

To identify the allergen, you need to change the food to the animal. To do this, you must completely change the diet, and also replace running water with distilled water. On the new diet, the animal should stay for at least two months. During this period, allergies should stop. After that, you can enter into the diet of the animal one by one products that the animal consumed before, and observe the body's reaction to this product. If within 3-5 days the allergy is not manifested, then this product can be added to the diet of the animal. And so it is necessary to do with all the products that ate the animal. Using such a selection, you can calculate the product to which the animal is allergic. This is what concerns dogs. Cats suffer a change in food worse. And therefore can refuse food in general. To do this, it is necessary to gradually change the diet of cats, even if allergies do not immediately pass.

Food allergies in cats and dogs - treatment

Food allergies in cats and dogs often occurs through the sensitivity of their organisms to chemical additives and dyes, which are contained in commercial feed. Therefore, it is better to transfer these animals to natural food.

For many animals, a positive effect on digestion and elimination of allergies gives the transition of their food to raw natural food.

Moderate fasting can also help eliminate allergies in cats and dogs. In the process of starvation, harmful and toxic substances that cause allergies in the animal are removed from the body of the animal. The fasting period for different animals will be different. For large dogs this period will last 3-4 days. And for small dogs and cats no more than one day.

You can also eliminate allergies with the help of aromatic substances and medicinal plants. Aromatic substances are sprayed itchy skin of the animal, and medicinal plants are added to the food of the animal. Plants contribute to the removal of toxic components from the body of the animal. But it is worth knowing that in the treatment of allergic animals with any substances it is necessary to be careful, both chemical and vegetable.

It may take several months to remove all harmful substances from the animal’s body. Be patient and persistent and you will succeed!

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The main signs of food allergies

Symptoms of food allergies in animals are variable. Itching often occurs in the area of ​​the anus, the base of the neck, between the shoulder blades and elsewhere. Animals comb wide areas to deep scratches. Sometimes there is a runny nose, prolonged hair loss, dandruff. In some cases, there is an increased accumulation of secretion of the ear and paraanal glands, discharge from the eyes and nose. Occasionally itchy blisters appear on the body.

In some cases, the larynx swells, sometimes blocking the breath.

Causes and course of food allergies in animals

The causes of food allergies in animals are poorly understood. According to modern ideas of veterinarians, food allergies are caused by:

  • poor quality feed
  • hereditary deviations,
  • autoimmune disorders
  • excess feed in legumes and cereals,
  • improper preparation of the diet (in horses),
  • prolonged feeding of high protein foods,
  • mixing in the diet of dry food and natural products (in dogs and cats),

Cases of food allergies caused by pathogenic proteins (prions) have been recorded. However, the role of prions in the occurrence and development of food allergies has not been studied.

Most often, an increased sensitivity of the immune system is manifested in:

  • fish (in dogs),
  • meat (in cats and dogs),
  • beans and grains,
  • spice.

Allergies to the presence of vegetables, usually added to the diet of animals, almost never occurs. The increased sensitivity of the immune system of animals to fruits in different regions is very different. Thus, the increased sensitivity of the immune system of dogs to apples in Ukraine is noted more often than in Belarus.

The development of food allergies in animals is poorly understood. It is believed that an excess or low quality of protein in the diet leads to abnormal liver function. As a result, a number of amino acids form compounds - chemical precursors of proteins. These compounds can not fully participate in the processes of the body and accumulate between the tissues of the body.

The immune system recognizes these compounds as foreign and must be destroyed. The “hormone of inflammation”, histamine, which is responsible for the expansion of blood vessels and the development of edema, is activated. The activity of cells of the immune system, macrophages. Antibody synthesis is accelerated. Substances recognized by the immune system as foreign are bound to large complexes. Some of them are digested by macrophages. A significant proportion of the resulting complexes is sent to the kidneys. As a result of an excess in the filtering system of the kidneys, the membranes of the cells responsible for the formation of urine are damaged. Inflammation and degradation of the kidneys begin.

In some cases, with allergies as a result of histamine, the work of the heart, pulmonary vessels and neck changes. As a result, laryngeal edema develops. Sometimes in a matter of minutes, the lumen of the larynx narrows so much that breathing stops. At the same time, paralysis of the heart muscle occurs.

In the early stages, allergies are treated without consequences. Food allergies are a serious disorder.

Treatment of food allergies in animals

Methods for the cardinal treatment of food allergies in animals have not been developed. In most cases, the manipulations are aimed at:

  • clarification of the cause of allergies,
  • the elimination of the substance that causes the allergy (allergen) from the environment of the animal,
  • dietary correction
  • blocking the action of histamine.

Clarification of the cause of allergies is carried out in most cases with the aim of narrowing down to the maximum the range of products or substances hazardous to animals As a rule, special sets of substances that cause the appearance of signs of allergy in the mild degree are used. Then a list of substances and / or products that cause allergies is compiled.

Elimination of the substance that causes allergies from the environment of the animal remains one of the few ways to contain the increased sensitivity of the immune system to the components of the feed. In about half of the cases of allergy, removing the substance that causes it from the environment allows the immune system to return to its normal state. As a rule, the return of the immune system to a normal state takes 6 to 8 years, sometimes more.

Dietary correction carry out both with the aim of removing the allergen from the life of the animal, and to maintain the liver. In some cases, the use of dry or canned feed for animals suffering from allergies, does not bring the expected result. Such cases require a deep review of the diet and careful selection of feed components.

Histamine blocking held for a long time, in some cases for life. Used so-called. antihistamines. The method allows to minimize the effect of histamine on the immune system. Diazolin, suprastin, tavegil, kestin, claritin and similar drugs are used.