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Can Dogs Be Allergic To Cats

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Sitting in the veterinarians office last summer with her dog Baloo, Beth Kingston braced for bad news. Just four years old, her Great Dane-black Labrador mix had been acting lethargic, with a runny nose and flaking skin. Worried it might be a deadly heart condition common to Great Danes, the vet ran a series of blood tests.

Baloos heart was fine, Thank God, Ms. Kingston says. But the lab resultswhich cost nearly $1,000were still full of surprises.

Can Dogs Be Allergic To Cats Signs & Treatment

Dogs and cats have historically never been the best of friends when it comes to getting along with each other.

The majority of dogs and cats keep a distance from each other. However, there are a few exceptions in some households, especially when the dogs and cats have grown up together from a very young age.

But can dogs be allergic to cats and develop allergic reactions?

It may surprise you to know that in the rarest of cases, this is actually true! How is it possible you might be thinking.

It is extremely unlikely, but there is a slight chance that you may end up in a situation where your dog is allergic to cats and develops itches, red eyes and keeps sneezing as soon as a cat is near him or her.

Keeping Your Allergic Cat Happy And Healthy

There is no way to prevent the onset of allergies, but treatment and management is available if they do develop, says Dr. Falk. We have two main treatment approaches: managing their symptoms with medications and/or building their tolerance to their allergens with immunotherapy .

The goal of the vaccine is to decrease or eliminate altogether the need for medications. It is effective in about 70 percent of patients, says Dr. Falk. Trying to keep the animals separate and limit exposure might be possible, but making the cat less allergic to the dog with an allergy vaccine is likely a good idea.

Veterinarians say allergies are often a combination of environmental conditions and genetics. While you cant control your cats DNA, there are things you can do to change his environment. For example, owners can clean often to try to keep the hair to a minimum. Bathing a dog often is also helpful, as this will help keep the allergens to a minimum, says Dr. Jeffrey.

Correct amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, found largely in fish oils, may also play a role in good skin health, veterinarians say.

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What Are The Different Types Of Allergy

There are several ways of classifying allergies. Some examples of classifications include:

  • Allergen – flea allergy, food allergy
  • Route the allergen takes into the body – inhalant allergy, skin contact allergy, or food allergy
  • Time it takes for the immune reaction – immediate-type hypersensitivity, also called anaphylaxis or shock, and delayed-type hypersensitivity
  • Clinical signs – allergic dermatitis or allergic bronchitis
  • Inherited forms – atopy or seasonal allergies

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Aside from sensitivity treatments, you can take a number of other steps to help ease your dogs suffering. Many such treatments are inexpensive, although they can require a good deal of labor.

  • Vacuum your home regularly, including all carpets, drapes, and other fabric-covered items. Use a vacuum designed specifically to collect pet hair preferably one that includes a HEPA filter to remove the most allergens possible.
  • Bathe your dog regularly to help remove the allergens present on his skin before they can cause irritation.
  • Consider purchasing a pet-focused air purifier capable of removing allergen-sized particles from the air in your home.
  • Clean hard floors with a wet-wipe-style cleaner or broom designed to collect pet hair to remove dander and fur from these substances before they can float into the air or coat your dog.
  • Consider separating your cat and dog, by restricting them to different portions of the house with the help of an indoor pet gate or even a repurposed baby gate! If this is not desirable or possible, try to move allergen-coated items away from areas your dog frequents.
  • Provide your dog with omega-3 supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids not only reduce inflammation in a safe, natural manner, but they also help support skin health and the skins natural defenses.

Do you have a pooch who is allergic to cat dander? What steps have you taken to ease his suffering? Let us know what has worked and what hasnt worked in the comments below.

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Can You Live With Pets And A Pet Allergy

Depending on your level of sensitivity and the amount of allergen your pet produces, it may be possible to live with pets and pet allergies. Studies have shown infants exposed to animals have stronger immune systems.

Living with pets and pet allergies means staying on top of the allergen.

Vacuum and dust frequently while wearing a mask. Keep pets out of the bedroom. Run a HEPA filtered air cleaner that is the right size for the room. Groom pets with Allerpet Solution for either cats or dogs. If you have carpets, spray them regularly with a solution that will neutralize the protein. Allersearch ADMS and Ecology Works Antiallergen Solution are both easy to use.

It is possible to live with dogs and be allergic to cats and vice versa. Our daughter is allergic to cats and has had them all her life. Either way, if you have pets and you have allergies you need to learn to keep the allergen levels down.

Wishing you the best of health

The Allergy Store

Fur Facts Why Am I Allergic To Cats But Not Dogs

Hot summer months as well as wintery weather can mean more time spent indoors avoiding the sun or cold for both people and pets. For allergy sufferers, that may mean an increase in symptoms. Even if you aren’t directly allergic to your cat or dog, they act like furry dust mops that trap and hold allergens like pollen and dust that do set you off.

Why Am I Allergic To My Pets?

About 2 percent of the US population is allergic to cats themselves. About one-third of cat-allergic folks love kitties so much, they’re willing to put up with the sniffles. Allergy symptoms include itchy eyes, coughing, wheezing and/or hives.

People can also be allergic to dogs, and the symptoms are similar. In addition, some folks become sensitized to dog saliva, so canine kisses can leave the person with an itchy rash or even hives. In the most severe cases, cat or dog allergies can make asthmatic people suffer dangerous asthmatic episodes, so pet allergies are nothing to sneeze at.

Why Am I Allergic to Cats but Not Dogs?

Cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. So if you react to cats, you may not have a problem with dogs at all. It doesn’t really matter if your dog or cat has long or short fur, or differences in breed. There are some individual differences even among dogs or cats of the same breed. Here’s why.

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How Does A Doctor Diagnose A Pet Allergy

Your doctor will diagnose a pet allergy based on your symptoms, physical examination, medical history and test results. Your doctor can use either a blood test or skin test to aid in the diagnosis. Allergy testing will show if there is allergic sensitization to the animal.

Some people find it hard to believe that they could be allergic to their pets. The doctor may tell you to stay out of the home where the pet lives to see if your symptoms go away. It does not help to remove the dog or cat, because the allergen will remain. Pet allergens still in the home can cause symptoms months after the animal is gone.

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Chances are, you know at least one person with a cat or dog allergy roughly 1020 percent of people worldwide exhibit some form of allergic symptoms to these common household pets. Given how common allergies to other species are, you may wonder: Can the opposite be true? Could a cat or dog have an allergic reaction to their owner, or to humans in general?

Maybe, says Douglas Deboer, a dermatologist at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. There has been some research and experiments that suggest the possibility that pets can be allergic to humans, but nothing conclusive. If there are cats or dogs with these allergies, they are extremely rare.

Anythings possible, Deboer says. But it seems clear that it is not very common, if it exists at all.

Deboer, whose research focuses on skin diseases and allergic reactions in household animals, says reactions to dogs or cats typically occur when someone is allergic to the animals dander, flakes of dead skin cells shed from the body. So, in the event that pets can have allergic reactions to human beings, those reactions would stem from exposure to human dander. Deboer says there have been allergy tests done on household pets, but most of these test results are negative. A very small amount of tests, roughly less than 2 percent, show a reaction to human dander.

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Is Your Dog Allergic To Cats

While its fairly uncommon for a dog to be allergic to cats, it does happen.

We include a test for cat dander on our intradermal allergy test, says Dr. Elizabeth Falk, a board-certified veterinary dermatologist at Cornell University Veterinary Specialists in Stamford, Connecticut. Dr. Falk explains that in her personal experience, about 1 in 20 of my patients have a significant positive to cat dander on this test.

A dog thats allergic to cats will have symptoms that are similar to other environmental allergies, says Dr. Susan Jeffrey, a veterinarian at Truesdell Animal Care Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. Some of these symptoms include lots of scratching and licking, leading to skin changes, such as redness, excoriations and the development of pustules and/or crusts.

Some dogs may also exhibit respiratory signs, such as coughing, sneezing or watery eyes and nose, says Dr. Kristin Holm, a board-certified veterinary dermatologist with Veterinary Dermatology Consultation Services in Johnston, Iowa. But this is not as common as it is in people.

Only your veterinarian can make an official diagnosis. Dr. Holm says that veterinarians first suspect that a dog has allergies based on his history. Its kind of like playing detective, she says. Then, the allergy can be confirmed through intradermal allergy testing or serum testing.

How Does Pet Allergy Occur

Pet allergens are most concentrated in homes with pets. But they are also found in buildings and public spaces without pets.

The main source of dog allergen is saliva, either directly from licking or from being transferred to their dander or hair. Cat allergens mainly come from glands in their skin and are spread through licking and grooming.

Pet allergens are sticky and can remain for months or years after a pet has gone. They can become airborne and attach to clothes and hair.

People can become sensitive to, or have an allergic reaction to, cats or dogs without ever having owned a pet.

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Cat Allergies In Infants

Babies cannot talk about their symptoms, so cat allergies in infants may go undetected. Babies and toddlers who are often sick, who have difficulty sleeping, who have trouble breathing, who develop rashes, or who have unexplained respiratory symptoms may have allergies.

If there are cats or other animals in the house, consider seeing an allergist for allergy testing. Other household allergens, such as dust mites or mold, can also be triggers of allergy symptoms.

The easiest way to treat cat allergies is to avoid homes with cats and to rehome any cats that live with you. For people who view their pets as family, this is unthinkable.

Depending on the severity of the allergy, it may be possible to live with cats. Doing so requires a combination of allergy treatment and diligent management of cat hair and other particles. Knowing what specific proteins cause the allergic reaction can help people with cat allergies decide how best to manage their symptoms.

People with a history of anaphylactic reactions or severe asthma attacks in response to cats should not live with or be around cats. These types of severe allergic reactions can be life-threatening.

Treatment For Dogs That Are Allergic To Cats

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If you find out that your dog is allergic to cats, youll want to know how to manage the reactions. Once your dog has been tested, he can be treated with individual immunotherapy, says Trimble. Immunotherapy involves daily exposure to the specific allergens the dog is sensitive to, either by daily injection or by a daily oral spray/oral drops. The goal of this therapy is to decrease the severity of itch and inflammation and decrease the need for other itch-preventing medications. This individually tailored treatment is the only method the veterinary community has found that helps to change the abnormal response the body has to allergens. Although not a perfect treatment your dog will likely still be itchy, just less so when it comes to itchiness, improvement to any degree will be welcomed by your dog.

Keeping your house clean by vacuuming more often to remove cat dander from the floor and having an air purifier to remove any dander in the air can also help your dog.

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Video Answer: Can Pets Be Allergic To People

It’s found primarily in a cat’s saliva, skin and urine.

Just because you have never been allergic to pets in the past doesn’t mean you will never develop a cat or dog allergy.

Cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies, and people who are allergic to dogs can have a reaction to only some breeds.

Is There Such a Thing as a Hypoallergenic Pet? People with dog allergies may be more sensitive to some breeds of dogs than others. Some people may be allergic to all dogs. People may think certain breeds of dogs are hypoallergenic, but a truly non-allergic dog or cat does not exist.

Seasonal Allergies In Dogs

Furry family members, especially dogs, can also spend the spring season feeling miserable thanks to pollens and other environmental allergens. Dogs’ seasonal allergies are commonly caused by environmental allergens such as dust mites, fleas, molds, and pollens from grasses, trees, weeds, and flowers.

Pay close attention to your dog’s belly, paws, ears, face, and armpit region. If your dog is constantly licking, that could be one of the allergic reaction symptoms.

If your dog has skin allergies, their skin will become very itchy. They can start licking or scratching excessively and might bite or chew at specific areas of their body. Your pet may rub themselves against vertical surfaces like furniture or scoot across the floor.

As the itch-scratch cycle continues, the skin may become inflamed. Hot spots can develop that can eventually lead to bleeding or hair loss.

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Can Cats Be Allergic To Humans


There are plenty of humans who are allergic to cats. Thankfully, allergy medications exist to help deal with those watery eyes and runny noses. Cat-loving allergy sufferers also rejoice to know that there are certain cat breeds that produce fewer allergens than others. The bottom line is, being allergic to cats doesnt necessarily mean you cant be a cat person. But have you ever heard of a cat being allergic to humans? Cats can be allergic to just about anything else, including pollen, eggs, and grass, so what about their human family members? And if a cat is allergic to humans, is there anything we can do to help?

Is Treatment Available For A Dog Thats Allergic To Cats

How to Help Dogs and Cats with Allergies

There are no cures and no way to prevent an animal from developing allergies. The goal is to manage the symptoms, says Dr. Jeffrey.

Dr. Jeffrey explains, There are companies that make allergy drops that are very similar to allergy injections that people with allergies receive. They desensitize the immune system to the allergens over a period of several months. The desensitization process can take between 6-12 months.

Dr. Falk says that veterinarians can tailor allergy vaccines, or allergy drops, to target specific allergies in dogs and build up their tolerance to the allergen. These treatments, referred to as allergen-specific immunotherapy, are generally quite effective in about 70 percent of dogs with allergies.

Oral allergy medicine for dogs that works to stop itchinessincluding antihistamines and Apoquelis also available, says Dr. Jeffrey. In addition, treatment of any secondary infections with antibiotics and/or antifungals will also help.

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Testing For Skin Parasites

To rule out skin parasites, simple tests such as coat brushings, hair plucks and skin scrapes can be performed. All these samples are viewed under the microscope and if parasites are present, they can be viewed. In some cases further testing is required and samples will need to be sent to an external lab. For example, testing for fox mange involves taking a blood sample.

The next step is to diagnose and treat any existing skin infections due to the composition of their skin, cats and dogs with allergy are very susceptible to getting secondary bacterial and/or fungal infections. Skin infections can also be very itchy and therefore complicate the diagnostic approach.


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