Pet allergy symptoms appear during or shortly after exposure to the animal. Allergies to pets, particularly to cats and dogs, are a common cause of allergic disease, including asthma and allergic rhinitis (hay fever).These symptoms may linger long after the animal is gone. This is because the dander remains in the air, on furniture or on your clothing. The allergy results in: Sneezing, Itchy, watery eyes, Runny nose, Congestion. Additionally, contact with a pet may trigger skin allergy symptoms including itchy skin or raised, red patches (hives). Pets can also trigger asthma symptoms, causing wheezing, difficulty breathing or chest tightness.
The most effective way to manage pet and other allergic rhinitis symptoms is to avoid the allergen(s) causing the symptoms. Antihistamines like Allegra, Claritin, Benadryl, or Zyrtec and other over-the-counter allergy medications may help relieve symptoms, but they are not ideal as a long-term treatment. Decongestants, which reduce swelling in the nose and relieve congestion; examples are over-the-counter Sudafed and Allegra-D. Other drugs, which affect allergy or asthma symptoms in different ways; prescription steroids -- such as Flonase or Nasonex sprays -- are a common treatment for allergies. Both Flonase and Nasonex are available over the counter and by prescription. Allergy shots have a proven track record as an effective form of long-term treatment (immunotherapy).
Research on Allergic rhinitis (‘hay fever’) in Australia (November 2011) by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Canberra (Australian Government). The Allergy and Immunology Foundation of Australia (AIFA) is an initiative of ASCIA. AIFA is dedicated to funding medical research and raising the profile of allergy and immune disease in Australia and New Zealand. The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) is the peak professional body of Clinical Immunologists and Allergists regarding researches on pet allergy in Australia and New Zealand.
Based on self-reports from the 2007–08 National Health Survey, allergic rhinitis affects around 15% of the Australian population, or about 3.1 million people. It is more commonly reported by females than males. It is most commonly reported by those aged 25–44 years, and least commonly by those in the 0–14 and 65–74 year age groups. The Australian Capital Territory and Western Australia have the highest rates of allergic rhinitis in Australia, and Queensland and New South Wales have the lowest. In 2008–09, hospitalizations for allergic rhinitis (as a principal diagnosis or additional diagnosis) represented around 0.02% of all hospitalizations.