What is a Pet Allergy?
Patients who have allergic reactions to dogs and cats are most probably having an allergic reaction to the animals’ saliva. When an animal grooms itself, it deposits its saliva on its fur. The saliva dries but the proteins that trigger reactions remain, causing allergy symptoms including itchy, red eyes, sneezing, a runny nose, and coughing. The saliva antigens are light-weight and therefore become airborne very easily. The particles also remain suspended in the air for long periods. They spread to clothing, carpeting, and other household items easily, and as a result, even houses without pets can have animal allergens.