Millions of dog and cat owners struggle between loving their pets and suffering with the allergies they can cause.

Pet allergy symptoms can include:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Nasal and sinus congestion
  • Asthma
  • Eczemaand/or hives

Although cats and dogs are the most common trigger, hamsters, gerbils and rabbits are popular pets that can cause symptoms. Research mice can also be an occupational exposure. Exposure to cattle, horses, chickens, hogs — especially in confined spaces — can cause respiratory and skin symptoms.

Testing for pet allergies is typically done by skin tests. We may use blood testing for IgE allergy antibodies to various animal danders.

We treat specific animal allergies with drops under the tongue using the same extracts used for allergy shots. Most patients with animal allergies respond well to allergy drop treatment. The decision about whether people can keep their pets depends on the severity of reaction when exposed, but many are able to find a way to keep their furry family members and live without symptoms.

In most cases we can successfully treat the allergy with the animal in the home, though treatment may take longer than if the animal is not in the home. Before getting an indoor pet, consider allergy testing. Mild to moderate animal allergies tend to respond more quickly when treated before the animal is brought into the home.

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Success Stories

As printed in the La Crosse Tribune As a child, Lindsay Williams was often homebound. Williams had horrible allergies. Her bed and pillow were in a special plastic bag to keep the dust mites out. She had sinus surgery and took allergy shots, but nothing seemed to help her. “I’d get so sick every spring…
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