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Can Pet’s Dander Worsen Your Asthma

Can Pet’s Dander Worsen Your Asthma

This article is a continuation follow-up of the series of articles on Avoiding Your Asthma Triggers.

Can animal dander (skin flakes in an animal’s fur or hair)worsen your asthma? As a matter of fact YES!, all furry and feathered animals produce animal dander and so put asthmatics at increased risk of worsening asthma if they are especially sensitive.

Animal Dander

Commonly it’s thought that the hair from pets that causes the allergic cascade leading to asthma symptoms and that short haired animals are less allergic for asthmatics, both are myths (an exaggerated or idealized conception ). In fact, it is the dander or the proteins in skin flakes, urine, feces ( waste product from an animal’s digestive tract ), saliva and hair that trigger your asthma symptoms.

These proteins are very small particles that are carried through the air and can come to land on a body part that comes into contact with your nose or mouth or the particles can be directly inhaled into the lung. You may notice symptoms immediately or may not develop them for eight to twelve hours.

Pets all shed a certain amount of allergen producing dander per week. In this sense, there are no hypoallergenic (containing fewer allergens) pets, but some produce less allergen than others and may be a better choice if you really want a pet.

allergy pets dander

Pet’s Dander And Asthma

 

Decreasing Your Dander Exposure To Improve Your Asthma

Decrease Of Animal Dander Exposure

Removing your pet from the home and avoiding contact with the pet is the most effective way to decrease exposure to animal dander. A trial removal is not recommended as it may take as many as twenty weeks following removal for allergen levels to fall to levels similar to those of homes without pets. If you do remove the pet from the home, make sure you thoroughly clean all bedding products, floors, carpets and other surfaces where dander may have collected.

If pet removal is going to produce depression, crying and gnashing of teeth for you or your child, making the pet an outside only animal is a partial solution, but will not fully decrease your exposure to animal dander. If that is also too restrictive, consider the following suggestions:-

  • Keep the pet out of bedrooms and other place where you or your child spends a lot of time
  • Consider bathing the animal weekly to reduce allergen exposure, but realize this may increase dander exposure if the allergic person is doing the washing
  • Do not have the allergic person clean the animal’s cage, living space or litter box
  • Consider hardwood, tile or linoleum flooring as these products do not retain allergens like carpeting
  • HEPA* clean air filters may reduce your allergen exposure
HEPA*stands for High Efficiency Particle Arrestor, used to reduce the number of contaminants in indoor air. A HEPA filter will arrest or stop 99.97% of all particles .3 microns or larger.
  •  Keep pets away from fabric covered furniture, carpets and stuffed toys as much as possible.
  •  Unfortunately, frequent vacuuming does not decrease dander exposure, but using a HEPA* vacuum filter or double bag may decrease exposure if you must vacuum.

If you already know you have allergy asthma symptoms or want to make sure you or your child will not develop symptoms from a particular pet,consider animals that typically do not cause or worsen allergies like:-

  • Turtles
  • Hermit crabs
  • Aquarium fish etc.etc.

Despite many claims otherwise, veterinarians urge that there no completely hypoallergenic pets.

(If you are allergic to animals, be sure to consult a medical professional before procuring a pet that may induce an allergy attack.) Prevention is better then cure for asthma treatment.

In our next article we shall discuss about Eliminating Dust Mites to Control Your Asthma and its trigger in the worsening cause of your asthma,and also feature asthma articles.

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  1. Syd Ellis
    Syd Ellis02-03-2013

    Anyone know a remedy for asthma attack brought on when in contact with cats?

    • Webmaster
      Webmaster02-03-2013

      Hello Syd Ellis,

      Thanks for the good question.
      Here is what you need to do to avoid an Asthma attack when in contact with dander(cats) :-

      1) Removing your pet from the home and avoiding contact with the pet is the most effective way to decrease exposure to animal dander.
      A “trial removal” is not recommended as it may take as many as 20 weeks following removal for allergen levels to fall to levels similar to those of homes without pets.
      2) If you do remove the pet from the home, make sure you thoroughly clean all bedding products, floors, carpets and other surfaces where dander may collect.
      3) If pet removal is going to produce depression, crying and gnashing of teeth for you or your child, making the pet an “outside only” animal is a partial solution, but will not fully decrease your exposure to animal dander.
      4)If that is also too restrictive, consider the following suggestions:
      Keep the pet out of bedrooms and other place where you or your child spends a lot of time
      5) Consider bathing the animal weekly to reduce allergen exposure, but realize this may increase dander exposure if the allergic person is doing the washing
      6) Do not have the allergic person clean the animal’s cage, living space or litter box.
      7) Consider hardwood, tile or linoleum flooring as these products do not retain allergens like carpeting
      8) HEPA clean air filters may reduce your allergen exposure
      9) Keep pets away from fabric covered furniture, carpets and stuffed toys as much as possible.
      10) Unfortunately, frequent vacuuming does not decrease dander exposure, but using a HEPA vacuum filter or double bag may decrease exposure if you must vacuum.Prevention is better then cure.
      HEPA:-HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particle Arrestor, used to reduce the number of contaminants in indoor air. A HEPA filter will arrest or stop 99.97% of all particles .3 microns or larger

  2. elizabeth
    elizabeth02-19-2013

    greetings from elizabeth,i catch asthma before 1yrdoctor said it was by pets and also from dust.my 6months treatment is finished,i have a small doubt ,is asthma is spred from one person to another,because my employer is asthma patient,please reply me.thank you so much

    • Webmaster
      Webmaster02-19-2013

      Hello Elizabeth,

      Thanks for your good query.
      Unfortunate but true, some people in our society believe that Asthma is a contagious(spread from one person or organism to another by direct or indirect contact) disease!
      In fact, Asthma is neither a contagious (infectious) nor a communicable (transmitted by the patient to healthy person either by direct or by indirect contact) disease.
      Asthma is actually a disorder of the respiratory air-passage.The actual cause of Asthma is yet to be identified but several factors which include allergies, #hereditary connection, environmental elements, etc., are responsible for triggering asthma.
      Asthma can be triggered by anything ranging from dust, pollen, cigarette smoke, dry air, weather, strenuous exercise to sensitive immune system.
      #An inherited condition?
      It’s clear that asthma tends to run in families. For example, if one or both of your parents have asthma, you have a higher-than-usual chance of being susceptible to asthma as well.
      However, people with very severe asthma can have children who never develop the condition. So it seems that being genetically susceptible to developing asthma isn’t the whole story too.
      Hope the above clears your concern.If you have any further questions we here will be happy to answer you.
      Regards,
      Dr.Kamz MD.
      http://whatasthmais.com/

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