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I'm allergic to my pet but don't want to get rid of them, what should I do?

I’m allergic to my pet but don’t want to get rid of them, what should I do?

English Transcript

Allergist James Tracy, DO: Many people are often told by their their caregivers that if you’re allergic to cats or dogs which are the most common that it’s best just to find new homes for your pets. In reality in this country most people really don’t want to get rid of their pets and quite frankly even when they do many of their friends and family have have cats and dogs too. So it’s really hard just get rid of your pets. So the question becomes if you can’t avoid your pet or your animal then what are your alternatives?

Well, first of all, avoidance can be in many phases, but things like room purifiers, particularly in your bedroom, I would definitely keep the pets out of your bedroom if possible. That can be a very good first step.

After that things like HEPA filters or air purifiers can be very helpful. They’ve been shown to be very effective particularly with cat allergy; a little bit less so with dog allergy, but also work well if avoidance strategies don’t work.

Then we move on to medications. Medications like, oh, any number of antihistamines or medications like the leukotriene inhibitor, such as Singulair, can be very effective at helping to kind of soften many of those allergic symptoms, especially if you can be taking them on a regular basis.

If that doesn’t work or doesn’t work well enough, then we consider things like allergy shots or immunotherapy. Very effective at managing both cat and dog allergies. And if taken long enough, they can practically be curative. And basically the end goal is really to see if you can still maintain and manage your allergies and your allergy types of symptoms while at the same time having your loving pets around for as long as you’d like them to be.

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