Did you know that 30% of Americans are allergic to animals? With such a large percentage of pet allergies, you'd think that there wouldn't be so many misconceptions about animal pet dander.
We are here to set the facts straight about allergic reactions, pet dander, and pet allergy tests.
Keep reading to learn more!
What are Pet Allergies?
Pet allergies are often associated with the hair and fur that make our fluffy friends so adorable. This is not the case! Pet allergies are a reaction due to animal skin cells, saliva, and urine, which contain a specific protein that causes us to sniffle.
Dead flakes of skin called dander cause most allergic reactions. You can have allergic reactions to all sorts of animals, but cats and dogs are the most common, most likely because they are the most common animals we interact with.
Our immune system plays a critical role in keeping us healthy and alive. Its job is to find and fight foreign substances. These substances can include viruses, bacteria, or small particles such as dead skin cells, dust, or hair.
An allergic reaction is when an immune system reacts to harmless particles such as animal dander. As the immune system fights these particles, your body starts to exhibit symptoms that are similar to colds and other viruses.
Animal allergies can get worse with frequent exposure. So if you suspect that you have an animal dander allergy, make sure you take a pet allergy test to confirm.
Risk Factors for Animal Dander Allergy
Many signs and symptoms are minor and simply annoying when it comes to animal allergic reactions. However, there are some major risk factors if the allergic reaction is severe.
The reaction can include anything from a runny nose to sneezing, to more severe reactions like difficulty breathing, chest tightness, audible wheezing, or trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath. When you are experiencing these symptoms, remove yourself from the situation and follow up with a doctor.
You can also develop a sinus infection or asthma if you are continuously exposed to the animal you are allergic to.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Pet Allergies?
Most allergic reactions are caused by the dander landing on your eyes and nose. When you are allergic, these areas will swell and itch when you are in close proximity to the animal you are allergic to.
Often times the dead skin cells, or dander, are small enough to enter the lungs. As a result, those with a history of asthma or sensitive lungs can experience severe breathing problems. In addition, these problems can lead to a severe allergic reaction if not managed properly.
Animal allergies do not only affect the respiratory system. They can also affect your skin. This is called allergic dermatitis, which is an immune reaction causing inflammation.
These symptoms can include hives, eczema, and itchy skin.
As mentioned before, pets are not the only cause of allergic reactions. Many people are allergic to different types of animals. We may not even know which animals since we rarely come in contact with them. The symptoms are the same, however.
So, if you are visiting a friend's farm and suddenly start sneezing and coughing, you might be allergic to the cattle, ducks, or mice that live in the barn.
How is Animal Dander Allergy Diagnosed?
The doctor will go over your symptoms, medical history, and conduct a physical examination to determine whether you are allergic to certain animals. When you visit the doctor, they will also order several lab tests to confirm the diagnosis.
What Are the Different Types of Pet Allergy Tests?
Since the immune system fights harmful and harmless particles in a similar manner, it is important to confirm what it is fighting.
That is why pet allergy tests are crucial to determining what is ailing us. The doctor will order several tests, including blood tests (IgE), intradermal skin tests, or in some cases, usually with allergic dermatitis, patch tests.
An IgE test is an allergen blood test collected by a phlebotomist at a patient service center and sent to a national testing lab. At Ulta Lab Tests, we offer several IgE tests that are accurate and affordable, and you don’t need health insurance or a doctor’s referral to order them.
We offer 100's of allergy tests, including the following animal allergy tests.
- Canary Bird Feathers (e201) IgE
- Cat Dander (e1) IgE
- Chicken Feathers (e85) IgE
- Cow Dander (e4) IgE
- Dog Danger (e5) IgE
- Duck Feathers (e86) IgE
- Ferret Epithelium (e217) IgE
- Finch Feathers (re214) IgE
- Gerbil (e209) IgE
- Goat Epithelia (e80) IgE
- Goose Feathers (e70) IgE
- Hamster Epithelia (e84) IgE
- Horse Dander (e88) IgE
- Parrot/Parakeet Feathers (e78) IgE
- Pigeon Feathers (e215) IgE
- Rat (e87) IgE
- Sheep Epithelia (e81) IgE
- Swine Epithelia (e83) IgE
- Turkey Feathers (e89) IgE
With an intradermal test, the doctor or nurse will inject a small amount of the suspected allergen under your skin. If the area swells up and becomes inflamed, you are likely allergic to that specific animal. A doctor may still suspect an allergy even if the skin does not swell.
Lastly, a patch test is used when a skin allergy is suspected. For example, if your new kitten is causing rashes and itchy skin, you may have allergic dermatitis. Instead of injecting the skin as with the intradermal test, the doctor will place a tiny amount of allergen on your skin. If you are allergic, you will develop a rash in that area.
Are You Allergic to Animal Dander?
Allergies are no fun. Whether you are allergic to pets, cattle, or other fluffy friends, allergies are frustrating. If you suspect that you are allergic, don't hesitate to order a pet test allergy.
Are you interested in more lab tests that are secure and confidential, affordable, and don't need an insurance referral?
Ulta Lab Tests offers highly accurate and reliable tests with a 100% satisfaction guarantee so that you can make informed decisions about your health.
Order your pet allergy lab test today, and your results will be provided to you securely and confidentially online in 24 to 48 hours for most tests. Take control of your health today with Ulta Lab Tests.