Pet lovers: Many people regard their cats, dogs, and other pets to be members of their families. Pets provide companionship to those who look after them, whether it is through quick cuddling or keeping a watch. Living with a furry pet and having asthma or allergies, though, can be problematic. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates that up to three out of every ten persons who have allergies experience allergic responses to cats and dogs.
Zee News Digital asked Dr Arjun Khanna, HOD, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Amrita Hospital, Faridabad whether dog fur can cause asthma or lead to an asthmatic attack, and here’s what he had to say.
“There are two things in asthma, one is something that can cause asthma and the other is something which can cause or trigger an acute attack of asthma. Now, dog fur is not going to cause asthma but, if someone is sensitive to dog fur or allergic to dog fur, that can trigger an episode of acute asthma.”
Dr Khanna further mentions, “The incidence of dog fur allergy is very low. However, if you have asthmatic symptoms and if you get close to a dog or a cat or any other pet and your symptoms get aggravated that is the only link between the two. But there is no data to prove that dog fur can actually cause asthma. In a sensitive person who is allergic to dog fur and has asthma, maybe an acute episode of asthma can be triggered by that but that again is not very common. We do see it but not very common. Other triggers such as change of season, cold air, pollution, and other allergies are more common.”
Tips to minimize symptoms and risk of an asthma attack
– Thoroughly clean your home (vacuum floors and furniture often).
– Try an air cleaner (for small allergens like dust, pollen and smoke).
– Clean your pet (help reduce dander and other allergens).
– Make the bedroom a pet-free zone.
– Replace carpets with hardwood floors (minimize the collection of allergens and make it easier to clean).
– Just with damp cloth as much as possible.
– Clean pet cage, bedding regularly.
– Have an asthma action plan (keep a list of medications and your doctor’s contact information handy).