Pediatric Specialists of Plano

Pet dander and saliva can cause pet allergies in children

Puppies, kittens and bunnies are cute until the watery eyes appear and the sneezing starts. Proteins found in pet dander, urine and saliva can cause pet allergies in children. Animals with fur, including long and short-haired dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters and other rodents, produce dander. Dander is made up of the flakes of skin that pets shed. Our Plano pediatricians can help parents diagnose and treat children who are allergic to animals.

Pet allergies in children can cause a variety of symptoms

Most of the time, children who have pet allergies experience the following symptoms.

  • Sneezing or coughing
  • Runny nose or nasal congestion
  • Watery, red eyes that may itch
  • Itching in the throat, roof of the mouth or nose
  • Pain and/or pressure in the face

When children have asthma, their allergy symptoms may become worse and include wheezing, tightness in the chest or difficulty breathing. Children who are allergic to pet dander, saliva and urine may wake up often or rub their noses.

Sometimes, pet allergies in children also cause allergic dermatitis. This immune system condition causes itchy skin, hives and eczema.

Our Plano pediatricians help parents determine whether allergies are the problem

When children experience allergy symptoms regularly, particularly when they are around animals, parents should contact our pediatricians. Pet allergies can cause symptoms that are similar to colds, other allergies and asthma. As such, it can be difficult to know  what is causing the problem. Our physicians will discuss testing and ways to prevent the symptoms. Treatment options such as antihistamines or allergy shots may also be options.

Prevention is the key to avoid allergy symptoms

Many families have beloved pets, so getting rid of them, isn’t the best answer. Families can incorporate certain changes to help their children cope with allergy symptoms.

  • Animals should not spend time in children’s bedrooms.
  • Parents need to vacuum and mop regularly. Hard floors are best for people with allergies
  • Children should avoid kissing and hugging pets or allowing animals to lick them.
  • If children pet or touch an animal, they should avoid touching their faces and wash their hands as soon as possible.

Parents who want to know more about pet allergies in children should contact our Plano pediatricians for an appointment.