Tags: allergy | shots | cat

Can Allergy Shots Allow Me to Keep a Family Pet?

By    |   Thursday, 19 February 2015 05:13 PM

Question: I just remarried (after living as a widow for several years) and my wife has a cat. We don’t want to give up the pet, but my daughter is highly allergic to cats. Is there anything she can do (like getting allergy shots or taking a pill) before she comes to visit to keep from having an allergic reaction?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Oh my! You would be surprised how often I get this same question from parents who have a child allergic to the household cat. The answer is clear: The cat goes, your daughter does not visit you, or the pet needs to stay in another area of the home.
Requiring your daughter to seek immunotherapy or drug therapy so she can visit you is inappropriate and extraordinarily selfish of you, and subjects her to unnecessary side effects. Of course she can use an antihistamine before visiting you, but there is still is no guarantee she will not react to cat dander, and some reactions can be rapidly and unpredictably life threatening or deadly.
If you do decide to keep the cat, make sure your daughter carries an Epi pen with her in the event she does suffer a serious allergic reaction, and this may allow you or her enough time to call for transport to the nearest emergency department.
This situation may be easily remedied by keeping the cat away from your living areas, and be sure the areas the cat is allowed to stay in does not have central air returning to your living quarters where your daughter may be exposed to suspended pet dander. Some cats tend to cause more allergic reactions than others, so discuss this further with your vet if you must have a cat at home.
Do not forget to professionally sanitize, brush and clear your living area of retained cat dander, as it can be difficult to remove completely without close attention to detail.

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Taking allergy shots so you can keep a family pet in your home isn't the smartest strategy, from a health standpoint.
allergy, shots, cat
Thursday, 19 February 2015 05:13 PM
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