Animal Hair Allergy: Therapy

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Animal Hair Allergy: Therapy
Animal Hair Allergy: Therapy

Video: Animal Hair Allergy: Therapy

Video: Animal Hair Allergy: Therapy
Video: What Are Pet Allergies and How Do You Live with Them? 2023, March

Animal hair allergy: therapy

The most important measure is to avoid contact with the allergen as far as possible (allergen avoidance), in particular to prevent the disease from progressing and becoming chronic. If this is not possible or if separation from a pet is out of the question, certain precautionary measures should be taken to reduce allergen exposure. Antiallergic and anti-inflammatory drugs are available to alleviate acute symptoms. Only in some cases is a causal treatment possible with specific immunotherapy - a kind of vaccination against the allergy.


  • Continue reading
  • more on the subject
  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • Allergen avoidance
  • Measures to reduce allergen exposure
  • Medication
  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

Allergen avoidance

The simplest, most effective and most important measure in the case of animal hair allergy is to avoid animal contact. In the case of known allergies, no pets should be purchased from the outset. Allergy sufferers should separate from an allergy-causing pet, however difficult it may be, and hand it over. This is the only way to prevent the dreaded long-term effects such as bronchial asthma. Tablets, nasal and bronchial sprays can treat and improve the allergic symptoms, but not the cause of the disease or the progression of the disease. Nor are they a guarantee that the symptoms will not get worse as the allergy persists.

Once you have given the animal away, it can take months, for example, before cat hair is completely removed from the apartment and the allergy disappears. And even in public there is always the risk of coming into contact with animal hair. Clothing and furnishings made from animal hair (e.g. camel hair blankets, down comforters, horsehair mattresses, etc.) should also be removed or avoided.

Measures to reduce allergen exposure

  • The only effective therapy for significant allergen reduction is to wash the pet several times a week.
  • Keeping animals outside of the living area if possible.
  • Never let the animal into the sleeping area.
  • Wash hands after every contact with animals.
  • Clean clothes with a clothes roller (do not use a clothes brush).
  • Delegate cleaning of resting and feeding areas to other family members.
  • Use of washable covers for upholstered furniture and seating.
  • Removal of "dust catchers" such as curtains, carpets, pillows, plush toys, dried flowers etc.
  • Regular vacuuming with specially designed equipment.
  • Regularly clean walls, woodwork and floors with a damp cloth.
  • Do without carpets.
  • Refrain from skins and furs.
  • Comb the animal frequently and wipe it with a damp cloth to reduce the amount of loose allergens.
  • The animal should not have its sleeping and resting places on furniture that you use regularly.
  • Avoid close physical contact with the animal.
  • Use antihistamines before you are likely to spend a long period of time in close contact with an allergy-causing animal, e.g. when visiting friends with pets.

If you don't want to do all this to yourself, the symptoms persist or even increase, or if you also want to avoid secondary problems such as bronchial asthma, a good place should be found for the pet.


For the treatment of an animal hair allergy, drugs are available to alleviate acute allergic complaints (symptomatic therapy). In very serious individual cases, a causal therapy against the allergy can be used - a type of vaccination, which with the technical terms "allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT)" (formerly also "desensitization" ("make insensitive"), "desensitization" or " Allergy vaccination ").

Symptomatic therapy

In cases in which allergen avoidance is not possible or not sufficiently possible, anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory drugs are used. Antihistamines block the allergic processes in the body and primarily relieve itching, sneezing and runny nose. These are offered in the form of nasal sprays, (eye) drops, juice and tablets. If the symptoms are more severe, corticoids (cortisone) are used for local application to the nose. In allergic asthma, corticosteroids are inhaled in combination with betamimetics. These medications are usually able to relieve the symptoms of the allergy, but the underlying condition does not improve.

Allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT)

In selected severe cases, an allergy vaccination is possible. With the so-called allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT), the immune system is trained until it has learned that the allergens are not dangerous. For this purpose, the allergy sufferer is given "his / her" trigger in increasing doses (increasing the dose). The AIT acts on the body's immune system with the aim of bringing it back into its natural balance. Treatment usually lasts three to five years. Unfortunately, the chance of success with animal hair allergies is lower than that with insect venom, pollen or dust mite allergies, so specific immunotherapy with animal allergens is only initiated in individual cases.

There are two ways to administer the allergen extracts:

  • Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT): The allergens are given under the tongue once a day all year round in the form of drops. This treatment can be carried out at home as prescribed by a doctor. In rare cases, side effects such as tongue and palate itching and slight swelling of the mucous membrane can occur. Often there is a significant improvement in symptoms after just one year of treatment.
  • Subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT): the allergens are injected into the upper arm by the doctor using a syringe. In the dosing phase, injections with increasing allergen concentration are administered weekly. If the maintenance dose is reached after a few weeks, the patient receives a monthly injection of this dose. After each administration, he / she must remain in the doctor's office for at least 30 minutes, because this form of therapy can lead to an intensified reaction up to anaphylactic shock. In addition, alcohol consumption and strenuous physical exertion should be avoided on the days of treatment.

Whom can I ask?

The diagnosis and therapy of an animal hair allergy is carried out by a specialist who has been trained in allergology (for children, ENT, skin or lung diseases) and, for example, in an allergy outpatient clinic.

How are the costs going to be covered?

All necessary and appropriate examinations and therapies are covered by the health insurance providers. Your doctor or the outpatient clinic will generally settle accounts directly with your health insurance provider. With certain health insurance providers, however, you may have to pay a deductible (BVAEB, SVS, SVS, BVAEB). However, you can also use a doctor of your choice (ie doctor without a health insurance contract) or a private outpatient clinic. For more information, see Costs and Deductibles.

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