Signs of a pet allergy

Ron Ferdman, MD Pediatrician, Allergy & Immunology, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, shares advice on the common symptoms of pet allergies
Signs And Symptoms Of A Pet Allergy - Expert Allergy Advice
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Signs of a pet allergy

Not a week goes by that I don't get a question about some sort of family pet. It's either from a parent who wants to get a pet for a child who already has other allergies, or they own a pet and want to keep the pet. Usually it's pretty obvious when a child has a pet allergy because the symptoms come on so quickly after exposure to that pet. They play with the dog or they pet the cat, and they immediately start coughing or wheezing or their nose starts running. The problem is, when you live with a dog or a cat, those allergies can turn into more of a chronic phase. You seem to have allergies all the time, so that when you leave the house, the allergies continue. Your allergies don't get better when you leave the house and they don't get worse when you are in the house, so you just assume you don't have a pet allergies. That's not always true. Another thing that parents will do is give the pet away for the weekend, give it to an uncle or an neighbor. The problem with that is that the cat or dog hair can last in your house for at least six or even nine months after the pet is out of the house. Just removing the pet from the house for a couple of days without resolution of symptoms, doesn't mean that you weren't allergic to the pet. Sometimes it can be a little bit difficult and we do, often times, have to do pet allergy testing. That's probably one of the results I least look forward to giving to families because the pet has already become a member of the household.

Ron Ferdman, MD Pediatrician, Allergy & Immunology, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, shares advice on the common symptoms of pet allergies


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Ronald Ferdman, MD

Pediatrician, Allergy and Immunology, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Ronald Ferdman received his BA from the University of California at San Diego and his MD from Hahnemann University (now Drexel University) in Philadelphia.  He completed both his Pediatric residency and his fellowship in Allergy/Immunology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, then obtained a Masters in Medical Education (MEd) from the University of Southern California (USC) School of Education.  He currently is an attending physician in the Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.  He is board certified allergy/immunologist, and is a fellow in the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.  His current interests include management of allergic and immunologic diseases in high-risk children and education for families and clinicians. He is a California native, where he currently lives with his wife Susan and their three of four children, and spends his spare time wishing for more.


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