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  • Allergic to Animals?

  • Abby and Julius WolfeEven though furry friends help to lower blood pressure, they can be a source of stress for allergy sufferers.

    Some animal allergy myths debunked:

    • Many people assume that they are allergic to their pet's fur. Actually, the culprits are proteins in pet dander and dried saliva and urine. More people are allergic to cats than dogs, probably because cats spend more time indoors and bathe themselves with their saliva.
    • Allergy has little to do with the length of fur on the animal. Some people may be less allergic to a long-haired cat than to one of the short-haired variety.
    • If a person is not allergic to an animal, it doesn't mean he or she won't develop an allergy. Most allergies develop after prolonged contact with an allergen.
    • Mr. Stanley KnickerbockerAnimals such as mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, turtles, snakes, lizards and birds carry as many allergens as cats and dogs. Some of these many also harbor infectious bacteria and parasites, which is why some species are outlawed as pets in some states. Many people who opt for these pets may find they are more allergic to them than to cats or dogs.
    • Allergens produced by animals can remain in a room for months after the animal has left it.
    • It is possible for animals to be allergic to people.

    Tips for living with pets and allergies