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Symptoms of Pet Allergies

People, especially kids, may not even know they are allergic. The proteins cause the body to produce histamines, which result in sudden eye itches, wheezy breathing, or a rash and hives.

Children can be declared to be prone to colds and not allergic. Children can also be diagnosed as asthmatic, and pets can exacerbate asthma.

Allergies can be hereditary. If you had asthmatic bronchitis a lot as a child, you may develop a cat allergy later in life. "No one is born with an allergy," Derek K. Johnson, MD, director of allergy and immunology at Temple University Children's Medical Center. points out, "they develop in some people from exposure."

Interestingly, according to Johnson, there is "very compelling information" that children exposed to animals before their immune systems are fully formed at age 2 are unlikely to become allergic.

Of course, such symptoms can result from other causes. Ask your doctor about a test for pet allergies.