Signs your Child may have a Pet Allergy

Pediatric Allergist Ron Ferdman discusses how parents can deal with the issue of pet allergies and their newborn baby.
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Signs your Child may have a Pet Allergy


- Not a week goes by where I don't get a question regarding some sort of family pet. And it's either parents who want to get a pet for a child who already had other allergies or they own a pet and want to know if they can 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. So 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 cat or a dog every single day, day after day after day, those allergies can turn into more of a chronic phase, and you seem to have allergies all the time. So even when you leave the house, the allergies continue and you don't see that your allergies get better when you leave the house and they don't get worse when you come back into the house so you just assume you don't have a pet allergy. But that's not always true. Another thing that parents will do is they'll try to give away the pet for a weekend. They'll give it to a cousin or an uncle and the problem with that is that the cat or dog hair could last in your house for at least six or even nine months after the pet is out of the house. So just removing the pet for a couple of days without resolution of symptoms doesn't mean that you weren't allergic to the pet. So sometimes it's a little bit difficult and we do have to oftentimes do pet allergy testing. And that's probably one of the results I look least forward to give to families because then they have to decide whether they want to keep the pet or get rid of the pet that's already become a member of the household.

Pediatric Allergist Ron Ferdman discusses how parents can deal with the issue of pet allergies and their newborn baby.


Expert Bio

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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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