Itchy Dog Project extended to all breeds of dog

A popular University of Nottingham veterinary survey into the problem of itchy skin allergies in dogs is being extended to include all breeds of dog after some interesting initial results.

Novel platform uses nanoparticles to detect peanut allergies

Researchers have developed a novel platform to more accurately detect and identify the presence and severity of peanut allergies, without directly exposing patients to the allergen, according to a new study published in the ...

Is a grain-free diet healthier for my dogs and cats?

Grain-free diets are one of the largest growing segments of the pet food market. More and more pet owners are choosing these diets, which are billed as more natural and less likely to cause health problems and allergies. ...

Decoded genome key to developing 'super' peanut

West Aussies with a peanut allergy may soon be able to enjoy peanut butter on their morning toast without fear of a negative reaction thanks to plans by local scientists to develop a non-allergenic 'super' peanut.

Allergy care for pets in spring

Spring is one of the busiest times of year for veterinary dermatologist Dr Mandy Burrows at Murdoch University's Veterinary Hospital.

Hypoallergenic parks: Coming soon?

Ah-choo! If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you're probably sick of this refrain. And you're not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. Moreover, there are allergy sufferers around the world echoing ...

Low-allergen soybean could have high impact

In the United States, nearly 15 million people and 1 in 13 children suffer from food allergy. In Arizona alone, every classroom contains at least two children with a food allergy.

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Allergy

Allergy is a disorder of the immune system often also referred to as atopy. Allergic reactions occur to normally harmless environmental substances known as allergens; these reactions are acquired, predictable, and rapid. Strictly, allergy is one of four forms of hypersensitivity and is called type I (or immediate) hypersensitivity. It is characterized by excessive activation of certain white blood cells called mast cells and basophils by a type of antibody known as IgE, resulting in an extreme inflammatory response. Common allergic reactions include eczema, hives, hay fever, asthma, food allergies, and reactions to the venom of stinging insects such as wasps and bees.

Mild allergies like hay fever are highly prevalent in the human population and cause symptoms such as allergic conjunctivitis, itchiness, and runny nose. Allergies can play a major role in conditions such as asthma. In some people, severe allergies to environmental or dietary allergens or to medication may result in life-threatening anaphylactic reactions and potentially death.

A variety of tests now exist to diagnose allergic conditions; these include testing the skin for responses to known allergens or analyzing the blood for the presence and levels of allergen-specific IgE. Treatments for allergies include allergen avoidance, use of anti-histamines, steroids or other oral medications, immunotherapy to desensitize the response to allergen, and targeted therapy.

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