‘What’s Up Doc’ is a health column in association with The Crawley Observer, which gives you the opportunity to ask questions regarding general health and wellbeing.
Answers are provided weekly from our specialist consultants at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital, Surrey. If it’s a long-standing illness or simply a worry which you would like to get off your mind then we would like to help.
This question appeared in The Crawley Observer on Wednesday, to readers across Surrey and Sussex. The question and answer is below, as it appeared in the newspaper. If you have a question you'd like featured please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Read the response by Mr Rubaiyat Haque, consultant allergist:
Dr Haque's consultant profile
Dear Doc, I think my 18 month old baby has a suspected dog and cat allergy. I have noticed her eyes watering, nose running and sometimes wheezing. I have been observing that this happens if in contact with pets but I could be wrong. Is there any way you could help me get to the bottom of this and find out exactly what it is? Thanks, Laura, Peace Pottage.
Dr Haque's response:
Dear Laura, your child's symptoms could indeed be due to an animal allergy, but before getting rid of any pets, I would recommend that you consult an allergist for some skin prick testing. This involves placing a few small drops on your daughter's forearm and pricking each one with a metal lancet. Each drop contains protein extracts from a different animal and if your child is allergic, then an itchy red bump will appear at the site of the drop after about 10 minutes.
The test is quite simple but interpretation is not always straightforward. An allergist would be able to help you out with this and also advise you on all the treatment options available.