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Charity: Research could lead to dog allergy treatment

The Charity Allergy UK have said the research into cat allergies could be a "big step forward" in understanding allergic reactions, even suggesting the findings could lead to treatments for dog allergies.

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have discovered that a common cause of reactions is found in cat allergen.

Allergy UK's Director of Clinical Services Maureen Jenkins said:

This new information identifying the specific receptor interaction in the immune system could pave the way for treatments for those with persistent disease triggered by cat allergen and, in the future, potentially dog and house dust mite allergen.

– Maureen Jenkins, Allergy UK

New research reveals how cat allergies are triggered

Cats are among the most common pet allergies. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Scientists have discovered how allergic reactions to cats are sparked, leading to new hopes of a preventative treatment.

Scientists at the University of Cambridge discovered that the common cause of reactions is found in cat allergen, which triggers a large immune response in sufferers including coughing, wheezing and sneezing.

Lead author of the research Dr Clare Bryant said she hoped the research would "lead to new and improved treatments for cat and possibly dog allergy sufferers."

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Pet owners 'must take full responsibility'

Each year there are awful stories of dogs attacking pets and people, sometimes with fatal consequences.

Tackling this begins with owners and breeders taking full responsibility for their dogs' behaviour and adequately socialising and training them from a young age.

It is also essential that young people understand how to be safe around all pets and learn how to become caring and responsible owners in the future.

In PDSA's view, this should include learning about a pet's five welfare needs at school as well as from other responsible adults around them.

– PDSA senior veterinary surgeon, Sean Wensley

Owners 'are failing pets'

A majority of dogs, at 61%, had not attended training classes within their first six months of life, according to the findings.

The charity say owners are failing pets Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Archive

The research forms part of the second PDSA animal well-being report which claims obesity, aggression and illness are set to take over the pet population if they are not tackled.

An estimated 18.5 million dogs, cats and rabbits are being fed unsuitable diets and treats in spite of their owners knowing about the health risks, the report said.

The charity warned that an estimated 11.2 million pets are not vaccinated or neutered leaving them at "serious" risk of developing potentially fatal illnesses.

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