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Question: My daughter was diagnosed with asthma at age 4. I then discovered when our cat licked her and she got hives, that she was allergic go the cat. We got rid of the cat and she has been fine ever since. Are asthmatic kids routinely tested for this?

DR.PAUL: If a child is allergic to cats the asthma will not likely be controlled unless the cat leaves the home. The cat antigen is very irritating to humans, and even if a cat is only in the basement, for example, the dander will be all over the house as it gets airborne very easily. Asthmatics may even get a reaction by walking into a room where there was a cat, say 2 months ago. So yes, if there is a cat in the house, asthmatic kids should be tested because getting rid of the cat in this context, will increase asthma control and decrease medication need/use. Once you get rid of the cat, it takes up to 6 months before the entire cat antigen has left the home environment. Click here to visit Dr.Paul's Asthma Corner.

Pediatrician DR.PAUL Roumeliotis is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The information provided above is designed to be an educational aid only. It is not intended to replace the advice and care of your child's physician, nor is it intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. If you suspect that your child has a medical condition always consult a physician.

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