All Children's Hospital Logo

Health Information Library

Teens > Q&A > Health Conditions & Illnesses > Can I Still Be a Vet If Pet Dander Triggers My Asthma?
Can I Still Be a Vet If Pet Dander Triggers My Asthma?

I'm 15. I have asthma that has gotten worse since last year. I just strengthened my medication, but I was wondering: Can I be a veterinarian if I have asthma and pet dander is a trigger for my flare-ups?
- Haden*

It sounds like you take good care of your asthma, and it's great that you know about the things that "trigger" your flare-ups.

Everyone is different when it comes to asthma triggers. For some people, certain triggers can continue to be problems throughout their lives. But as they get older, others might find that a trigger is less likely to cause an asthma flare.

Exposing yourself to pet dander every day could make your asthma symptoms worse. Next time you visit your doctor, ask what he or she thinks about your plan to become a veterinarian, and whether changes in your medications or other treatments — like allergy shots — might help control your pet-dander allergies better. Your doctor knows you and your particular situation best.

Even with new medicines, though, animals with fur could still cause problems for you. But that doesn't mean you can't work with other animals. If feathers don't trigger your symptoms, you could become involved with bird rescue. Or you could specialize in veterinary medicine for aquatic animals like dolphins or sea turtles.

Reviewed by: Julia Brown Lancaster, MSN, WHNP-BC
Date reviewed: January 2012

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Related Articles
T    Dealing With an Asthma Flare-Up
T    Dealing With Asthma Triggers
T    If I Have Asthma, Can I Keep My Pet?
T    What Can I Do if I'm Allergic to My Cat?
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2015 KidsHealth® All rights reserved. Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and

Additional Info

Pocket Doc Mobile App
Maps and Locations (Mobile)
Programs & Services
For Health Professionals
For Patients & Families
Contact Us
Find a Doctor

All Children's Hospital
501 6th Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 898-7451
(800) 456-4543

Use Normal Template
© 2015 All Children's Hospital - All Rights Reserved