Human allergies related to dogs

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NewOrleansSaint
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Human allergies related to dogs

Postby NewOrleansSaint » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:28 pm

Hello everybody, not sure if should be here or in misc. (mods feel free to move if necessary).

So my absolutely amazing new gf is allergic to Saint. She loves him to death (almost as much as I do, even) but she is allergic to him. She also has asthma.

My gf does not live with me, but she stays over quite often (at least half of the week.) I try to vacuum as frequently as humanly possible. I vacuum my couch and upholstered chairs too. I wash my bedding and Saint's bedding once a week.

She can love on Saint for a few minutes, but has to wash her hands/arms/face immediately afterward. Sometimes she gets a rash. :sad:

I'm looking for ways to reduce her suffering from allergies when she hangs out at my apartment. I'm (hopefully) closing on a new house this week and I plan to get some sort of allergen filtration system when I move.

I found this site, which has some useful information, despite their best advice being to re-home the pet :po:. But once you get past that part they seem to have several other valid suggestions:

http://www.achooallergy.com/about-animal-dander.asp

Is anyone here allergic to their dogs or have a significant other or kids who are? If so, how do you help alleviate the allergy symptoms?

Has anyone tried one of these allergen reducing shampoos? I would like to get one, but I want to make sure it will not be harsh on Saint's skin. I'm also looking for suggestions on air filters that actually help reduce these allergens.

She had an asthma attack for the first time in years while sleeping over last weekend. :sad: Saint is not allowed on my bed, but he can enter the bedroom because my apartment is shotgun style, so he has to be able to walk through there. This new house (if I get it) is thankfully not a shotgun, so then I can have it to where Saint is not allowed in the bedroom. Hopefully that will help.

Last night, after my gf had to stop petting Saint and wash off her arms that had begun to rash up, she squats down on the floor and says, "I wish I could love on you more Saint, but you make me so itchy." :(

This gf is definitely a keeper and I would like to help her live more comfortably with my boy Saint.

Help.

msvette2u

Re: Human allergies related to dogs

Postby msvette2u » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:34 pm

Zyrtec.
And Singulair. Both have changed my son's life.

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Re: Human allergies related to dogs

Postby NewOrleansSaint » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:38 pm

msvette2u wrote:Zyrtec.
And Singulair. Both have changed my son's life.

I'm not sure what it is, but she has some sort of asthma medicine that she takes daily. She also will have Claratin on-hand and use as necessary.

Did you take any other sort of actions around your home to help alleviate symptoms?

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Re: Human allergies related to dogs

Postby Adrianne » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:42 pm

First things first many people are allergic to dogs per the dogs diet. Have you attempted to try a diet change?

If thats not the case it may be what you bathe him in.

These are pending she's not allergic to all (most) dogs.

In dogs the protein that most humans are allergic to is call Can f1 where as in cats its Fel d1.

Dog albumin, a protein found in the blood, is also an important allergen.

Basically, if she's allergic to the dog itself there isn't much you can do aside from controlling the contact. :( She really should get a skin test to know for sure.

Has she considered a medication? It's possible in theory with treatment of medication and repeated exposure one may eventually develop a resistance to a topical allergy.

msvette2u

Re: Human allergies related to dogs

Postby msvette2u » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:49 pm

I've not heard of that, Adrianne...usually people are allergic to the proteins in a dog's saliva and dander (skin cells).
Wiping the dog with an allergen reducer may help.

We put the dog outside, NOS. My son was a baby and he could not tolerate the dog at all, hives and then asthma, ear infection, etc.
When we moved from Alaska, we left the dog with my husband's brother (it was Jeff's dog before we met him).

For other allergies, we removed carpeting, we still prefer no carpet, we wash bedding, and cover all the bedding with those allergy covers, etc.

The singulair and the Zyrtec (zyrtec is supposed to be better for skin related symptoms) are pills you take orally.
My son is still allergic to horses so we just avoid him being around them.
He did outgrow his dog allergy.

Your gf may be allergic to pointy-haired dogs but not softer fur such as a Sheltie - the pointier fur of a Pit or other shorter haired dog may be more irritating to her.

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Re: Human allergies related to dogs

Postby Adrianne » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:54 pm

msvette2u wrote:I've not heard of that, Adrianne...usually people are allergic to the proteins in a dog's saliva and dander (skin cells).



Can F1 is a protein produced by the dogs body and exposed to humans mostly through the saliva, and in turn dander.

As for the diet often being an issue it travels through the salvia often the same way.

I have met a few people who were allergic to varying dog coats while some did not irritate.

Allergies are interesting stuff... coming form someone who doesn't suffer from them :oops:

a couple links about Can F1 and Fel D1:
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/116/2/S1/542-a
http://www.cababstractsplus.org/abstracts/Abstract.aspx?AcNo=20043128236
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/464830_3

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Re: Human allergies related to dogs

Postby Semper Bull » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:11 pm

With a cat allergy, it is supposed to help if the cat is bathed weekly. I would assume that could also apply to dogs; I do not think that you necessarily have to use an allergen reducing shampoo, though. Is there a gentle shampoo that you already use on Saint? With more frequent bathing, you could try a conditioner or creme rinse to keep Saint's skin from being irritated.

I know for air filters, it depends on the micron size you are trying to filter out. Does your vacuum have a hepa filter on it? That is supposed to keep the allergens form going back into the air as you vacuum.

msvette2u

Re: Human allergies related to dogs

Postby msvette2u » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:14 pm

No, I meant those wipes...I'd refrain from bathing weekly only because it may work to dry the skin out and make more dander :dunno:

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Re: Human allergies related to dogs

Postby pitsnok » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:32 pm

I'm not sure what it is, but she has some sort of asthma medicine that she takes daily. She also will have Claratin on-hand and use as necessary.


From my experience, Claritin is no good. It helps with seasonal outdoor allergies, but I have indoor, and animal allergies along with the typical springtime outdoor problems. I have had the most luck with Zyrtec. My doctor recommends I take Zyrtec at night, and Claritin in the morning, but I have omitted the claritin all together and have no problems at all. I am really allergic to Harlow's saliva and if I don't take a daily Zyrtec I will get hives where she gives kisses. I usually buy the generic version because it is much cheaper, and works just the same. The only downfall I am aware of is that it can cause drowsiness, but I have never had that problem.

Also, I have noticed I seem to build immunity to animals I am around often. New animals will get my allergies in a tizzy, but familiar ones seem to bother me much less. (That could just be the placebo effect or me being crazy though ;) )

Has your girlfriend seen an allergist? My little brother and sister both get weekly allergy shots and their allergies are practically non existant now. My brother had pretty bad asthma and had to do nightly breathing treatments when he was younger, but since the shots started having their effect I don't think he even uses an inhaler anymore. I have been wanting to start the treatment as well, but just can't afford it. Maybe that is something your girlfriend should look in to... especially since you say she is a keeper! It would be worth it for both of you, and for Saint.

msvette2u

Re: Human allergies related to dogs

Postby msvette2u » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:38 pm

Yes, me, my son and daughter (who has many allergies as well but not quite as bad as her brother) all take Zyrtec on a daily basis, well, we take it at night. Every night.

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Re: Human allergies related to dogs

Postby NewOrleansSaint » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:33 am

Adrianne wrote:First things first many people are allergic to dogs per the dogs diet. Have you attempted to try a diet change?

If thats not the case it may be what you bathe him in.

These are pending she's not allergic to all (most) dogs.

In dogs the protein that most humans are allergic to is call Can f1 where as in cats its Fel d1.

Dog albumin, a protein found in the blood, is also an important allergen.

Basically, if she's allergic to the dog itself there isn't much you can do aside from controlling the contact. :( She really should get a skin test to know for sure.

Has she considered a medication? It's possible in theory with treatment of medication and repeated exposure one may eventually develop a resistance to a topical allergy.


I think she is allergic to all dogs. (I couldn't really change Saint's diet anyway because he has a sensitive tummy and it took me forever to find a food that works for him.)

We're both hoping that she can develop a resistance to him. Does this actually happen eventually, or is it just wishful thinking? She's been around him for about 3 months now with no signs of improvement.

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Re: Human allergies related to dogs

Postby NewOrleansSaint » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:37 am

Damn, my vacuum doesn't have a HEPA filter on it. I bought a nice new vacuum right before I met her. :\


msvette2u wrote:No, I meant those wipes...I'd refrain from bathing weekly only because it may work to dry the skin out and make more dander :dunno:


The wipes that your talking about, are they just the normal dog wipes for cleaning up, or do they have special ones to reduce allergens?


Oh and I just asked her: she takes Sigulair and Advair daily.

msvette2u

Re: Human allergies related to dogs

Postby msvette2u » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:04 am

If she's not on Zyrtec, ask her if she could get some, Costco sells 365 of them for like, $17.
I think I have seen allergenic wipes in the pet stores such as Petco/Petsmart.

http://www.google.com/products?hl=en&so ... a=N&tab=wf

Remember that if you have carpets, etc., you will have dander and etc. in them, so if you can, remove as much carpet as you can, then you can keep the floors much cleaner.

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Re: Human allergies related to dogs

Postby Adrianne » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:45 am

NewOrleansSaint wrote:We're both hoping that she can develop a resistance to him. Does this actually happen eventually, or is it just wishful thinking? She's been around him for about 3 months now with no signs of improvement.

It has happened to others but there really is no guarantee nor a time line. I have a good friend with asthma and severe eczema (I believe they go hand in hand?) when the eczema is under control she's fine around dogs but when it's flaring up she can't stand the reaction to dogs.

Everything I read says some people (depends on the strange of their immune system I believe) can develop a tolerance though. I assume its a slow process for the body though.

I would definitely try the zyrtec everyone is speaking of.

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Re: Human allergies related to dogs

Postby Maryellen » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:32 pm

i am allergic to anything with fur or feathers,(and i have no allergies to foods) at first when i had my cat my allergies went nuts, but i built up an immune system to her after a while. if i go by someones house that has a dog or cat my allergies go in full , but every time i go over there they get better as i get used to the animals . you can try allerpet D its found at most vets offices and sometimes pet stores, you rub it on the dog and it keeps the dander down (dried saliva) my soon to be ex has asthma and allergies to animals as well, and when i would bring home a dog he would use his inhaler more for a few weeks until he built up a resistance, he took the regular inhaler and the purple one i forgot its name but it helped. i also used a hepa filter vaccumm and cleaned all the time to help keep it down as well.

if saint goes on your bed change the sheets alot or babygate him out of the bedroom if possible.


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