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Caraline
30th April 2008, 03:17 AM
In the news today - ABC News (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/04/30/2231304.htm)


Dogs are 'allergy-busters for children'

By Ashley Hall
Posted 7 minutes ago
If you are the parent of a young child with asthma, you will be well aware of the range of views about whether it is a good idea to have a pet in the house.
A six-year study of 9,000 children in Germany has found they run less risk of being sensitive to allergens if they share their home with a dog.
Professor Guy Marks, the head of the epidemiology group at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, has researched the effectiveness of pets as allergy-busters.
"This research is another piece of evidence which fits with previous research to suggest that there's something about having pets which seems to be associated with protection against development of allergic disease," he said.
"There have now been a number of these studies. Most of them have related to cats, but some like this one relate to dogs.
"I suspect there's nothing specific about pets, about cats and dogs, it's probably a general phenomenon about having household pets.
"What it is about having the pets that's protective still remains unclear."
The study seems to give weight to the theory that children growing up in an environment that is too clean are most vulnerable to allergies.
"That's been one of the interpretations of this type of evidence - that having pets around the house, or not having pets, is associated with a cleaner environment and that that increases your risk of having allergy," he said.

Bacteria exposure


"In fact, they looked in this study at one particular aspect of cleanliness, which is exposure to endotoxin, a substance that's associated with bacteria, to see whether or not that was a marker for reduced cleanliness.
"And in fact, they didn't show an association with endotoxin. So it remains unclear, as I said previously, what the mechanism is - it may or may not be associated with cleanliness."
The study also found the dog had to live at the home, not just be a frequent visitor or infrequent contact with the children for there to be a benefit in this study.
"One of the possible hypotheses is that people who have pets and other behavioural characteristics or other lifestyle characteristics which are associated with protection," Professor Marks said.
"In other words, just having a pet is just a marker for something else in people's life that is the real factor that protects them against developing allergic disease.
"What that would be, I don't know."
Professor Marks says unless a child is already allergic to pets and has symptoms associated with allergy to pets, people do not need to avoid getting pets.
"But ... if you're not a family that otherwise would want to have cats and dogs in the house then you don't need to go out and do that," he said.
"I think in other words what I think it does is free parents to make up their own mind on other grounds, as to whether or not they want to have pets."

Hey, maybe we could all empty out our Dysons & start selling the dust. We could all get rich. :rah:

Bruce H
30th April 2008, 01:22 PM
I should live forever :D

Seriously, though, I have always believed that living in an ultra-clean environment leaves a person vulnerable to all kinds of things. I really think you build up immunities if you are exposed to a certain amount of "stuff".

*Pauline*
30th April 2008, 11:39 PM
I should live forever :D


:lol:

Caraline
1st May 2008, 07:42 AM
I should live forever :D

:lol: Yeah, I reckon I shouldn't do too badly either.

JudyG
1st May 2008, 02:05 PM
I have suffered all my life - so far - with Asthma & Excema & was never allowed pets when I was a child (because my parents aren't animal lovers mainly!) I now have 2 cats & a dog & I can honestly say that my excema is virtually none existent & my asthma is well under control. Obviously medication has a lot to do with that, but having animals around makes me feel less stressed - a key factor in both ailments. Most people are surprised when I tell them I'm asthmatic as it's not that obvious & are even more surprised when I tell them about my menagerie " what! all those pets & you're asthmatic!!" :) There's nothing like having a cat curled up on your lap after a hectic or stressful day or going on a hike with your dog to de-stress! :luv:. I think animals should come on prescription :D

*Pauline*
1st May 2008, 03:00 PM
My daughter is very allergic to cats, she has Asthma. She takes pills if she knows she will be around a cat but she has to keep taking the pills for 3 days. Just this week she put her coat in a bag to take to the cleaners and she was ill again because she had visited someone with a cat wearing that coat.