View Full Version : I think I might be allergic to my dogs!

23rd July 2009, 12:28 AM
I am so worried, I think I may have developed an allergy to my dogs. I have had moderate allergies/asthma for years which has been controlled with medication. I had testing done many years ago which showed that I was mildly allergic to just about every pollen/grass/tree known to man, along with dust, down feathers, mold etc... The one thing I tested negative for was animals which was a huge relief to me since I love animals and have always had a menagerie of dogs/cats/small mammals. In recent years, I have discovered that certain things I am allergic to (specifically down feathers and cigarette smoke -2nd hand of course) give me a nasty cough that lingers as long as I am around the offending substance. Well, over the past couple of weeks I have developed the same type of cough and the only time it seems to go away is when I am not near the dogs! It is the absolute worst at night, which would make sense since my babies sleep on the bed (Lucy often with her head on my pillow). I have changed all my bedding, washed my hair before bed etc...all the things that should remove pollen and other outdoor substances from my bed. I have even bathed the dogs but I am still coughing at night. I have an appointment with my allergist on Friday but probably will only get additional meds (no testing because I have been on too many antihistamines the past few days to get an accurate test result). I don't know what I will do if my babies are the ones making me sick. My cough is bad enough that I am unable to sleep at night and I am beyond exhausted from the lack of sleep. I would not even consider giving them up unless my situation became life threatening but I am thinking I may have to banish them from my bed. I am so sad at the thought of it.

brid kenny
23rd July 2009, 12:55 AM
First of all I'm so sorry you are going through this. A year into owning Phoebe I started to realise I was allergic to Her. It was mild, but there all the same. First thing I did was get them out of my bed and room.....which was a battle in itself!
Every evening when I come home from work I Hoover the kitchen which is where we spend most of our time. I Hoover their chair ( I now have a second dog). I wipe down the surfaces and sometimes wash the floor. I keep a clutter free house so that dust and dander can't gather and it makes it much easier to keep the house clean.
I bathe them every so often but I find they shed so much after they are dry!
This has made a huge difference and I don't really have symptoms now.
Best of luck and let us know how you're getting on.

23rd July 2009, 02:32 AM
I found I was allergic to my new parrot and was quite desperate to keep her but I was becoming very wheezy and coughing around her. I bought a Daikin Air Filter after a long chat with the firm, it has a Photocatalytic Air Purifier and comes with a filter that lasts for seven years so no hidden extras. It wasn't cheap, around 300 I think, but it sure did the trick and I can tolerate her sitting on my shoulder now with no problems. Cleaning her cage doesn't cause me a problem either so obviously I am delighted.


brid kenny
23rd July 2009, 09:41 AM
Wow that sounds amazing Ruth.

23rd July 2009, 10:46 AM
That Air purifier looks great. Well worth the money if it works.

23rd July 2009, 03:18 PM
Sorry to hear this and it must be very frustrating and worrying. One thing that is known with allergies and asthma is that if you have an allergy to one thing this often seems to set off allergies to other things -- so yes, it is quite possible you have developed an allergy to the dogs. Your allergist will almost certainly recommend taking steps to manage the dogs, as well as doing tests to see if you are allergic.

As Brid notes I would absolutely get them out of your room, especially out of the bed, and keep the bedroom off limits -- it is really important to have at least one room that is dog-free as much as possible and the bedroom is an absolute must. Also a good air purifier does help but only covers a certain area so often you need them both up and downstairs in a split level house for example. In addition you will want to get a top grade HEPA filter vacuum that can deal with pet hair and dander. I'd get rid of carpets and rugs too -- anything that will shelter dander, hair, dust mites etc.

Dogs adjust very quickly to a different sleeping arrangement -- they are creatures of habit so it really is just resetting their habit. At times I had all my cats in my room, then all my dogs. But I reached a point where I finally admitted my own sleep was suffering with four dogs shifting around, and they now are in a separate room. They were used to being crated when homeboarded at night so that wasn't a major change but it was for them in my house, where the habit was coming to my room. So it took about a week for them all to adjust -- the first couple of days were hardest as they couldn;t figure out what was going on but getting a biscuit each night at bedtime sure helped! Now they all tear into their bedroom and crates and wait for their treat and are silent til I let them out the next morning. Now, I really enjoy the non-dog time I have first thing in the morning -- I can get a shower, some juice, do some initial odds and ends without dogs underfoot before I take them all out for their morning walk. :)

26th July 2009, 11:15 PM
Thanks everyone for your replies. The allergist put me a bunch of different meds (two inhalers, nasal spray and oral medication) and I am feeling a lot better but I am definitely going to have to banish my babies from my bedroom. The doc said that even if I am not allergic to the dogs, I am allergic to whatever comes in on their fur from the outside and sleeping with them is just going to exacerbate the problem. I went out today and bought them a giant sized doggy bed and my older son asked if we can try out having them sleep in his room so I agreed to give it shot. I will put a baby gate in front of the door to keep them in there. Wish me luck because I know the dogs are not going to be thrilled with the change of sleeping arrangements but I think they will be happier sleeping with a person in the room rather than being locked in their crate at night. If they don't adjust to my son's room then their crate downstairs will be option number two. I will be very sad to not have my cuddly babies with me every morning when I wake up but I can live with it if it means I don't have to give them up. I will let everyone know how it turns out.

27th July 2009, 12:41 AM
The dogs may not be thrilled, but don't let them make you feel guilt you about it, either. Our Cav sleeps in her crate (still a puppy) in the kitchen. She can't wait to go into her crate, as she gets a kibble treat for it!:fool: