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    dogs and asthma
    amcate posted:
    I found as a teenager that animals really help me emotionally. Unfortunately, right when I got to the point that I could afford them, my asthma got more severe. The general practitioner I was seeing laughed when I mentioned I wanted to live with a cat, "you can try, but be ready to give the cat up". I tried, and my asthma didn't do well, so the cat went back to the shelter...I felt bad for the cat, so paid for all shots and normal vet bills to make her more adoptable and told the shelter she was a good cat, but my asthma was dangerously low and that I loved the cat.

    So, now it's 12 years later, and I really want an animal. I'm considering a dog even though I like cats better. Do dogs aggravate asthma as well? I've heard that there are breeds that are "nonallergenic", but I probably couldn't afford those, and I prefer to go to a shelter or the pound anyway to get an animal that would otherwise be euthanized.

    I'll be searching the internet as well, but didn't know if anyone here knows if dogs aggravate asthma, and if they do, is it as bad as cats? Of course, every asthmatic is different, but I'm asking as a general rule of thumb.

    sgbl88 responded:
    Dogs do tend to cause fewer problems in general for asthmatics, but there is no such thing as an allergy proof pet. Well, maybe a pet rock.

    Have you had allergy testing recently? Are you allergic to dogs?

    The allergen is a protein in the animal's saliva and urine. Since cats lick themselves much more than dogs do, they do pose a bigger problem. Also, you can control where a dog goes more than you can a cat.

    If you decide to get a dog, be sure to bathe it regularly and keep it our of you bedroom. Any shorter haired breed would be a better choice as well as less pollen and outdoor allergens will collect in their fur.

    You may want to consider a bird or and exotic pet as well. I personally would stay away from pot bellied pigs as I know I am allergic to them. I used to work at a school where there was a hog farm to the south ease. Whenever the wind came from that direction, I was miserable. Also, we had a hog hair air filter (strongly recommended by a HVAC man) or a while. I was sick the entire time we had the thing. As soon as we got rid of it, I started getting better. I you know cedar bedding is bad or you, do not get a pet that requires it.

    I hope that helps you some.
    Take care and God bless.
    Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end... Ye shall seek me, and find [me]
    Aqua14 responded:
    I agree with Sonja.

    The many people I know who are allergic to cats are SUPER allergic to them, but dog allergies don't seem to be as bad. Before I started allergy shots I used to be allergic to dogs but it wasn't my worse allergy (and now it's pretty much gone).

    Consider getting a smaller dog, which would throw off less dander because of the simple fact that it's smaller. And you might want to opt for a dog with short hair that doesn't have to be groomed or brushed or require much upkeep. Maybe you should spend some time over at a friend's house who has a dog to test out the effect of dog dander on your asthma?

    Hope these thoughts help. Take care. Judy
    cwille replied to Aqua14's response:
    wow now this is strange, i haven't been on for a little while and than when i do get on sure enough somebody has the same exact problem as i had this week. I was in the hospital this past week for my myasthanis gravis, (another problem) when one of the volunteers decided to bring a "therapy" dog to the floor , now i love dogs, always had them growing up, but as soon as this gentleman brought the dog to my room i had to ask him to leave, within a half hour i was in a full fledge asthma attack , kind of strange when my allergies are suppose to be to anyway it was a real beautiful dog with long white hair. I just couldn't understand why they where bringing a dog to the surgery patients floor, (that's where they put me) oh well, hope everybody is doing fine,

    god bless
    Aqua14 replied to cwille's response:
    Pets are supposed to help healing.....but they won't bring them into your room if they know you're allergic. My son was in the hospital last fall and they gave us a "permission slip" to fill out giving our opinion of whether a therapy dog should visit or not. I noted he was allergic to dogs and I don't think the dog came in the ward at all.

    People with allergies do tend to develop more allergies as they age (if they have not had allergy shots) so maybe you have developed an allergy to dog dander. Or maybe the dog had pollen on its coat (if you are allergic to pollen).

    Anyway, sorry the dog did not help your healing, what a drag. Take care & good luck. Judy
    cwille replied to Aqua14's response:
    actually it is a drag, because i love dogs, but what happened according to the nurses they just showed up with it, nobody knew he was coming, i don't fault the volunteer because it was a beautiful dog, anyway for some reason i have become allergic to dogs, maybe your right, it could have had pollen or dander, anyway thanks for the reply.
    amcate responded:
    Thank you everyone for your reply. I have great difficulty expressing myself in a clear and concise manner, especially in writing. So, bear with me.

    Through my research, I found dog breeds don't that give off as much dander, namely poodles and wirey haired terriers. When I got the cat above, I was in an apartment. The other animals I've lived with had a house and a yard. So, I've been trying to figure out if I can provide a dog a humane living situation in an apartment.

    I do okay with any animal as long as I'm just visiting. The problems with the cat showed up after living with it for 3 or 4 weeks.

    I tried to adopt, but I'm honest to a fault, and I mentioned my ignorance of how to care for dogs in apartments and tried to get information. I didn't want to adopt unless I had the facilities to care for the dog. Since I had trouble expressing myself clearly and concisely, they interpreted my questions as if I was not committed to the dog and so refused the adoption.

    I have a neighbor who volunteers at the city animal shelter and he's known me for 1.5 years, so knows I care about animals as I visit his dog. He's been good at explaining things to me, and I said, "I just couldn't provide a perfect home, and dogs like to run outside." He said, "you would care about the dog, it wouldn't be a perfect situation, but it is better than the care they get at the pound, and better than the chopping block...I would feel comfortable with you adopting because you are responsible and caring toward animals."

    Right now, I'm doing the financial estimates, and coming up with an initial plan of action with my neighbor's help. I will also go by my allergist and get new allergy testing done as I've not had it done in 12 years. So, I'm still researching things.

    Cwillie: What Aqua wrote is true. It is common in healthcare settings to have dogs visit. Some nursing homes even have Eden Alternatives, where dogs, cats, birds, small mammals live in the nursing home. In the place I work, we have dogs that visit and they normally ask the patient if they would like to say hello to the dogs before bringing the dog into the patient's room or close to them. I've seen some patients say, "No, I hate dogs. Get them away" and they'll respect it. I'm surprised the handlers didn't ask you before bringing the dog into your room. I agree, it is a drag. I love having an animal as a companion. I'm hoping to find one I can be companions with and still be able to breathe.
    amcate replied to sgbl88's response:
    Well, I think my apartment manager might have an issue with me bringing in a pot bellied pig into the apartment ...and yes, I know I neglected to mention I live in an apartment. The image just makes me laugh.
    Bobbie1717 responded:
    I am Asthmatic also. I know that you should be tested for allergies, and during that test they will test you for pet dander. That is the only way to find out if you are allergic to any dog, cat, bird etc.
    Not all Asthmatics are allergic to pets. I have a cat and am not allergic to her. I have had allergy test on a regular basis and my test are negative to allergies of cats or dogs.
    I hope you can be tested and find out what your allergies are.

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