Allergic and wheezing, but still keeping pets (CNN report)

26% of European adults coming to the clinic for suspected allergy to inhalant allergens are sensitised to cats and 27% to dogs (Consensus document on dog and cat allergy

From CNN:

Consider the facts:

- 10 million American pet owners have allergies
- Allergies caused by protein in animal dander, saliva or urine, not by hair
- Belief that certain breeds are hypoallergenic is "a complete misconception"
- Medications available to treat symptoms, but best remedy is not to have pets

Patients' opinion:

Like the 10 million American pet owners with allergies, the Coronados faced a dilemma: Can human and dog co-exist in the same house? "Our lives are so enriched because we have dogs and cats," she said.

Doctors' opinion:

"There's nothing that can be done except for avoidance. There's no cure. You're exposing yourself to high levels of allergens in your home. We generally recommend they should not have a pet. It's not recommended."

However, fewer than 50% of cat-allergic individuals report direct cat exposure (at home or elsewhere) (JACI, 2012).

More recently from WSJ: Pet Allergies No Deterrent for Determined Owners - Many endure wheezing, hives and more - WSJ

Mind map: Indoor allergens (click to enlarge the image).

Mind map: Animal Dander Avoidance (click to enlarge the image).

See more Allergy and Immunology mind maps at


Allergic and wheezing, but still keeping pets. CNN, 12/2008.
CNN: What to do if you're allergic to your pet
From the Blogosphere: Barrack Obama's Daughter Has Asthma, Gets a Hypoallergenic Dog
Indoor Allergen Avoidance. Allergy Cases.
Nonallergenic Dog? Not Really. NYTimes, 1997.
Hypoallergenic dogs won't help allergy sufferers much, says study
Dealbreaker: He's Allergic to My Cat. GOOD magazine, 2012.
"You might think you’ve found the perfect dog or cat to suit your allergies, but experts say it doesn’t exist"
Hypoallergenic dog breeds, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Image source: Yellow Labrador Retriever, Wikipedia, GNU Free Documentation License.

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating. I was always told that certain dogs were hypoallergenic because they had "hair" as opposed to "fur".

    From my own experience, as an allergy sufferer, I can bury my nose in a poodle for hours without so much as a sniffle. Same thing with coton de tulear. But one whiff of a hound-type dog and my eyes start itching and my nose runs. Labs and such are somewhere in between. As a child, even our chihuahua set off my allergies, if I let it lick me too much or if it slept on my pillow.

    Cats, on the other hand, should be outlawed. In our family, we refer to allergies as "cat-nose" ;-)