Depressed--my search may be over before it starts

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

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Barked: Mon Nov 5, '12 6:00am PST 
Three weeks ago, we visited a breeder and met her dogs. I had a great time meeting everyone, but when we got in the car to go home, I noticed my hands were itchy. In a few minutes my hands were covered in what appeared to be hives. I have never had a reaction like that from anything. The breed we were visiting (Barbet) requires a lot of grooming and I chalked it up to a shampoo or other grooming product that irritated my hands.

Well, we visited a lab breeder yesterday and I was so excited. Her dogs were terrific. We were considering and adult dog from her and we really clicked with one of the dogs. Then, again, I got hives all over my hands. They showed up when one of the dogs repeatedly licked my hands. My hands are still a mess.

I think I have some sort of sudden allergy to dogs. I have always had a cat allergy, but never to dogs. Eight years ago, we had a dog. A massive shedder--never had a problem. We visited 3 breeders over the summer--no issues. We spent lots of time with my brother's dog. My best friend's golden is a confirmed licker and I had no reaction whatsoever.

How can I be on this earth for nearly 40 years and just have an issue now? So frustrated. I guess I will be admiring dogs from afar until further notice.

Akita Pals- Always.
Barked: Mon Nov 5, '12 7:15am PST 
So sorry that has happened to you. Allergies can develop suddenly no mater what your age. I wish that was not the case seeing how badly you seem to want a dog in your life.hugwishes

Please, be nice - ... or else!
Barked: Mon Nov 5, '12 8:09am PST 
I'm surprised you reacted that way with Barbets. Years ago, our vet had something similar to what you described, specifically with Dobe's and Great Danes - something in the oils I assumed; he had to wear gloves when treating them.

Anyways, on a brighter note, keep looking. Chances are you'll be able to find a breed with which you're okay. As an allergy sufferer myself, I can tell you it's not necessarily the "hypo-allergenic" breeds which might work for you...

Also know that, even within a given breed, your tolerance may vary, as dog's individual chemistry is not consistent one to another (I'm fine with our own Black Russian Terrier, but react to our friend's BRT - and she's a distant cousin of our boy - go figure). You could be allergic to oils in the skin, dander or saliva, not to mention particular shampoos or other hair/parasite treatments.

If and when you find your breed, make sure you spend as much time as possible at the breeder of your choice. Hopefully, things will work out.

Again, don't give up too easily, and best of luck ! ! !

blue dog


Barked: Mon Nov 5, '12 9:43am PST 
Talk to an allergist! You don't have to rule out all dog breeds with fur either, some of my family members don't react to certain breeds that are not considered hypoallergenic. There is also the immunotherapy option that you can get to completely desensitize yourself to the allergy...not invasive, complicated, or costly either.

Member Since
Barked: Mon Nov 5, '12 11:04am PST 
Thanks, everyone. I am just so frustrated that after years of waiting, another obstacle has shown up. I will talk to my doctor and perhaps get allergy testing done again. It's been years since I had any testing done. I am very allergic to leaf mold, and it's definitely that time of year. Hope visiting during this season was not a mistake.

I just don't want to get a dog if there is any chance I would have to give it up. Not fair to the dog. So, we will definitely push things back until we get more info.

Niki--tell me about the immunotherapy. I had a year or so of shots when I was a child and they really helped. I would be willing to do that again.

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Mon Nov 5, '12 11:20am PST 
I would talk to your doctor, research different breeds and their dander, Claritin...something...there must be a way to work around it. Best buddy has always had a dog, and incredible allergies to pet dander. He can live with a dog and pet my cats but need to keep everything away from his face or he wheezes. There must be a breed out there for you eventuallyrainbowrainbowrainbow

Barked: Mon Nov 5, '12 11:41am PST 
OMD, I feel so bad for you. That must really suck to be a dog lover and then suddenly become so allergic. Looks like you've gotten some great ideas from other posters though. I would first find out what it is in the dog that you're allergic to. There's a lady at my church who really loves dogs and really wants one, but she's very allergic to the oils in their skin to the point where she can't breathe. Therefore, she can't even go and visit other people's dogs. Gosh I hope there's a breed out there for you. I think I would kill myself if I was allergic to pets. laugh out loud

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
Barked: Mon Nov 5, '12 12:59pm PST 
I also have severe allergies. I have the highest IgE levels in my current doctor's practice, which means I'm off the charts atopic. It took me a very long time to get to the point where I knew I could keep my own dog. I worked for people handling their dogs for many years, but couldn't live with dogs. First I started by seeing a top notch allergist and getting immunotherapy. It helped, but it's not a cure. There is no cure for allergies, just lessening your body's immune response to tolerable levels. Also, I've found that meds don't work all that well for me. The ones that do work make me too tired to function (yes even the so-called non-drowsy ones) so I can only take them when I'm not working.

I still can be nowhere near cats even after immunotherapy, but I can coexist happily with dogs. You're starting off right, you must meet the dog in person to gauge your reaction. Research even shows that black dogs and black cats are more easily tolerated and that some breeds do cause much less of a reaction in many people. My allergist doctor has poodles for a reason. There may be no true hypo allergenic dogs, but poodles are pretty close. Barbets have a similar coat type, but their skin oils for water work may have set you off. I found a black Airedale, std. poodle mix through a breeder I knew that had an oops litter. I visited her at 4 weeks to gauge my reaction to her saliva, and again before taking her full time at 8 weeks. She's three now and I'm still doing well. I get along best with dogs that have hair type coats that need clipping like poodles and terriers. GSDs and huskies I can only admire from afar...

Be honest with the breeder about your condition, most will have it in their contract that they'll take back their dog. For that reason and many others, going with a good breeder is likely your best bet. I don't mean to be a downer, just that you can do all the right things and still your body might not co-operate (like me with cats...oh and guinea pigs send me to the hospital). But it is highly likely that you can find the right combination of the choice of dog breed, and individual dog of that breed that you're ok with, ways to control your immune response (be it through medication and/or immunotherapy) and controlling your environment at home (hardwood floors are your friend). It takes a lot of trial and error though, because with allergies everything is so individualized.

Best of luck to you. Find a good understanding breeder and you have to meet the individual pup you're considering in person. Find a good allergist. I know how heartbreaking this can be and how much hard work it is...feel free to pm me if you want more specifics. I was a frustrated dog lover for decades and finally got things to line up right.

We don't doodle!
Barked: Mon Nov 5, '12 1:29pm PST 
Years ago I sold a lab pup to a young man. The first time he visited, he was absolutely covered in hives and welts where ever that pup touched him. I was apalled and convinced he couldn't take the dog. He told me that has ALWAYS happened to him BUT only for three or four days, then, like magic, he is fine.
I assured him I would take the pup back if need be, in fact I held his check. When he picked up the pup he was again covered with hives, but I checked with him a few days later and all was well.
Maybe you can be so lucky???
And, as Lucille mentioned... my cousin and her three children are deathly allergic to yellow AND chocolate labs but have no issues at all with black ones.

Barked: Mon Nov 5, '12 1:47pm PST 
You could look into rescues older than 2 years old I think the coat should be mostly developed by then. It's not raising a dog from a puppy but you could still own one. Or a breeder may have had a dog back as an adult that needs a good home.

Edited by author Mon Nov 5, '12 1:51pm PST

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