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Allergic to your pet

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Luke

I came, I saw, I- chewed.
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 6, '12 4:37am PST 
I've had Luke for about a month now. It's obvious that I'm allergic to him, which is the bad news. The good news is that I'm already on meds for Spring, Summer, and Fall because of seasonal allergies. So, I'm not opposed to just taking them throughout winter too. I'm not giving up Luke so please don't suggest that.

Right now, during allergy season, my doctor has me on Zyrtec, Mucinex D, and Flonase everyday. I have eustachian tube dysfunction so any sinus problems usually have me in the specialist's office for steroids and antibiotics. But now that Luke is here, it might be worth it for me to go to an allergist and see about shots. Anyone tried these?

The symptoms are sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, rash/hives where my skin has made contact with Luke, sinus congestion, and on bad days, my asthma will jump in to play too. The meds that control my seasonal allergies also work for my allergies to Luke so I'm not really changing much, other than taking them in winter. I might need to add Singular or Advair to the mix to keep the asthma more under control.

So, vacuum like crazy, thinking of having the furniture professionally cleaned and then using slipcovers so I can wash them frequently. Is there a good shampoo to use for Luke that might help me? I find the allergies are better if I can bathe him regularly. But I need to make sure it's a good brand so his skin doesn't suffer from more frequent bathing. I know that winter is the worst time for pet allergies because you are inside with them more. So, I am anticipating a lot of these symptoms to lessen with the warm weather (just in time for seasonal allergies LOL!).

Anyways, sorry for the rambling post (coffee is still brewing). Any advise on living with your pet and allergies would be greatly appreciated.

ETA: I realized I was allergic to Luke when I ran out of Zyrtec one day. At this time of year, I should have noticed a slight change from skipping a day. But by 9am, I was putting the kids in the car to run to the pharmacy. It was pretty awful.

Edited by author Mon Feb 6, '12 4:43am PST

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Tohbi - Deceased- 10/04/2013

Blue-Eyed Devil
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 6, '12 7:23am PST 
I didn't know I was allergic to dogs until I got Tohbi. All my previous dogs were poodle mixes - so I never had a problem before then.

My symptoms were the same as yours - itchy eyes, sniffles, stuffed up, miserable. Turns out, I was allergic to pretty much everything but mold.

I opted for the shots. Honestly, its the best decision I ever made. I never knew there was life without a box of tissues at hand. Yeah, it was a pain. Yeah, it was expensive. But.. its like a whole world opened up. I still get sniffly from time to time, but its NOTHING like it was before the treatment. And - I take no meds now.
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Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 6, '12 7:34am PST 
I'm a very atopic person, meaning I have asthma/eczema both triggered by severe allergies.

Yes, I have found that allergy shots are helpful. They are basically an injection (or sublingual drop) of a minute amount of the protein you're allergic to...so that your body's immune system can 'learn' how to react to the allergen more appropriately when you encounter it. Once you begin a regimen, you need to keep up with it or you have to go back to the beginning. If you have health insurance, pay attention to what they will actually cover. Very worthwhile to at least try them IMHO. Any good allergist will begin with a full panel test to assess current allergies you have, and they should work closely with your asthma doctor.

Keeping your dog bathed and brushed is huge. I always brush my dog outside even in cold weather and bathe her every few weeks. If your pup's skin seems to be getting too dry, bathe less. Try to find that happy medium. I use my own hair conditioner on my dog, and it's great for her skin and coat. Keep any cloth or draperies to a minimum (allergens tend to stick to them) and vacuum with a HEPA filter frequently. I have leather furniture now, that has helped big time. Hardwood floors are preferable to lots of carpeting.

I don't sleep with Lucille in my bedroom. I need a space that is as allergen-free as possible and it usually makes sense for that to be the bedroom of the asthmatic. Most people I've known can keep their pets as long as they have one room that is kept pet free, as dander free as possible. She's a really big girl, and BF and I prefer that she sleep on her own bed, so that's worked out.

It can be done. I have the highest allergen load of all my docs patients, and I can still live happily with a dog. Good luck!
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Luke

I came, I saw, I- chewed.
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 6, '12 8:04am PST 
Thanks! I agree with the hardwood floors and no drapes. Unfortunately, we are renting this house and it has wall-to-wall carpeting so I'm stuck there. And drapes reduced my heating bill by over $100 a month so I have to keep those (super drafty house). But I brought wash/dry drapes and clean them frequently. I do have a good vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. I don't let Luke sleep in our bed because it's too much for me. He does sleep in our room but on the floor. I'll see if I can find an allergist that can help me with the shots. I've never had a panel done on what exactly I'm allergic to since seasonal allergies were never a huge issue until I moved to Indiana 3 years ago. I know that I'm highly allergic to cats - they trigger an immediate asthma attack. Dust gives me a problem. Probably mold too since Fall drives me bonkers. Last year, I tracked my allergy symptoms and charted them against the daily reports of pollen levels. Ragweed seemed to be a biggie for me. But it would be interesting to know for sure.

Are the shots for the rest of your life? Or is it a series of shots over a few months?
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Tohbi - Deceased- 10/04/2013

Blue-Eyed Devil
 
 
Barked: Tue Feb 7, '12 5:37am PST 
My shots lasted almost 5 years. For the first year - every week. Then every 2 weeks, 3 weeks, etc. The last 2 years were once a month, so that wasn't too bad. It sounds like a horribly long time, but it wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. And I HATE doctors. I just had to go in, sign up, get my shot, wait 20 minutes (to make sure you don't have a bad reaction) and leave.

I've talked two other people in my office into getting immunotherapy. They both agree that it is worth the effort to be allergyt free.
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Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Tue Feb 7, '12 6:20am PST 
Luke, can you tolerate plain baking soda (no fragrance)? I have a few area rugs and I sprinkle them with that before vacuuming. It binds to the dander for easier pickup and freshens the vacuum, too. Basically, anything that you can do to lessen your overall allergen load will help you.

The frequency of allergy shots varies so much from one individual to another. I had to go every week for a year and a half...Sadly my health insurance wouldn't cover the sublingual drops that you can administer yourself. I'm hoping they'll get approved soon, but I bet some allergists hope they don't...

There are a few different kinds of allergy testing. The common skin prick test, the skin allergy patch panel, and blood work for intestinal issues. The results should also be shared with your asthma doctor/pulmonologist because they often identify the worst triggers of your asthma flareups and that info helps them write up your asthma treatment plan.
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Bruno CGC

Honorary Kelpie
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 8, '12 3:30pm PST 
you probably need to get Luke out of your bedroom... the air currents (even just from people moving around) will get his dander into the air from his bed.

Good luck if you try the allergy shots, I have pretty bad seasonal allergies (I think it's mainly grass pollen, maybe tree pollen) in the late spring only, so I just sniffle through them. So glad that (so far) animals don't bother me.
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Thu Feb 9, '12 5:26am PST 
Luke,
You might also want to pick-up a multi-stage air purifier at least for your bedroom. I too have allergies and am not a candidate for the shots but my sister who started the shots and had to stop due to them contributing to loss of kidney function in already damaged kidneys says that putting them in her home has made a huge difference for her,so I have already ordered some and can't wait for them to arrive. Good Luck with the allergies. I know how bad they can make you feel.
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Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Thu Feb 16, '12 6:25pm PST 
Bathing with a good quality shampoo is key... I favor plush puppy Australia, but a lot of people recommend Isle of dog. For shampoos a bit cheaper, Crazy pet, Lambert and Kay's Fresh and Clean/or baking soda are nice. Or you could go with Coat Handler.

Air purifiers can help some

Try keeping him off the furniture and out of the bedroom.

And this is a strange one... but Having him wear clothing that you wash frequently can also limit the dander that flies around the house.
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Thu Feb 16, '12 7:16pm PST 
Luke,just wanted you to know I got my air purifier and amazingly I can breathe. I have woken up every morning since Monday without a stuffy nose or scratchy throat. Hubby also noticed the difference.We plan to add a few more to the house as well.
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