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Old 02-15-2011, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Metro DC area
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Default Son Has Asthma & Allergies...Get Rid of Dogs??

My 8 year old son has asthma (diagnosed 1 year ago) and is allergic to dogs (found out about 1 month ago). We've had one dog (non-shedding lhaso-poo) for 5 years, the other (shedding pug) for about 1.5 years. The allergist says that it's necessary to get rid of dogs. My son's breathing issues seem to be agitated by the dogs and I know it makes the most sense, health-wise, to get rid of the dogs. Though I love them, I love my son more and wouldn't want to jeopardize his health.

I'm just feeling majorly guilty. To be honest, it's sometimes a pain being a dog-owner, but I can't imagine not having them around. The allergist did say that my son will need to take allergy shots in the spring (he's also really allergic to pollen, grass, trees, etc), but says that the best solution to control his asthma is to get the dogs out of the home.

What do I do?? (or is the choice obvious??)
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Dallas, Tx
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My boyfriends sister is allergic to everything. The best thing their parents did for her was rip out the carpet in their house and put down tile and she didn't let the dogs in her room. Keep clothes, toys, blankets, etc away from the dogs, put up, locked in a room so the hair can't get on it.

If you choose to keep the dogs, your son will probably have to be on allergy medicine 365 days a year, but for me it's worth it to keep my dogs.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:00 PM
 
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Step one: find another allergist! One who is willing to work with you.

My SO has been severely asthmatic and allergic all of his life. We live with two (used to be three) cats and a dog.

He worked with his allergist to come up with a regimen that works for him (in his case Advair and a daily Claritin). Bonus points? He hasn't had to use his rescue inhaler in years.

We've made sure to get rid of all pet-hair/dander-traps in our home. ALL rugs, window coverings and slipcovers can go in the washer. We have only hard-surface flooring. We sweep 2-3 times per week with a vacuum with a HEPA filter.

Good luck and best wishes!
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Metro DC area
4,498 posts, read 1,811,888 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaime_mac View Post
My boyfriends sister is allergic to everything. The best thing their parents did for her was rip out the carpet in their house and put down tile and she didn't let the dogs in her room. Keep clothes, toys, blankets, etc away from the dogs, put up, locked in a room so the hair can't get on it.

If you choose to keep the dogs, your son will probably have to be on allergy medicine 365 days a year, but for me it's worth it to keep my dogs.
Our home has hardwood (with rugs) and carpet (in bedrooms). We rent, so ripping up the carpet is not an option. My lhaso-poo doesn't like to be left alone, so he often tries to sneak into either my daughter or son's room, and when I shoo him out and close the door, he camps out in front of son's closed door. When I think of all the times he's slept curled up next to my son, I feel so guilty not knowing how it was affecting his heath!

Re: allergy medicine. What type? Allergy shots? My son does two pumps of Flovent daily and has Albuterol for instances where he will be particularly active. Next allergist appt is at the end of the month where I expect the doc to ask what I've decided about the dogs. The doc's concern with my son being dependent on the inhaler is that he says it could stunt his growth....NOT something I'm willing to risk.

I'm very torn. As an adult, I can make the decision to have a pet knowing the trade-off would be daily medicine...not sure how I feel about subjecting my son to this just because I want to keep the dogs.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Metro DC area
4,498 posts, read 1,811,888 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plaidmom View Post
Step one: find another allergist! One who is willing to work with you.

My SO has been severely asthmatic and allergic all of his life. We live with two (used to be three) cats and a dog.

He worked with his allergist to come up with a regimen that works for him (in his case Advair and a daily Claritin). Bonus points? He hasn't had to use his rescue inhaler in years.

We've made sure to get rid of all pet-hair/dander-traps in our home. ALL rugs, window coverings and slipcovers can go in the washer. We have only hard-surface flooring. We sweep 2-3 times per week with a vacuum with a HEPA filter.

Good luck and best wishes!
Re: pet-hair & dander-traps. We rent our home, so it's not possible to rip up carpeting (present in bedrooms). Our living room and family room has area rugs....with 4 children (including a 2 y/o), I'm not sure how it will work not having a soft floor surface.

All of this seems like it's totally doable, but I'm wondering how realistic it is with 4 children? I keep my house clean, but my husband and I work outside of the home and I usually save my housework until the weekend. Just imagining doing my usual litany of chores on top of washing window coverings, rugs, etc is enough to give me a nightmare!

Ugh....I have to really figure this all out. Thanks for your input. Love the idea of the vacuum w/ the HEPA filter. Will ask allergist about this cleaning option.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Dallas, Tx
1,203 posts, read 2,096,038 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChocLot View Post
Our home has hardwood (with rugs) and carpet (in bedrooms). We rent, so ripping up the carpet is not an option. My lhaso-poo doesn't like to be left alone, so he often tries to sneak into either my daughter or son's room, and when I shoo him out and close the door, he camps out in front of son's closed door. When I think of all the times he's slept curled up next to my son, I feel so guilty not knowing how it was affecting his heath!

Re: allergy medicine. What type? Allergy shots? My son does two pumps of Flovent daily and has Albuterol for instances where he will be particularly active. Next allergist appt is at the end of the month where I expect the doc to ask what I've decided about the dogs. The doc's concern with my son being dependent on the inhaler is that he says it could stunt his growth....NOT something I'm willing to risk.

I'm very torn. As an adult, I can make the decision to have a pet knowing the trade-off would be daily medicine...not sure how I feel about subjecting my son to this just because I want to keep the dogs.
Since there is carpet in the bedroom with no way of removing it I would keep the dogs out of his bedroom forever. Second I would vacuum daily in his room, and possibly get a steam cleaner (can be rented usually from Home Depot) and do some serious carpet cleaning in his room. Clean all of his clothes and sheets and furniture, but main thing would be keeping the dogs OUT!

Like PP stated I would find an allergist that is willing to work with you on keeping the dogs, not one that is insisting on getting rid of them.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Metro DC area
4,498 posts, read 1,811,888 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaime_mac View Post
Since there is carpet in the bedroom with no way of removing it I would keep the dogs out of his bedroom forever. Second I would vacuum daily in his room, and possibly get a steam cleaner (can be rented usually from Home Depot) and do some serious carpet cleaning in his room. Clean all of his clothes and sheets and furniture, but main thing would be keeping the dogs OUT!

Like PP stated I would find an allergist that is willing to work with you on keeping the dogs, not one that is insisting on getting rid of them.
Thanks for your response. If you don't mind answering, can you tell me what you'd suggest for other living areas of the house. Our living and family rooms has area rugs. I have a 2 year old and need the soft surface (my kids do a lot of lounging on the floor). If I vacuum this carpet everyday, will this work or do the rugs have to be removed completely? What about other fabrics throughout the home (throws, window coverings, etc)....clean those daily(!) as well?
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Rural Western TN
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personally i would NOT be giving up the dogs...
im allergic to some dogs (its a dander allergy) cats (saliva) and bird dander...
i have 2 dogs, a cat and 3 birds and live with another cat and 4 more dogs some of which are heavy seasonal shedders.

firstly you know hes going to need an allergy shot for other allergies come spring so why not just add the winter months as well and cover the dog allergies? if hes going to be needing/getting the shot anyway...it just seems to make mroe sense.

secondly, keep the dogs out of your sons room...if you have to put a baby gate on to make it easier to keep the dogs out, do that or keep the door closed, no more sharing the room/bed with the dog. i would also swap out pillowcases and sheets for ones made specifically for folks with allergies, they hold less dust/dander/pollen/air pollutants than normal cotton ect...

thirdly invest in a GOOD hepa filter pet vacume...they are expensive but i HIGHLY reccomend any of dysons pet series vacumes...itll last you forever (literally) and will make a HUGE difference. i cant afford one yet but a freind with sever allergies (and 3 heavy shedding cats) has one and its changed her life!

add an air purifyer/hepa filter or ionic filter to your sons bedroom...since hes probably also allergic to dust, and pollen gets everywhere having a filter in his room (and mabe a couple round the house) will help a great deal...
if you go with an ion clenser only run it for a few hours a day some people are very sensitive to ozone (like me)

slip covers if your pets go on the furniture...they can easily be vacumed and washed regularly...
id also make covers for the dog beds so they too can be washed easily regularly.

remember most people with dog allergies are allergic to dander...
start bathing the dogs more with an anti allergy shampoo like
Allerpet/D for Dogs - Pet Allergy - Dog Dander - AchooAllergy.com
brushing regularly (especially the pug as they are a "heavy dander, heavy shedder")
it might also be worth looking at what your feeding your dogs, make sure to feed a high quality food avoiding corn and byproducts as this will make your dogs skin healthier and reduce dander and oil production.
suplimenting with an omega 3 or salmon oil supliment will also help...
keeping skin in tip top condition will help reduce the allergens being produced.

honestly my experience with pet allergies is MOST people with pet allergies are more allergic to other aspects than they are to the animals themselves...ie dust, pollen, ect. and many pet allergies can easily be managed with some work.

i dont take allergy meds and havent needed my inhalers in over a year since i started taking a few more steps towards making my life more comfortable, the dogs only share the bed occasionally now, my sheets and pillowcases are designed to be anti allergen, i have a small air filter in my bedroom area, i groom my dog cat and birds regularly and vacume daily. once i can afford a dyson pet vacume ill be adding one to my arsenal but right now i just use a bagless stick vac and i always empty it outdoors and wash the little cotton filter in it regularly so it doesnt loose suction.

on my 1 visit to the allergist (my insurance would only cover the one visit for some reason) she told me all these steps because i told her living without animals wasnt even a semi thinkable option for me...and she also told me that i may find with more but better managed exposure my pet allergies may be reduced...
as it stands right now...i only wake up itchy/stuffy mabe once or twice a month now.

good luck.

only YOU know whats right for your family, but i wanted to show you that there are some options and steps you can take to see if you can reduce the allergen risk and keep your son healthy while still keeping your furry family members.


side note in terms of rugs/soft furnishings and the cleaning aspect
i vacume corners, rugs, and aroud the bird cages and give my bed a quick vac every day (takes me all of 15 mins) then do a through vacume once a week on my "cleaning day" which is when i will give my couch (no slip covers because its a sectional) a REALY good vacume too. during shedding season ill typically take an extra 15 mins a day and vacume my couch daily just because...
i wash my bedding once a week and my curtains once a month...
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Dallas, Tx
1,203 posts, read 2,096,038 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChocLot View Post
Thanks for your response. If you don't mind answering, can you tell me what you'd suggest for other living areas of the house. Our living and family rooms has area rugs. I have a 2 year old and need the soft surface (my kids do a lot of lounging on the floor). If I vacuum this carpet everyday, will this work or do the rugs have to be removed completely? What about other fabrics throughout the home (throws, window coverings, etc)....clean those daily(!) as well?
If you have to keep the rugs in the living room I would vacuum them daily or every other or few days. Clean anything that can collect dog hair. I would think surfaces such as coffee table, side tables, tv's, tv stands, etc, but fabrics such as window coverings I would keep to weekly and throws as long as the dogs don't have contact with them every few days. My big concern right now would be the allergist you're working with who is basically giving you no option but to get rid of your dogs.

I would do one big, good, deep cleaning of the whole house, and then keep his room off limits to the dogs. Find a new allergist who will work with you and put him on a regimen of medication that will work for him and let you keep your dogs.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Rural Western TN
6,046 posts, read 8,388,754 times
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i do agree, i would have a big problem with any allergist pretty much making it seem like i have no options...
telling you its either meds daily for life or get rid of the dogs is ridiculous...

a good allergist will give you options...

i mean you say hes also allergic to pollen and trees ect...so what, cut down all the tres in the neighborhood, dont let him play outside? thats not going to happen and those allergies must be managed...so why should pets be any different?
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