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Ask the Allergist

Ask the Allergist

Do I Need to Give Up My New Dog if I'm Having Allergy and Asthma Symptoms?

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I just received a dog, and I am allergic to it. My symptoms include a runny and stuffy nose, as well as slight asthma. Do I need to get rid of the dog? What are my options?

Some patients with allergies to dogs cannot control their symptoms even with good environmental control measures and allergy medicines. These steps include keeping the dog out of your bedroom, vacuuming regularly, and using an air purifier with a HEPA filter. Allergy medicines can include nasal saline washes, antihistamines, and topical nasal steroids.

If you are allergic to dog dander, you could be a candidate for allergy shots. This can be an effective, overall way to manage your allergy symptoms. The typical course is 4-5 years but this will be determined by your allergy specialist. You would need to see an allergist to review your history and do allergy testing. Allergy shots could provide better control of your symptoms.

If you are not a candidate for allergy shots and/or environmental controls and medicines do not work well enough, you might need to give up your pet dog to decrease your allergy symptoms.

Allergy, Asthma, Environmental Control, Pet Allergy
Answered by

John M. James, MD, is a board-certified allergist. He is also President of Food Allergy Consulting and Education Services, LLC. He has worked as a medical specialist in the field of allergy, asthma, and immunology for over 30 years. Dr. James received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee. He is board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

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When I developed allergies from my dog, I went for a hunt to find ways to eliminate the dander.  I invested in a purifier that is active not passive that eliminated the triggers from the air and and a water purifier that splits water alkaline/acidic.  I use acidic water to bathe my dog.  He will not drink any other kind of water other than alkaline water.  He's the healthiest he has ever been, no doggy odor, he doesn't snore any more, we're both happy campers.

Mink Naro
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