Allergy (Mis)Management - Not PA


While this wasn't a PA reaction, the same principles apply. I hope someone else can benefit from our most recent experience.

My 13 year old son definitely gave me a few more gray hairs yesterday. He was at his good friend's home, and they have two dogs (supposedly "hypoallergenic" poodles, btw). He has had minor reactions such as itchy eyes from the larger of the two dogs before, and he knows to wash his hands if he touches them - which he tries not to do.

The boys were outside playing basketball, and evidently the dogs were out too and wanted to join in. They were licking my son, and he quickly realized he was reacting with huge hives, and wheezing. He went inside and told the mom (my good buddy from HS) that he wanted to go home because "his allergies were flaring up". She let him go, and he walked the couple of blocks home alone. [img][/img] He walked in the house, every exposed inch of skin covered in huge, angry welts, wheezing away. He knew he needed Benadryl and his inhaler (which he had with him, but didn't take there), and a shower. The good news is that after a healthy dose of Benadryl with Perrier, his inhaler and a shower, he was fine.

I reminded him that when he's having a reaction, he must be specific about what's happening. When he told my friend that "his allergies were flaring", she thought itchy eyes, stuffy nose. (How she missed the hives and wheezing I'll never know - she claims the lights were off and she didn't see.) I reminded him that he is never, [i]ever[/i] to go anywhere alone when he is having a reaction. I reminded her as well. And I reminded him to take his meds promptly - that's why he carries them in a pack around his waist. [img][/img]

In case you're wondering why I didn't use epi, he has had these kinds of reactions to other dogs before. He has that highly reactive skin, so the full body hives aren't necessarily has bad as they look (once he scratches one spot, he hives up like crazy). Once I determined that there was no peanut in their food (checked ingredients), I felt confident that Benadryl, inhaler and a shower to remove the dog saliva would be fine - along with close observation. If it didn't resolve promptly it would have been epi and off to the ER.

The good news is that it was a good reminder lesson for him, since it's been so long since he had a food reaction. The bad news is that his eczema which was finally under control, is absolutely hideous today. *Sigh*

I guess the other bright spot is that this will benefit the local economy - more work for my colorist. [img][/img]


On Aug 27, 2007

Aw - sorry! But thanks for sharing the experience so others can learn. The issues are so different at different ages. 13 is going to give me some gray hairs, too, I think!


On Aug 27, 2007

This is a perfect example of why our teens are at greater risk.

He had his meds - didn't use them. He "forgot".

There were five boys there, two severely asthmatic (in fact, one almost died on the soccer field a few years ago - another story altogether). Did they recognize his wheezing and take action? No. Of course my son didn't want to call attention to what was going on, because he gets embarrassed. Of all his friends, who would have understood better than these two? He still didn't say anything.

Then, there's a mom who just didn't catch on.

There it is - the perfect storm. Believe me, I'm grateful that he was fine, and that it wasn't more serious.


On Aug 28, 2007


Sorry to hear about your son's flare up. I am curious you mentioned that your son took Benadryl with Perrier, why Perrier? Does it help the effectiveness of Benadryl?


On Aug 28, 2007

Carbonated beverages make Benadryl work a little faster. [img][/img]


On Aug 28, 2007

I'm glad your son is o.k. My sister gets hives all over and starts weezing with dogs too. She had to get rid of her pets because of it. She doesn't have an epi-pen.

On Aug 29, 2007

thanks for the information

On Aug 31, 2007

I would have possibly epi-d that because of the lick. Dogs frequently eat peanut-butter treats. It is very unusual (IM non-medical degreed opinion) for someone with an allergy to dogs to react with full body hives and breathing problems just from being around a dog but *I COULD BE TOTALLY WRONG ON THAT!*. I have very, very severe allergies to various EAs and to cats. I have never gotten one hive from being around a cat. I do get asthma. Anyway, I would worry the dog had eaten pb. I'd ask the owner if that is a possibility to be sure. If the dog licked him on the mouth or if the dog licked your son's hand and your son touched his eyes, nose or mouth then that is like ingesting peanut.

Glad your son was fine. [img][/img]

On Aug 31, 2007

I had already determined that there was no peanut in their food or treats - that was my first thought as I've only seen him react that badly once before, when he was a preschooler. If there had been a possibility of peanut, that would have changed my response.


On Sep 5, 2007

Wow. Thanks for sharing.