Paranoia? - what are primary cause of reactions?

Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

I went to the park this morning with my two boys. My 1 yr old is PA. Well, there was someone there the whole time with 2 dogs running freely up to all the children licking them. Since I've read about possible reactions from dog licks (because dog foods may contain peanuts), I spent the whole time running interference between my toddler and these dang dogs. I told the owner my son had severe allergies (I didn't want to get into the peanut thing because I thought he'd think I was neurotic) but he did nothing to control his dogs. I really wish we had some statistics of how accidental reactions usually occur. I know there are various people compiling these, but I would really appreciate it if any of you could share your history of reactions with me. My allergist said most reactions are from people not reading ingredients or eating in restaurants, although he acknowledged cross-contam and airborne risk. I wonder how often reactions are caused by: not reading ingredients cross-contamination eating food prepared by someone else being licked by an animal airborne peanuts being breathed on or kissed touch (monkey bars, toys) So far, my son has had one reaction about 3 weeks ago, from ingestion of peanut butter. Ever since, I feel like I've been walking through a mine field.

On Sep 1, 1999

My son has had two accidental reactions: one from a bakery product which the host swore didn't contain PB (a tiny bit of PB was mixed in with the chocolate icing so it was undectable by taste); and a cross contamination accident with a cranberry nutrition bar (the bar was run on the same equipment which ran a peanut butter twin). All you can do is learn from past mistakes. I don't accept anything from anyone unless I ask or read about the ingredients myself and I am more cautious about buying processed food items (especially items with peanut butter twins). Fortunately, both my husband and I like to cook so we tend to make most bakery items and ice cream from scratch nowadays.

Noreen

On Sep 1, 1999

Marietta, I think, as far as the dog thing goes, you could probably relax a bit. I own/have owned 3 dogs for the last 14 years. In the past few years that I have checked dog foods here in the U.S. I've not run across a peanut listing, although, I'm not sure what the restrictions are for listing dog food ingredients. I will say that the listing on my pets' foods are quite detailed so I'm sure if peanuts were in the food they would probably be listed. If one has an allergy to dogs themselves, a lick will usually cause a reaction. I have never been tested for dog allergies but have always assumed that I am mildly allergic to them as I have several environmental allergies as well as a severe cat allergy. My own dogs do not appear to bother me unless you count the chronic sinus drainage that I have and have grown accustomed to!!! However, if I go to my friend's house and her dog licks me, I will usually get a small hive on my hand or cheek depending where the dog licked. I am not peanut allergic so I blame the dog saliva. My son, who is PA, has demonstrated a mild allergy to dogs on his skin prick test. Again, we note no allergies at home with our own animals; however, the same thing will happen to him if he is licked by a strange dog.

Some of these reported reactions to dog food are most likely due to a dog allergy versus the dog eating a food with peanut particles and then licking an individual. You do need to worry though, if you have a young PA child at home and you have any type of pet food around (dog food, bird feed, etc) as it is quite common for kids to decide to "share" food with the pet. A strange friend of mine had quite a love of dog biscuits as a child. Christine

On Sep 1, 1999

Marietta,

My son tested 3+ to dogs and cats on the scratch test, and has reacted three different times to our dog in the last couple of years. His reaction has been confined to swelling and itching of the eyes, and we really can't pinpoint the reaction to the saliva, dander, or hair. At any rate, our dog is 13 years old and we don't plan on getting another one when she passes away. In the meantime, we keep her away from Matthew when he is outside. Since she is not very active anymore, this is easy to do. With a more active dog, we probably couldn't do this.

Did your son test positive to dogs in allergy testing? I don't think I would worry about it too much if he didn't test positive. Of course, unless he is older, the test results could always change. I suppose they could change even in adults. Allergies are really complex (sigh)

Take care, Debbie

On Sep 10, 1999

Thanks for the replies regarding dog licks. I did not have my son tested for dog allergy because I didn't think of it at the time. I just got his results back yesterday and he is allergic to cat dander so I guess he could be allergic to dogs as well. But I feel better hearing that most dog foods don't contain peanuts. I'm more scared of a reaction due to peanuts than one due to dog allergy. I'm going to make a note to have him tested for the dog allergy as well on his next test. I was actually surprised to learn of the cat allergy (class 2) since he doesn't really show any reaction to our cat.

On Sep 10, 1999

Hi Marietta

I happen to be peanut and cat allergic, and I don't react to my cat either. I DO react to my mother's cats.

I suspect your son would probably react to another cat that his immune system hadn't got ten used to.

I have lived without cats and found after about 6 months catless, I had fairly severe reactions to animal dander (dog and cat) - swelling, difficulty breathing etc. My reactions to strange animals while owning cats are considerably less dramatic, so apart from enjoying having a pet, I can also visit with others in relative comfort.

Liz

On Sep 11, 1999

Liz, That's very interesting. Do you know what "class" (I'm not sure I'm using the right term here) your cat allergy falls in. My son's allergist said he was in "class 2". The allergist thought this was pretty high and so we're considering finding another home for our cat thinking it might give Kevin a little more comfort. It's just so hard to tell whether he is reacting from the cat because he has seasonal allergies too and has been through lots of colds brought home by his brother. I have heard other stories of people building up tolerance for environmental allergies. I really hope scientists unravel the mystery of allergies in the next 10-20 years.

On Sep 12, 1999

Hi Marietta Carter,

About cat allergy, I'm so glad you are considering finding another home for your cat. I am cat allergic and remember being completely miserable with sinus headaches and cold symtoms after cat explosure and my allergy to cats is probibly about same as your childs. My son's cat allergy is class VI so you know we'll never have a cat. My husband can repond by going into asthma and cold symtoms which unbelievably can last more than 10 days. I encourage you to find new home for your cat and see what happens in the months to come. This can really assist in the health of your child. My nephew improved tremenously when in cat-free home.

JanB.

On Sep 12, 1999

Marietta,

I am another cat allergy sufferer, and my husband reacts in the same way to dogs. We both get itchy, watery eyes, sinus congestion, and wheezy, asmtha type symptoms. After having my son tested, we found he is allergic to both dog and cats. I know how miserable I get when I am around cats, so I would never dream of exposing my son to something like that.

Take care, Debbie

Related