Dog allergy--cute but sad story

Posted on: Wed, 02/08/2006 - 10:56pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

DS is allergic to dogs. We discovered when he was about 3 that he would break out in hives whenever he was licked by a dog. Often in the shape of the dog's tongue! So we try to keep him away from "lickers" and if he does get licked, wash the area right away and, if hives start, give him benedryl. It has been no big deal to deal with, except that he became terrified of dogs. As soon as we discovered this allergy, he would jump up into my arms any time he saw a dog. If he could not get up into my arms, or it was a larger dog that could still reach him, he would tremble with fear. To this day, he will not go near dogs. But he loves them. On Sunday he watcheed almost all 5 hours of the Pupy Bowl on Animal Planet. (5 hours of puppies playing in a room painted like a football stadium. Nothing else, just puppies laying around, chasing each other, or chewing on toys.)
So, anyway, we went to a neighbor's house yesterday before school to drop something off. Two dogs were out (on a short leash, held well by an adult). I turned around to see that he had run almost all the way home. Then it hit me. I asked him when I finally caught up to him. He thought that his dog allergy was like his peanut allergy. He thought that if he got licked by a dog he could possibly die. The poor boy must have thought this for the last 4 years! Of course I assured him that he cannot die by getting licked by a dog. That the absolute worst that could happen is that if he is in a house with a dog for a while, his asthma might flare up. That if he gets licked, he just gets hives, and nothing worse. And that Benedryl clears that right up.
It's cute, and a little funny, but at the same time, very sad that he felt that way.

Posted on: Wed, 02/08/2006 - 11:00pm
PurpleCat's picture
Joined: 01/28/2006 - 09:00

Thanks for sharing your story. It never occurred to me that I should explain very clearly to my daughter which allergens could require an EPI and which allergens could require "breathing medicines". I bet she thinks the same thing, well, at least until she gets home from school today.
Keep Smiling
DD - allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, and egg

Posted on: Wed, 02/08/2006 - 11:06pm
MimiM's picture
Joined: 10/10/2003 - 09:00

Are you sure that he is allergic to dogs or could he be reacting to peanut residue in the dogs mouth. My son has had these kind of reactions when licked by dogs too but he tested negative to dog. After asking, we could almost always trace it back to the fact that the dog was either given PB to take medicine or the dog was given a treat that was PB flavored. There are a lot of PB dog treats out there.
Usually dog allergies result in itchy eyes and runny noses but not generally hives. I'm not saying that this can't be the case but I would suggest testing for dog allergy to make sure.
We avoid dogs as much as possible too.

Posted on: Wed, 02/08/2006 - 11:25pm
JaneyL's picture
Joined: 06/11/1999 - 09:00

I agree with MimiM about a food allergen being in the dog's saliva. Our son had hives after being licked by a friend's dog. He had never reacted to his grandmother's or aunts dog's (their food is now checked for allergens). He also skin tested neg. for dog more than once.
We got a puppy last Christmas and we've had no trouble with hives or any increase in allergies or asthma (I'm knocking on wood now). We are very careful with dog food (she eats California Natural which has no egg,peanut, and tree nut listed in the ingredients) and we use only a couple of dog treats which we've checked.
Maybe you could explore this possibility and if this is the case ease your sons fears. Then it wouldn't be the dog causing the allergic reaction merely what they ate.
Surprisingly alot of people give their dogs peanut butter--we've been training our dog and the trainer recommends giving the dog a Kong (a hollow toy) and filling it with peanut butter!!! We do use this method but with soybutter!!
Take care.

Posted on: Wed, 02/08/2006 - 11:31pm
jami's picture
Joined: 09/02/2004 - 09:00

I am not allergic to peanuts/tree nuts--my children are--anyways
I am allergic to dogs and cats---hives, breathing problems are my first symptoms--runny nose itchy eyes follow
My new approach--which seems to be working really well---if I know I am going to a friends house that has animals--I take an antihistime before I go---I can stay a couple of hours now--where as before I could only stay 20 minutes--then I took my medicine--usually needing an inhaler and benedryl--and feeling horrible the rest f the day.
Just my experience
--my children take zyrtec and other asthma medicine everyday--so animals tend to not bother them for a couple of hours.

Posted on: Thu, 02/09/2006 - 12:13am
Adele's picture
Joined: 01/31/2005 - 09:00

My 3 year old grandson reacts to dogs the same way - he gets hives where the dog licked him. He'll even get hives from playing on carpeting where a dog has been. He isn't PA. Poor kid LOVES puppies too. He's also allergic to cats.

Posted on: Thu, 02/09/2006 - 3:26am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

My DD also gets hives when licked by dogs. This was more apparent when we got a puppy. We were very careful with what food he was given (no nuts or eggs at that point). For about 1 month, whenever the puppy licked her....all of the time, she got hives on her face, only where she was licked. She was on Benadryl that whole time until we found a new home for the puppy. She was also skin tested after that and I forget the number they gave it, but cat and dog were both large spots. She was then RAST tested and was a 4 for dog.

Posted on: Thu, 02/09/2006 - 4:12am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

He has tested positive for dogs. Also, when we first saw this reaction, we were staying with relatives with a dog. I immediately checked the labels on all of the dog's food and treats for peanut, expecting to find it. I read everything over twice and couldn't find peanut in anything. At the time I had a neighbor who was a doctor and she said that, yes, some people react that way to dog saliva (cat saliva, too).

Posted on: Thu, 02/09/2006 - 6:38am
samirosenjacken's picture
Joined: 09/30/2002 - 09:00

My DS has been tested for a bunch of foods and all negative.. if he's licked by a dog his face gets fire engine red and starts to swell. No other symptoms..

Posted on: Thu, 02/09/2006 - 1:32pm
krasota's picture
Joined: 04/24/2000 - 09:00

While I don't think it's a good idea for folks to live in constant mortal fear, dog allergies can potentially kill in the form of asthma. My husband ended up in the ER twice in one night from his dog allergy when he was a toddler.
My brother has had severe asthma attacks from his dog allergy.
Asthma kills. That's why identifying triggers and attempting maintenance/prevention is so darn important.

Posted on: Fri, 02/10/2006 - 9:32am
Going Nuts's picture
Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

My son is allergic to dog saliva as well. Another issue he has with dogs is seasonal allergens that collect in their fur. For example, he can play with them in the winter or right after a bath, but once they've been outside awhile it's a disaster waiting to happen.
Recently we visited with friends we hadn't seen in 10 years while on vacation. They have two dogs, and we had to cut the visit short when DS's face blew up like a blowfish and he started wheezing. He just adores animals, and it's so hard keeping him away from them!
Miraculously he's not allergic to cats, and practically uses ours as a pillow (though I beg him not to).


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