A Most Special Gift
As the holiday season approaches, children have a list of gifts they are dying to get. One of those special gifts can usually be found in a pet store chewing on toys. You guessed it—puppies. Of course, cuddling a puppy is heaven. But before you decide if your family is ready for one, have a serious discussion on who will take care of it, and, if someone in the house is allergic to dogs.
Dog Allergy Culprits
Both children and adults can be allergic to dogs, cats, and even gerbils, hamsters or parrots. The typical symptoms of a dog allergy are sneezing, runny nose, itching, rashes and even wheezing. This can occur when someone is just holding the dog or if the dog licks their face. This sure does take the fun out of a dog. Kisses and hugs are irresistible!
There are 2 main culprits to a dog allergy: dander and saliva. Dogs, especially puppies, leave remnants everywhere. If you are allergic to dogs—are you doomed to never have one?
The Dog Allergy Solution
As a board-certified allergist, I am sworn to try and reverse any allergy my patients have with an effective treatment. The good news for dog allergy sufferers is that they can be desensitized. I have had success with hundreds of patients that can now visit friends with dogs, or have a dog in their own home. As I wrote in my book, Dr. Dean Mitchell’s Allergy and Asthma Solution, I use sublingual allergy drops to treat patients. They are a safe, convenient and effective way to reverse almost any airborne allergen, including those from dogs and cats.
All her life, Nancy experienced the misery of allergies around dogs. At first she just sneezed and had a runny nose, but later it got more serious. She had shortness of breath and wheezing if she was near a dog. In her 20’s and 30’s she managed to avoid them and the problem was a non-issue. However, things changed when Nancy became a mother.
Nancy’s children had friends with dogs and she could see their disappointment when they came home from playing with the furry pets. Her children asked why couldn’t they have a dog? Nancy felt terrible. She truly wanted to let them experience the joy and the responsibility of having a dog, but she didn’t want to get sick by having a dog in the house.
Nancy was given my number by a friend and former patient. She came in for an initial evaluation and we discussed the risks and benefits of using sublingual allergy drops to protect her from dog allergy. Nancy liked the idea that the treatment didn’t involve weekly shots that another allergist recommended. She liked that they were considered safe to use at home.
And most importantly, my experience with other patients gave her hope that her family could have a dog at home.
My Strategy with Nancy
I gave her some time without exposure to dogs to build up her immune system and protective antibodies against the allergy. She would take the sublingual drops for at least 6 months before bringing a dog into her home. Of course I made no guarantee the treatment would work 100%, but my experience left me confident we could make her life very manageable. Nancy was diligent in using every set of allergy drops we sent her over this period of time, with no serious adverse reactions. An occasional itchy mouth a few times, but otherwise all was fine.
Finally, the Big Day Came
Nancy and her children went to the pet store and picked out their puppy. He was gorgeous, lovable and very friendly. Nancy was literally holding her breath, praying that all went well. She called me a few weeks after having the puppy and said she felt fine. She had very minor nasal sniffling which reversed easily with an antihistamine. In the past, she would have been choking for air being around a dog that long.
A Year and a Half Later
It’s been a year and a half on allergy drops and she has had no symptoms of any allergies, even when hugging, kissing or changing the dog’s messy business. She repeatedly thanked me for bringing this wonderful pet into her family’s life.
My medical journals scientifically prove sublingual allergy drops work. They state all the key data: symptom scores go down, medication use decreases and quality of life improves.
My special gift in treating pet allergies is turning a dog allergy into puppy love.
Enjoy your holidays!