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I read Dr. Mitchell's blog faithfully. It helps me find tips on how to prevent my asthma symptoms, and get information on the latest developments in treatment.

Turning Dog Allergy into Puppy Love: A Special Gift

A Most Special Gift

Girl-with a dog allergy Kissing-Her-Dog

One of my patients with her dog, the one she never thought she could have.

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.

Nancy’s Story

Cuddling-a-Dog after treatment for dog allergies

Another patient with her furry pet.

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


And another!

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!

Dr. Dean

Girl-playing-with-dog without allergy symptoms

Another photo sent by my patient getting a kiss from a good friend.

Recall on Food Allergy Device Auvi-Q: What You Need to Do

Auvi-Q emergency injection for allergy reaction

1st: The Auvi-Q Recall

I want to spread the word to all my patients and readers that the pharmaceutical company Sanofi has just issued a voluntary recall on Auvi-Q, the latest device to deliver epinephrine (adrenalin) for treatment of severe allergic reactions. The number to call if you purchased the Auvi-Q injector is: 1-800-981-2491. The company should promptly refund your money. The device wasn’t cheap, being priced around $300.

The reason for the recall

Apparently, the device wasn’t consistently delivering the proper dosage, which is critical in a serious allergic reaction. Auvi-Q was mainly being used by adults and children with history of anaphylaxis, the most severe form of allergy, usually due to a food allergy reaction. The device is unique in that it is voice-activated. It instructs the user with simple verbal directions how to administer the injection of epinephrine. Hopefully, this is just a temporary setback as this device is clearly advantageous for children or their parents, caregivers or teachers, to simply follow the protocol to reverse a serious allergic reaction.

2nd: What’s on the Horizon

As much as I applaud the Auvi-Q advanced technology, I am even more excited about the possibility that a sublingual tablet that delivers epinephrine (adrenalin) under the tongue, without an injection, will be a tremendous breakthrough in saving children and adults from fatal allergic food reactions. Studies done in Canada by Dr. Estelle Simons, a leading allergist and researcher, has shown that sublingual epinephrine can be just as effective as injectable epinephrine. This beautiful concept of removing the needle and fear in treating a serious food allergy reaction will clearly make an already stressful situation less stressful.

3rd: Prevention of  Food Allergies

In my opinion, the most promising and safe way to treat many different types of food allergies will be with sublingual allergy immunotherapy drops. Studies done at top research institutions, such as Duke and Mount Sinai, have shown that children can be desensitized to peanut allergy by using sublingual allergy drops. Other studies have shown the same benefit to hazelnut and kiwi.

Sublingual drops for peanut show they can significantly decrease the intensity of the allergic reaction. The downside is that there is no clear end point when a patient can stop taking the drops. Drops have also been shown to be less effective than oral peanut immunotherapy, where the peanut is made into a powder and swallowed in capsules. However, the sublingual drops were found to be much safer than the oral powder, which sometimes causes intense allergic reactions on its own.

For over 16 years, I have been treating my patients who suffer from environmental allergies with sublingual drops safely and very effectively. I would love to extend this therapy to my food allergy patients to ease their fears and suffering… but I still need more guidance from my research colleagues in  allergy to make it a reality.

4th: The Final Words

For now the only option is the EpiPen and Epipen Jr. to treat an anaphylactic reaction to a food. All my patients with severe food allergies should have one of these, know how to use it, and make sure they haven’t expired!

Sublingual Allergy Drops for Singers

After 24 years of allergy and sublingual immunotherapy practice, I’ve learned Singers and Allergies do “not make sweet music together.”

Singers and Allergies

Sublingual Allergy Drops for Singers: microphoneI’ve treated many different types of singers: Opera performers from the Met, Rappers, Hip-Hop artists, and surprisingly many singers for which performing was a serious avocation – they had day jobs to pay the bills, but lived for singing.

In most cases, these performers had an ENT on call in case their voices deserted them close to an important event. However, when many have been referred to me by their ENT or a fellow singer, I found underlying allergies were playing a key role in their problems. Fortunately, these problems can be resolved with non-invasive allergy drops. Read the rest of this entry »

Breakthrough In Peanut Allergy Treatment Research

breakthrough in peanut allergy treatment researchWithout a doubt, peanut allergy is one of the scariest and most dangerous food allergies that exists. I have cared for both adult and infant patients with peanut allergies, and many have experienced serious anaphylactic (allergic emergency) reactions due to peanut exposure.

Read the rest of this entry »

Frog Allergy: Leapin’ Lizards, My First Case in 25 Years!

After 25 years of practicing allergy, I have diagnosed and treated patients with allergies from many creatures that roam our beautiful earth. I have:

  • frog allergy: frogSuccessfully treated hundreds of children and adults allergic to cats and dogs.
  • Had amazing results treating patients with horse allergy, one who was a competitive equestrian rider.
  • Had a laboratory assistant who was allergic to and worked with rabbits. I helped him keep his job through treatment. There were also school children who loved their class bunnies but were allergic. I treated them with great results.
  • Guinea pigs and hamsters are a popular pet. I have successfully treated several children who were allergic to them but refused to give them up.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tree Pollen Allergy: The Ultimate Survival Guide

The famous boxer, Joe Louis, was once quoted saying his opponent ‘He can run, but he can’t hide.’

Tree pollen in the airThe same might be said for patients with spring tree pollen allergy symptoms. You can try to run and hide by going indoors, but eventually you will have to go outside and face the pollen.

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Allergies Can be a Real Pain in the Neck

The fields of orthopedics and allergy seem to have little in common. You break a leg, you go see the orthopedist and have a cast put on. You have severe sneezing fits, you see the allergist who gives you a nasal spray. Do the two paths ever cross?


allergies: guy in a brace

The Doctor Joke

This reminds me of a doctor joke… two doctors walk into a bar, one an orthopedist the other an allergist. A young man in a neck brace was also in the bar sipping a beer. The orthopedist walks over and says “What happened? Can I help you I’m an orthopedist?”

The young man looks past him and asks if his friend is also a doctor, and if so what type? The orthopedist replies: “Oh, he’s just an allergist, he can’t help you.”

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Fruit and Pollen Allergies: The Double-Whammy

fruit allergiesThinking back to my childhood bible studies, the sin of Adam was eating the forbidden fruit from the apple tree. Today, it seems the sin of eating the apple lies with my patients who have pollen allergies as they may also experience symptoms of an allergy to fruit.

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Allergy Drops vs. Shots: Which Would You Prefer?

grass pollen allergyThere is exciting news for those of you who suffer from pollen allergies (specifically grass pollen allergies). You can now safely choose between three proven pollen allergy treatment options: sublingual grass pollen tablets, sublingual grass pollen drops or subcutaneous grass pollen injections.

The current Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice (March 2015) published a meta-analysis (which means they looked at and compared multiple published studies) and determined that each of these treatments were equally effective for treatment of pollen allergies.

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Scott Walker’s Dog Allergy and Presidential Race

The headline on the front page of The New York Times on April 1st, 2015 read: Governor, Allergic to Dogs, May Run Against Political History. Believe it or not, this was not an April Fool’s joke!

Happy dogThe article was about Governor Scott Walker, a Republican from Wisconsin, who is running for the presidency in 2016 and appears to have already lost one major constituency – dogs.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Allergy Relief
Turning Dog Allergy into Puppy Love: A Special Gift

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 […]

Recall on Food Allergy Device Auvi-Q: What You Need to Do

1st: The Auvi-Q Recall I want to spread the word to all my patients and readers that the pharmaceutical company Sanofi has just issued a voluntary […]

Read all articles
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