23 answers

Could I Be Allergic to My Dog?

Please help me ladies! I have battled hives on and off. Last spring was the first episode and I think it was caused by stress. I took Zyrtec and although it basically knocked my out (I was so sleepy and groggy for 24 hours), it took care of the hives. On occasion since then, I have taken it when the itching is unbearable, but the sleepiness really is an inconvenient side effect.
Lately, I have had hives on a daily basis (I use dye free soaps and detergents). My legs look horrible due to the itching/scratching. I have started to take Non-drowsy Claritin (actually the Walgreen's brand of Claritin) to avoid the sleepiness, but it seems to do nothing for the hives (The pharmacist said it should work great).
I visited my doctor who simply said to keep using dye free cleaners, etc. and to add Aveeno anti-itch creams and lotions (they do little good). Shaving is a nightmare, but if I do not shave, then the hair bothers my skin too.
I couldn't think of any other lifestyle changes (except that I am a lot less stressed)except that in late September we bought a dog. She is a poodle/terrier mix who does not shed. She is a real joy to us all. She is literally part of the family! My "itchiness" started in October and has continually gotten worse. I had a dog when I was a child and was not allergic to her (she was a cocker spaniel/Irish setter mix who shed a lot!); however, I got to wondering if you can be allergic to one type of dog and not to another.
What do you think? Could I be allergic to our new dog or is this not likely?
Thanks in advance to anyone who gives me some advice. I am really ready to be "itch-free!"

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all of your help. I am off to an allergist in early March. I am taking Claritin and sometimes Zyrtec to help combat the symptoms in the meantime; I also use Aveeno and Eucerin Cream. I also bathed my dog and that seemed to help a lot too. I think I may be allergic to something she carries in on her when she goes outside because it is usually worst then. Thanks again for all of your help.

Featured Answers

You can develope allergies to what you are exposed to. Take a bit of dog hair to an allergist and have him make a serum from that hair and test it on you. That could be a quick way to tell if it's the dog. I, too, developed allergy to my two dogs as shown with the serum made from them, but not to the generic dog serum the allergist tested me with. Get the test before you get rid of the dog. Best to you.

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It could be something you are using on the dog - like a flea killer, shampoo or something like that - something chemical. With that said, my daughter gradually became allergic to cats, even though she grew up with ours - some she is more sensitive to than others, but she is definately allergic to certain pesticides (that she picked up off of the cat - who was an outdoor kitty).

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I don't know if you can be allergic to certain breeds of dogs, but not others, but I do know that you can develop allergies that you didn't have before. That's happened in my case. Since your problem started shortly after the dog arrived, it's a good possibility that she may be the culprit. As an experiment, see if someone could dog sit for you for a week or so and then see if your allergies improve with the dog out of the house. It may take longer to find out for sure, especially if the dander is in your house. Another thought, it may be some thing that you use for the dog, such as shampoo, flea medicine, dog food, or even dog treats. Good Luck!

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You can develope an allergery spontaneously. That is, you can become allergic to something that you may have never been allergic to before at any time. Your doctor can perform an allergy test in his/her office to tell you if you've developed an allergy to dog dander. I broke out with a horrible, itchy rash several years ago. My doctor performed allergy tests on me. I wasn't allergic to anything I was tested for so I was referred to a dermatologist. the dermatologist diagnosed me an obscure skin condition called Lichen Planus, gave me some betamethasome cream to put on the rash, and it started clearing up immediately. Until I was diagnosed, though, I imagined all kinds of horrible things. Turns out, my condition was caused by stress. All that worrying and fretting I did until I was diagnosed only made my condition worse! Ask your doctor to test you for pet allergies. In the meantime, my dermatologist told me to use Dove soap to wash my body and only Dove. He said that all other soaps dry your skin out and most of them also leave a residue. He also told me to use Eucerin lotion. Hope this helps, and try not to worry-it may be making things worse.

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Wow that is crazy because I have had horrible hives/allergy issues for about the past year too. Although I don't have any pets I don't really know what all the sudden triggered mine. Have you been to an allergist? Mine started off an on I would get real itchy all over and I would take a bath or use the eucirin anti-itch lotions and it would kind of help. Then this summer about a month after I had a baby I all the sudden was constantly itchy everywhere and anywhere that I would itch would puff up and turn red. I could literally write my name on my arm with my finer nail. I had to go get allergy testing and it really didn't show much just that the things I was most allergic to were pollens, dust, molds. So the kind of stuff that is just part of the enviorment and nothing that I can get away from. What I have is called Dermagraphisim. And the doctor told me Zyrtec is the best for hives but it just totally wipes me out too. I've been cutting it in half and take it a couple hours before bed. It still makes me pretty drowsy in the morning but not as bad as if I take a full pill. I also take claritin during the day. And I have always had allergies and I know that I am allergic to some types of dogs and then other's don't bother me as much so it sounds like your dog could be the problem. Sorry such a long response but I know how you are feeling. Try cutting the zyrtec in half for the next couple days and see if that makes you a little less drowsy. Good luck!

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If your doctor is not supportive of testing you for allergies, go to an allergy specialist. If you need a recommendation, our doctor's office has a specialist. They are in the liberty area. The clinic is called Shoal Creek Family Medical or something like that. My hubby went to see their specialist and we were amazed at the things they found he was allergic too. Some of your allergies could be seasonal and things floating in the air, not the dog.

2 moms found this helpful

You can develope allergies to what you are exposed to. Take a bit of dog hair to an allergist and have him make a serum from that hair and test it on you. That could be a quick way to tell if it's the dog. I, too, developed allergy to my two dogs as shown with the serum made from them, but not to the generic dog serum the allergist tested me with. Get the test before you get rid of the dog. Best to you.

2 moms found this helpful

did your 1st round start before the dog??? last spring before you got the dog???

If that's the case, then I would look for food allergies. My son's peanut allergy manifests in an unbearable rash/hives that requires mega doses of Benadryl. He did not become sensitized to peanut until age 5, & I began reacting to peanut just months ago...at age 46!

I provide childcare & have several children with various food allergies (in addition to environmental/seasonal allergies). Some of them react with skin rashes, too. My son is also allergic to mold, & will break-out just walking thru leaves in the fall! Many, many allergens lurk everywhere...

On another note, what about your personal care products? I have very sensitive skin & have to use hypoallergenic soaps/lotions. In the shower, I try to avoid having the shampoo rinse down my body. I've also noticed that my younger son (age 12) cannot use the "manly" products that the other men in my family use...he will break out head-to-toe...which really aggravates him (being a preteen & all)!

Good luck, & I'd seriously consider seeing an allergist or dermatologist.

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I am not a health care provider. But, I am pretty sure you can be allergic to something now that you were not allergic too before. Also, I'm pretty sure it is the dander, not the hair that causes most allergies, so the fact your dog does not shed doesn't mean you won't have allergies. You may want to start giving the dog baths often, at least once a week. Do as much vacuuming as you can. If your symptoms get better, it could be your dog. You may have to bite the bullet and see a dermatologist. It may not be an allergic reaction at all, it could be an infection, fungal especially won't get better until you take medication. I went to several doctors before I finally went to a good dermatologist and she fixed me up with some medicine and I was better almost immediately.

Good Luck!

2 moms found this helpful

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