Allergic to the Dog?

Updated on August 11, 2009
S.S. asks from Clackamas, OR
11 answers

My 18-month old has a pretty-much contiuously runny nose. It usually combined with nasal congestion. Fortunately, it doesn't seem to bother her and it doesn't transform into infections or other problems. I suspect she may be allergic to our dog. Is there a way to tell? Is it possible to test for just a dog allergy? Or do I have to subject her to a huge painful test? I really don't want to do that, but if she is allergic I need to konow.

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answers from Portland on

My 4yo ds has been one big runny booger since he was a baby, until I took him to an ENT for a whole different problem. The ENT took one look at him, asked about his continuous runny nose, felt his neck, looked in this throat and dx'd him with over active tonsils and adenoids.

Ds had a tonsil/adenoidectomy done in May and he has been booger free since!! For years and years I'd thought he had allergies, but I was waiting to take him to an allergist when he was 4.

So, my point is, that not all continuous boogies are a result from allergies. If you can hold out and give Children's Claritin for a while, I'd take him in at 3.5 and see if he also has the same problem. My ENT said that it's very common for parents and pediatricians to write off continuous runny noses to allergies, but they're actually due to a problem with their tonsils/adenoids.

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answers from Richland on

Go to www.NAET.COM to find a practitioner near you. It's a safe, easy, natural way to check for allergies without shots or pills (and to cure them). Not expensive either. Our chiropractor does it.

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answers from Seattle on

Start with your pediatrician. You should have a well visit soon if your little one is 18 months. Like others have said, a runny nose could be an indication of a lot of things. The ped will be able to give you a better indication if it could be allergies or something else.

If you do think allergy tests are in order, don't worry too much about a "huge, painful test." My little one started having distinct reactions to particular foods, so she went through allergy tests at 13 months.

Our pediatrician referred us to Northwest Asthma and Allergy (we live on Seattle Eastside). I met with the allergist and discussed her symptoms, and the doctor decided which tests to run. We ended up with 13 allergens and one control, for a total of 14 pricks. I held my daughter with her back facing the tech, and they drew a series of marks on her back with a felt pen to identify each test. Then they gave her a small prick for each allergen. We waited (maybe 15-20 minutes?), and the tech came back to measure my daughter's reactions. The foods that caused allergies caused welts on her skin. They put a lotion on her back to neutralize the reactions, and the puffiness went down within minutes.

All in all, we had a little crying for the pricks themselves, but the rest of the time was spent keeping her entertained. The tech was quick and gentle. The discomfort was gone very quickly. After the tests, the doctor came back to talk to me about the results and how to care for her. I really liked the doctor, so if you're in our area, I can give you his name.

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answers from Anchorage on

The test is easy, but you should also thoroughly check the environment. The allergy to a dog is easily treatable, but it is just as likely to be an allergy to dust or mold, which may alert you to a problem that may be starting in the home. Children of that age are closer to the ground and may be more sensitive. I had a friend who found out about a small leak in the plumbing because her son was having similar problems due to a small amount of mildew, that was practically indetectable unless you were looking very closely. If it had not been caught when it was it would have been a very expensive repair. If the allergy is environment related she will stop having the symptoms after a while of being removed from the allergen.

Oh and BTW, both of my daughters were raised with both cats and dogs in thier environments. There was only 2 cats when my eldest was little, but by the time my youngest came around there were 4 cats, a dog, and some birds. Neither of them have allergies to pets, even though there are animal dander allergies with grandparents on both sides of the family. Not to mention there were pets in both my husbands and my environments growing up and neither of us ended up with allergies either.



answers from Seattle on

Yes you can test for just one thing. A friend of mine did allergy test and they had to tell which ones they wanted tested.



answers from Spokane on

I would speak with your pediatrician. Because the allergy seems mild at this point your child's doctor may wait to perform testing. Yes, you can just receive a single scratch test for dog but there is a possibility that your child is allergic to something else in or outside the home that is causing the symptoms so if the test comes back as negative for dog you will have to do more testing. Again, at this point your childs allergy seems very mild. I also wanted to mention that he only allergy medication approved for children under the age of 2 is Benadryl. DO NOT use Claritin or Zyrtec without specific instructions regarding dosages for ANY medications. But, medications are really no necessary unless your child is experiencing sinus infections or the symptoms are interfering with sleep. Just make sure you push lots of fluids and use saline in the nose to loosen congestion



answers from Portland on

I would look at food sources of allergy as well. Speaking as someone who is allergic to cats and always has been, I was not always stuffy but rather sneezy, red irritated eyes, and asthma. Constant stuffiness sounds more like a dairy allergy. Getting a test for common allergens isn't really painful. They do a quick pin prick with the substance and then look for a topical reaction. I would get some tests done because being stuffy all the time sounds miserable plus it could turn into infection in the future. Good luck.



answers from Corvallis on

It is a possiblity that your child is allergic, but I think she is to young to test just yet. My daughter is allergic to peanuts (which we found out the hard way) and they waited till she was almost 2 to test to varify. They tested just for the peanut, so only 2 pricks (one to neutralize and one fo the peanut), and waited about 15 minutes. We had to have her pediatricain send a referal to an allergy sepcialist. The specialist said he wants to test her again when she is 3 and will test for other nuts as well. He said some little ones will either grow into or out of an allergy so they like to test again at 3.
I certainly think you should speak to your pediatrican about your concern and ask to be refered to an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat specialist))or even an allergy specialist.



answers from Portland on

It is possible to have her tested. However, my son had to be two before the specialists around here (Oregon) would see him for it. And it's not a fun test... we sat in a little room for half an hour, they came in and scraped his back in 10 little lines, put a drop of liquid on each one, then we waited another hour to see how each scrape was affected!!! And after all of that, I was told that they test for the most common allergins... animals, dust, pollen, etc. but about 5% of people are allergic to something they don't test for... he is one of those 5%!
Is there a possibility that you could remove her from the house for a night or two and see if it improves? Or give her an antihistamine and see if that helps?



answers from Portland on

you can definitely do an allergy test at this age. we had our daughter tested when she was 8 months old to figure out what was causing her eczema (dairy). you can do a single allergen prick test to test for dog allergies, tho while you're at it you might as well do a dust one too since that is a big culprit.

now i have heard conflicting things from different allergists regarding pets and infants. one said that we should get rid of our cats because our daughter would develop allergies to them. the next allergist said that that was true but that she would develop the cat allergy whenever she was exposed to cats, so it didn't much matter if we kept them or not. as long as she could deal with the allergy symptoms, having the cats was ok.



answers from Seattle on

If you are worried about it, I would go talk to an allergist about it. I just found out that I am allergic to dust mites and that is what has been causing me the sinusitus for years. You can make the decision about allergy tests after talking with the allergy doc.

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