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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:29 pm
Posts: 7
Hi,

My family and I are considering getting a standard poodle. I have allergies to molds, pollen, dust, cats, and mildly to dogs. I've just had my kids tested again, because I haven't been able to figure out what's going on allergy-wise. So, the good news is my daughters' (ages ten and eight) allergies seem to be getting better. My 10 year old is allergic to cats, some trees, and grasses, and is just now showing a small reaction to tree nuts. She used to have a noticeable reaction to dogs and dust as well, but that seems better ie - no reaction). My 8 year old...here's where it gets confusing...The first time we went in she had a virus, so he didn't want to do full testing. So we asked if he could just test for dogs, which he did, and he said there's a reaction, so no dog. When we went on the follow up, she was allergic to trees, cats, and very small to tree nuts. She did not show a reaction for dogs, so he said a dog should be okay. I reminded him about the previous test, so he ran a RAST test, which showed a slight antibody, 2.34. Based on that, and other dander allergies, he suggested we wait a year and retest, as they seem to be outgrowing their allergies. My husband thinks we should go ahead and get a dog anyway, because he had a dog allergy but tolerated his dog as a kid, and eventually outgrew it. I'm torn...I'm planning on "borrowing" my brother's dog (poodle/jack russell cross) and seeing how we all do, but again, that's a different dog that what we would get, so I'm not sure. We have seen the standard poodles from the breeder. I felt fine, but after having her in our home, both kids said their eyes felt a bit itchy...problem is, she has 5 cats also (which I've seen the dog "groom"), so it's hard to know if there is any reaction to poodle or if it's to cats. Until December we had a cat, and I've noticed my 8 year old doesn't cough or sneeze like she used to. We definately won't get a cat! Am I deluded thinking we might be able to get a dog?

Just looking for thoughts or insights I guess. Thanks!
:scratchy


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 6:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
Hi MelinBC,
I am glad to hear your kids seem to be outgrowing their allergies. That in itself is huge!!!My guess is that what kind of dog will play a large factor in your family being able to tolerate it's dander/hair. If for some reason it doesn't work with a standard poodle don't give up, I would think that some breed your family would be able to tolerate.
When our son was born we already had a 14 year old beagle. Our son never seemed to be bothered by our dog but other dogs/pets he reacts to. Our dr. says this is probably from being exposed to our beagle since he was born so he built up a tolerance to him. When we put our dog down (at 16 yrs :cry: ) we quickly bought another beagle puppy. Since our DS grew up with the beagle dander I knew he was fine with the breed, I was concerned however that with any time lapsing between owning a beagle he would develop a reaction to even beagles over time. Our new puppy is now 5 months and our son has no issue with the dog. Neighbors dogs and friends dogs (cats/rabbits/horses etc) he strongly reacts to. I recently survived his first in home birthday party - food wise - but had to leave due to a bad itchy rash and his asthma being induced due to their two dogs :freak .
Is there any way to 'borrow' a standard poodle for a week, bath it so you start out with no cat hair and see how the family manages? It sounds like your entire family is looking forward to being able to include a dog into your family. I hope it works out for you.

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:29 pm
Posts: 7
Thanks BC2007! I'm so glad you are able to live with a dog (I'm picturing a beagle puppy...so cute!!) I think there is some truth to becoming tolerant to one's own pet. I wish this had been the case with our cat. We had two for the first few years of the kids lives, and they are still allergic. Yesterday my daughter and I were petting a friend's dog (it actually gave her a major face wash!) and her eyes got red and itchy after touching them. But, they also have cats, so I won't necessarily rule it out. I wonder if her cat reaction is stronger now that our cat is gone. It's just hard to keep trying because she gets so disappointed each time she reacts. She was crying after her eyes got itchy. I know the feeling! Boy do I hate my allergies. I've been thinking I should go on shots, but part of me wants to see how I do this summer now that there's no cat in the house. I wish I could "borrow" a standard poodle, but the only ones I know belong to the breeder, and there's no way she'd let hers go! I guess we will keep trying. But you are right, the allergies getting better is major, and I'm so thankful for that. Mine just always kept getting worse. I've done a dozen EPD (enzyme potentiated desensitization) shots over the years and I'm better with food intolerances, but the darn pollen and mold still wipes me out. Usually August is the worst for me. But, I digress. Just wanted to say thanks for the input and optimism. It's always good to hear other people's experiences too.

Mel


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:53 am
Posts: 375
Location: Alberta
Sounds like you've really thought this through, and I can only share that our experience has been the same. We have a Golden Retriever that my son (who tests quite + for dogs and cats) has never reacted to. Behind our allergists back (he told us to not get another one), we jumped into an opportunity to "puppy-raise" a guide dog, who was also a golden retriever. He lived with us for 18 months, and no issues. (Well, except for the part where we had to say goodbye. He is now a province away, in the final stages of becoming a working companion to a blind man. :swing We are very proud!) Our son is now 9, and we have graduated to "grandparent" status with respect to the guide dog puppies, which means that we get to "puppy-sit" when the other volunteers need a bit of a break, and then we get to give them back. There have been a few pups - black labs in particular, that my son has reacted to. Mostly just mild sniffles and occasional itch where the puppies lick him, but it doesn't bother him enough to want to stop volunteering to sit these puppies. The potential for asthma is there though, so we always make sure that he is taking his "preventer" puffer regularly, even though he hasn't had an asthma attack several years.

I think it just boils down to a trial - just a few days should do the trick! Then you'll know for sure, and won't have to go through the agony of welcoming a family member into the home, only to have to give him back later. It happens far too often. And if your child has asthma, judicious use of preventer puffers will go a long way towards keeping those symptoms at bay. (I'm a CAE, so I have to say that ... many still are strictly opposed to brining dogs into the home, but I prefer to weigh the risk for each family before I break their hearts.)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:29 pm
Posts: 7
Thanks Momtobunches,

I'm always appreciative when someone takes the time to respond. I know this issue is small compared to severe food allergies. My daughter was tested for asthma, and she does not have it. She's the kind of kid who gets a cold and gets chest infections easily though, so we have Ventolin and Flovent for her. It was only at this last appointment that the dr told me I should keep her on the Flovent for two weeks after coughing stopped. No one has ever really told me how to manage it. But she has had another cold and I started her on it right away, and the cough went away quickly, like the rest of the cold, so I guess it works. The only time she's ever had a really bad reaction, breathing wise, was when we went to see the RCMP Musical Ride...30 horses running by (about 5 feet from where we were sitting), and within 5 minutes she couldn't stop coughing. We had to leave before it even started. I gave her the Ventolin at home and it calmed right down. I guess 30 horses in a closed in tent was more than she could handle! I will keep pursuing the dog thing...maybe dog sitting would be a good idea. I thought about fostering too, but not sure how the kids could handle giving up the dogs over and over.

Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:32 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
MelinBC, what about going to your local vet. and asking them if you may put up a sign offering to dog sit a poodle, maybe even another few types of dogs you would possibly be interested in getting. Explain to them the situation , I'm sure they would be willing to help you, an who better to know all the local four legged furry family members. Oh, on your sign don't forget to add 'prefer a dog with no feline sisters or brothers due to allerigies'. I think your vet may help you find a family who even for the day might need a dogsitter....they see another family include a pet....they get business down the line. Just a thought.

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:35 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
MelinBC, this is a tough one.

If the allergist was suggesting to test again once more, I'd be inclined to give it the one more year.

I say this as the owner of a 12-yr-old standard poodle, the most wonderful fella and mascot of our neighbourhood.
Poodles, and dogs with similar non-shedding fur do "collect" more than they shed, but still - all dogs have dander.

Poodles are fun and very bright, great with kids and incredibly loyal to family members. But being whipsmart, they're also sensitive animals. And if you take a dog and then have to give it up it would be hard on everybody: the kids, you, and the dog.

So if you're thinking of going ahead sooner, I definitely recommend finding means of dogsitting a (catless) poodle for a weekend or two, and be honest with yourself about how it went.

Best with it. I admire your taste in dogs. :wink:

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:29 pm
Posts: 7
gwentheeditor wrote:
I say this as the owner of a 12-yr-old standard poodle, the most wonderful fella and mascot of our neighbourhood.
Poodles, and dogs with similar non-shedding fur do "collect" more than they shed, but still - all dogs have dander.


Gwen,

Thanks for your input. I will try to dog sit. When you say they "collect" more than they shed...do you think they hold more pollens and mold spores than other dogs? That's another thing I was worried about. Also, if we washed the dog weekly, would that be too much? And do you dry yours after bathing, or let it dry? I would keep it in a short clip if I got one.

I agree about these dogs. I originally started looking at them because they were non-shedding, but once I got to know the breed I realized how great they are. They are so funny and smart. Good choice!

I am very back and forth on this issue. I'm glad there are no puppies right now so I don't have to make a decision quite yet. The breeder will probably breed soon though. We might end up waiting too. In the mean time I'll look into "borrowing" some different dogs.

Thanks again,

Mel


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
Re pollen - not more so than any other dog, and that wipes down easily.

I mean that he'll often pick up burs in his ears or in the paw hairs. Recently, he came out of a bush wearing a bur face corsage. :roll:

I don't wash him nearly that often, more like once a month. Just towel/air dry. Or in winter, he loves the blow drier on low (what a ham). A fair bit of brushing, but it's easy. This also keeps him clean.

While it doesn't mean dander-less, the non-shedding with poodles and similar breeds is real. No hair on the clothes, rarely any on the floor - no more than a small tuft blown behind a door now and then. So I suspect if your kids can manage in a dog's presence, a poodle or wheaten or similar would be your most likely bets. And, I'm sure you know, keep the pet out of the kids' bedrooms. My guy is trained to stay off the furniture period.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:30 am
Posts: 57
Location: Northern Ontario
I am extremely allergic to dogs but didn't find out until we had our beagle cross for almost a year. By then giving her up was not even considered. My allergist who has dogs told me to rinse her off every second or third day to remove the dander. This includes letting her go in a body of water on walks or a pool at home in summer. As long as we don't use soap which will dry out the skin and increase the dander it seems to work. Our dog sheds lots so we also have to vacuum the floors daily(no carpets) If you decide to do this definitely find a dog that loves water or it will become a chore then it will be hard to stick to. My kids take turns rinsing the dog off and get a sticker on the calendar so we know when it has been done.

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allergic to all tree pollens except grass, hazelnuts, fruit and some veggies


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:29 pm
Posts: 7
Great advice Dalbai, thanks. Poodles do love water, so that shouldn't be a problem, especially in summer.

This is a great board, thanks for all the advice.

Mel


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6490
Location: Ottawa
gwentheeditor wrote:
...he'll often pick up burs in his ears or in the paw hairs. Recently, he came out of a bush wearing a bur face corsage. :roll:

Would have loved to have seen a picture of that! Poor guy!

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 1:36 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:40 am
Posts: 429
Location: Alberta, Canada
When I grew up my parents would never let us have a pet in the house because of my allergies. When I first had the chance my hubby and I got two Bichon Frise dogs. I think my thoughts at the time were my allergy was very low and they would just make me a little stuffed, thank goodness all went well but I did not let them sleep in the bed room (though they did go in the room) I think that the bed room is a big deal as we do spend so much time in our rooms sleeping. I think if you have the chance to have a dog for a "visit" that would be a great trial. You may even be able to question the breeder if she knows of anyone in your area that have one of her dogs that you could speak with and set up some doggy visits. I know for me it would shred my heart to have to give a dog back :( My two boys (dogs) lived to be 15 and 16. I would not trade any stuffy moment that I had with them. But, that being said it was me not my children. The last dog died two years ago. I just got a new little girl. (same kind of dog, we like them and I was afraid to switch breeds) That was two weeks ago. Still afraid I could react the first few days I was very nervous. All is going well :happydance and I tell you I would be sick by now as I Have been sleeping very near her as she wakes up at night and wines and barks if she does not see someone close. I don't want to start to bring her in our room if I don't want to have her stay there. All I would say is don't rush it. You will know when the time is right. Hope it all works out for you and you do get a new little fuzzy family member. :D

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Me-Allergic to Peanut, Tree Nut, Coconut, Shellfish, ASA and Asthma
My Husband and Children No Allergies


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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 3:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:29 pm
Posts: 7
Thanks Paige,

I decided to go get my allergies retested as well, and probably go on shots (I have pollen, mold, dander and other inhalent allergies...I usually just say I'm allergic to anything in the air!). I'm so concerned about my kids and their allergies I guess I've been ignoring my own. So, I'd like to see how bad my dog allergy is. I definately know certain breeds really bother me (like the neighbor's german shepherd...double coated fur...yikes!) but others are much better. So, this is still a work in progress.
This will be my first summer without a cat in the house so I'm curious to see if it makes much of a difference in how I feel. Usually by August I feel like crap. I'm also taking an inhalor this year to see if that helps my energy level (ie - more oxygen = more energy?!). You are right....I will know when the time is right.

Mel

ps - Bichons are so cute! :)


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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 9:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:06 pm
Posts: 217
Location: Terrebonne, Quebec
Ah, we used to have a Newfoundland.. the master of shed.. nothing could brush out that boy enough. We had to rehome him, but I have been looking into allergy safe dogs for the future when the kids are older and not always crawling on the floor and putting everything in their mouths and can understand the importance of hand washing.. I'd love to have a dog again.. Good luck!

_________________
Daughter 3.5 years) - Dairy, Eggs, Peanuts, Sesame, Beef; asthma and eczema
Daughter (2 years) - Peanuts Eczema
Son (7 months) - Contact allergy to something food undetermined


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