Allergic sensitisation to dogs

Early exposure in life to dogs' allergens might confer protection against the development or exacerbation of allergic diseases and asthma with other factors involved in allergic sensitisation to dogs, US clinicians have said

Early exposure to dog allergens could confer some protection (Photograph: SXC)
Early exposure to dog allergens could confer some protection (Photograph: SXC)

In a review of the evidence behind dog ownership, allergic sensitisation and requests and queries from patients about 'hypoallergenic' dog breeds, the researchers presented the evidence behind the increased incidence of asthma and allergic diseases in the US, the link with in-house dog exposure and the growing trend for dog owners to choose specific dog breeds, despite evidence showing that dog and cat allergens are present in places without pets, such as classrooms.

Most people with asthma who own pets continue to do so, despite the effect on their symptoms. The reviewers conclude that more research is needed to understand how to manage the symptoms of those affected.
Smallwood J, Ownby D. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep 2012; Jun 9

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