Ditch the dog? Kick out the cat?

Just for the record, SRxA bloggers love animals. We’re also kind to old people and want world peace…but that’s another story!

Anyway, we were alarmed to learn recently that of the 600 million or more people worldwide who are affected by allergic rhinitis,  a significant proportion suffer because of allergies to their own pets. According to the American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology, an estimated 10% of the US population may have pet allergies as do 20-30% of people with asthma.

A research article penned by Don Bukstein, MD published late last year in Allergy and Asthma Proceedings recommends that people with pet allergies should try to avoid animal dander altogether.

He acknowledges, however, that most patients would rather get rid of their doctor than be parted from “Felix” or “Fido”.

Because of this, he suggests that those with pet allergies should be started on routine immunotherapy.

Would you rather have allergy shots than give up your pet?  SRxA’s Word on Health wants to hear from you.

4 thoughts on “Ditch the dog? Kick out the cat?

  1. The way people who suffer from animal allergy and doctors who advise them ought to be thinking is that “Nothing’s Free”. Good choices are about balancing the good and bad of the condition and the good and bad of the treatment. Rosa is still suffering from the bad of the treatment—getting rid of a loved cat. The shots are not easy, and there’s no guarantee, but they may well have allowed her to keep her cat.
    So how can we get doctors, and more importantly HMOs and insurance companies to really balance ALL the costs and benefits of treatment choices, including the quality of life issues that Rosa’s talking about?

  2. If only 30% of asthmatics are allergic to pets (that’s more than three quarters who are NOT ALLERGIC), why do doctors always suggest getting rid of pets on the first visit with a new asthma patient? How many pets are killed – and people’s hearts broken – because of some ignorant doctor’s casual suggestion? Being the guardian of a companion animal is a special responsibility that has numerous mental and even physical health benefits, especially for people with chronic illness who may have little support from other humans.
    Doctors would do better to tell asthma patients to get rid of their filthy carpets and upholstered furniture, their scented cleaning products and cosmetics, and their wood stoves and moldy basements that hurt their neighbor’s health as well as their own….and THEN see if they’re really allergic to the cat.

  3. In a recent study we conducted in over 200 cat allergic patients 90% did not follow their allergists advice and get rid of their cat-Thus we should conside immunotherapy as a primary treatment for these patients? Agree? Disagree?

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