Allergies to dogs in children: myths and reality
How often sellers at pet stores and at zoo markets hear the child as asking: Mom, buy a dog! Oh please! And the categorical mother’s answer: You can not! You’re allergic. Every third person in the world suffers from this or that kind of allergy. In 15% of the total population, the clinical symptoms of this disease manifest after communicating with a dog or a cat. So, do these people have to live all their lives without a four-footed pet? Is there a way out of this situation?
Allergy is an inadequate response of a person’s immune system to a certain substance, in fact harmless to the body. A substance that causes clinical manifestations of an allergy is called an allergen.
An allergic reaction occurs, as a rule, as a result of repeated exposure of the allergen to the body. In allergology, there is the concept of sensitization – increasing the sensitivity of the body with the accumulation in it of antibodies to the allergen for a certain period of time. When the process of sensitization reaches its peak, a person develops clinical allergy symptoms.
Allergens can be divided into the following general groups:
Epidermal allergens include proteins contained in saliva, urine, skin secretions and particles of exfoliated epidermis. In dogs of such allergens, six are isolated.
Who can have an allergic reaction to the dog
Why do some people have no allergies to dogs at all, and others even have short-term intercourse with severe symptoms? Heredity plays an important role. If both parents have a propensity for allergic reactions, then in seventy percent of cases the child will also be allergic. And in order for the baby’s organism to give an allergic reaction to the dog, the presence of this type of allergy in parents is not necessarily.
If circumstances have developed so that in your house there was a dog from street, first of all lead it to the veterinary doctor for clinical survey, дегельминтизации and vaccination.
Your child is allergic, but nevertheless wants a dog? The ideal option would be to take a puppy's scraped skin and a saliva sample from the cheek area to carry out a scarification test. If this is impossible for any reason, you can test yourself. Give the child the opportunity to communicate with the animal for at least an hour, let him pet him, take him in his arms. Try to negotiate with the owner, so that the dog spent a day in your apartment. This time will be enough for the manifestation of clinical symptoms.
If you want to confirm the diagnosis of an allergy to a dog, then for a comprehensive diagnosis, the allergist doctor assigns a series of tests:
- General blood analysis. An increase in the number of leukocytes and eosinophils, an increase in ESR, indicates the presence of inflammation and the presence of an allergic component.
- Blood chemistry. The increase in the number of immune complexes in the blood is specific for allergies.
- General urine analysis. The presence of protein indicates inflammation, the presence of whole or destroyed erythrocytes - the violation of renal filtration.
- Immunogram. The increased content of immunoglobulins of class E is characteristic for the development of an allergic reaction.
- Scarification tests (skin tests for allergies). The skin of the forearm is damaged (slightly scratched) by a sterile scarifier and applied to the wound with a drop of the allergen solution. After 20 minutes measure the size of the blister and / or redness on the skin and on a special scale of indicators evaluate the reactivity of the body.
- RAST is a radioallergosorbent test (usually involves the use of cellulose allergens). This method is more accurate, in comparison with skin allergens, and allows to identify antibodies in the blood for specific allergens.
I have a higher veterinary and secondary special medical education. I am engaged in trade in pet products. I prefer articles on zoological, veterinary and medical topics.