Dog dander allergy

Hi, all.

I have just found out that I am allergic to my two 8 month old puppies :( it all started about 2 months ago, when I started experiencing a tight chest, and sob, but no wheezing. I was diagnosed with Asthma back in 1987/88 when I developed an allergy to our cat, which we had, had for 14 years. I went to my doctor ( first time in 10 years) and he listened to my chest, lungs etc and said it's all clear, I'm not sure it's Asthma, but prescribed me Qvar and Ventolin. He seemed more obsessed about taking my blood pressure, which he the scared me as he said it was high and wanted me to see the HCA.

So off I go and see her, put myself on a diet and exercised more and after wearing a 24 hour BP monitor my BP is ok. Whilst wearing this I had some blood tests, which included, one for heart failure (I'd convinced myself that's what I had), one for a blood clot because I was SOB a lot and my inhalers were not touching it. Liver,, kidney, anaemia ec were all tested along with a RAST test for dog allergy. Everything came back negative except the dog one :(, which came back as a very strong allergy to dog dander. Needless to say my wife and I are gutted. I've had an ECG because I mentioned I had lifted something and pulled a muscle ( my job is very physical, so I never get chance to rest the muscles) although now I'm thinking it could have been the chest tightness and sob causing the muscles to hurt. I saw another Dr and he said if it's tender and you can feel it, it will be muscular.

On Friday, I had a Spirometery and reversibility test. My peak flow was normal as was most of everything else, but one figure was 65% so I had to take 6 puffs of Ventolin and wait 15 minutes and re do the forced breathing test. This time the figure was 85% which she said is Asthma. Now my Dr ( who I feel isn't interested, and said its anxiety) gave me one puff of Qvar twice a day and the Asthma nurse said that's a child's dose and that as I'm a big guy (6ft1 and rugby player build) I should have two puffs twice a day. She then changed my inhaler to Fostair. I have never heard of this and it panics me that I don't know anyone on it.

I am going to spend a few days at my parents to see how I feel away from my dogs, and just take two puffs of Qvar twice a day whilst there and see how I get on.

When I'm outside walking the dogs I am fine, however when indoors I can be SOB, and it panics me. I am a real worrier about my health, and have felt pretty rotten over the past month.

Sorry for the long first post, I just needed to get it out there :/

5 Replies

  • If it makes you feel any better i'm on fostair and get on guite well with it. Fostair is made up of a steroid (Qvar is a steroid inhaler too) and a LABA (which acts as a long acting version of salbutamol) and the great thing about inhlaers is that the majority of the drug goes into your lungs so side effects are kept to a minimum!

    I'd go back to your GP (or a different one in the practice) and discuss the results of the spirometry, which as your main positive result will be the likely one to point to whats wrong.

    Dont forget stress can trigger asthma, (as well as raising blood pressure) so keep as relaxed as possible and maybe go and talk to someone who will help you worry less?? depends on how much you feel its impacting on your life!

    hopefully a bit of time away from the dogs and you'll be feeling better :-)

  • It's great that you know what your trigger is, the hard part for you is figuring out what you want to do to manage it... Thankfully I'm not allergic to cats or dogs (a relief as have four cats and a dog). I don't envy you. I'm on fostair, I know lots of folk on it, it's not uncommon. Contains a steroid and long acting reliever.

    To be frank, your dogs could live for 10+ years... That's a pretty long time to feel short of breath and pants every day :( have they given you antihistamines? I have other allergies which affect my asthma and take telfast 180mg daily, and monteleukast which also helps with allergic asthma.

  • Thanks for your replies. The potential lifespan of my two is what worries me. They are Jack Russell's so could live for 16 years, and I can't live like this for that length of time, and really don't want to pump my body with drugs for that length of time. However, I am so attached to them that common sense could be ignored. Somebody else mentioned Telfast to me, but I haven't been given any antihistamines, not sure why. Possibly because it only affects my breathing?? Having aid that I gave Oliver a cuddle today as a test and within minutes of putting him down I had a rash on my neck, and arms and was itching.

    My main problem with all these things is that I never get ill, not even a cold, and the thought of taking medicine daily worries me, when I could easily solve the problem.

    One thing I do know after reading some of your experiences on here , is that mine is a very mild case but still debilitating. How some of you cope, I have no idea.

  • My allergies only affect my lungs. It seems yours is affecting more than your breathing.... You sound like you know what you feel the sensible decision is. The earlier you rehome, the easier for them and you, if that's what you do decide in the end. There is likely to be a jack Russell specific re homing scheme too. Ah that must feel so tough :(

  • I too am in the process of rehoming two Jack Russells which I've had for two and a half years and during that time had more chest infections and wheezing than I've had since I was a child living on a farm. All my married life I was infection free, we had no pets, but as soon as I got my pets, I got my chest. I've been visiting my doctor for anti biotics which never seemed to help and I was diagnosed with COPD and they put it down to me being an ex smoker. It's taken almost as long to realise that the dogs could be my problem, so I decided to test the situation by removing them from my house all day and at night, they come in for their meal early evening and stay in a couple of hours. I was considerably better by doing this but not entirely and couldn't imagine leaving my pets outside in their luxury kennel once the weather starts to get really wintry. I decided to install a heater and thermostat and worked inside their kennel for most of the day. I was half way through a course of prednisolone at the time and was feeling great. Bad decision !! The morning after I could not get any air into my lungs and thought I was going to die. I got dizzy and nauseous and only when I coughed very hard did I manage to move something which let in a bit of air. I was ill for 2 days breathless , bunged up with mucous, hot eyes and just wanted to sleep. I shouldn't really let them into the house at all as I seem to get worse on going to bed, mucous crackling when I breathe and find it impossible to sleep lying down. I think I shall spend the rest of my life sitting in a chair all night, hence my very long post. I am hoping that when my beloved pets eventually go and I remove all traces of dander that my condition will improve somewhat.

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