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British Lung Foundation
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About Animals and COPD

Hi wondered if anyone out there has seen an improvement in their symptoms by rehoming their animals. I have two cats and have a feeling they r causing me some problems with my breathing.

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Hi Gina

Just having a guinea pig I don't have that problem but you certainly pose an interesting question. I wonder what the answers will be.

Bobby xx

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i have 3 cats and even if they affected me I would not rehome them, there are wipes you can get and lots of wet dusting

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Yes, Huggies 3 packs for £2.55 in Boots :-)

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Hi Gina

I have two dogs, and two long haired cats, at certain times of year my houses is more like a gigantic fur ball. About a year ago, when my breathing was deteriorating quite sharply I started to wonder if pets fluff/dander etc was making things worse. I have since replaced my carpets with hard flooring, so when I vacuum everything gets sucked up, my breathing has also improved, tho' this could be a complete coincidence.

I would not part from my four fur balls, however I do think carpets can harbour all kinds of allergens and dust

and whatever 'dyson' says ... it does not all get removed.

Could you move your cats into a temporary holiday (e.g. put them in cattery / foster home, for two weeks) just to see? ...... I would miss mine SO much, I would need very clear evidence that they were making me VERY ill before losing them

Beth

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One of my cats is a house cat and relies on the litter tray bless her. But if she gets locked in the front room she will go behind the telle. My son is aways locking her in there he's a real pest and I think its maybe the cleanning up and resultant smell that's maybee causing most problems. I have a steam cleaner and buy proper pet cleaning liquid but am convinced its causing problems cause when I am in my bedroom my breathing is slightly easier.

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I think you have it nailed there Gina

If you cat is messing in the room then even when you clean up you will end up with ammonia fumes from the carpet and boards under.(Ammonia is the chemical produced from urine etc when bacteria get to work ....even wiping and clearing up will not remove it from under carpet/ floor boards etc). Ammonia will make your breathing poorer, and will to anyone COPD asthma or healthy .... If you have a small litter tray in the room you could clean out mistakes ....btw .... I know what sons are like re shutting cats in the wrong room and not checking ..... been there

Beth

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Just had a terrible week after cleaning up after her and I don't want to end up in hospital or make my copd worse because of the catsits a shame I know but am at my wits end with it all lol could try an extra litter tray behind the telle see what happens but need to get proactive about this cause I am sick of being sick lol

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Hi

You have to look after yourself first ... you have family etc and pets cant look after you or your family

You need to do what's right for you (and therefore your family)

Hope you feel better soon Gina

Let us know how you do

Take care

Beth

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Hi, have you ever had skin prick tests for airborne allergy to pets? This will tell you once & for all.

I have and was greatly relieved to find I'm not allergic to them - dog is very pleased he can stay :-) :-)

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Hi peeg, where did you get the skin prick test done, at our GP?

Peta

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Hiya Peta, it was done at the hospital, arranged by the consultant after my 1st visit to him. They test for airborne allergies.

I'm allergic to mould spores, I was quite surprised although I've always known I couldn't eat mould/fungi/yeasty stuff.

Ask if you can have one? P xx

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Thanks peeg

xx

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Hello! dont know how I missed this, sorry for seeming rude.

I had the skin prick tests done at St Georges' Chest Clinic. Consultant organised it as my GP thought I might have Aspergillosis. I dont, luckily :)

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Carpets and soft furnishings are dust collectors and also take a lot of moisture out of the air. My cat really affected my breathing but that was because he had a little trick I didn't know about. He wasn't allowed upstairs, so if he heard anyone coming, he went under the chest of drawers and climbed up inside and lay in the top drawer...on my hankies. So every time I put a hanky to my nose, it was 100% cat hair.

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I agree with peeg, I had a skin prick test for cats and was ok, but my daughter was found to be allergic.

My three cats have died, but I am still wheezing. Its house dust that does me...especially my house which is really annoying. If I go to A&E or even the GP breathing gets better when I am sitting there, maybe thats because I am less anxious though.

My cats were elderly and had lots of "accidents" so I replaced my carpets with hard flooring after they went, so easy to clean with a rechargeable vacuum. I got a tax rebate after I finished work early so that paid for flooring, but I got offcuts of cheap vinyl when they were alive and put that down.

I did have an asthma attack when I was trying to catch stray cats last week, but I couldn't get near them so I think that was just exertion.....get my "cat fix" now from You Tube

I would ask your GP if he will give you some allergy tests. My allergic daughter takes Montelekast daily and anti histamines when she is near animals as well as her inhaler.

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Have had a rast test done but it came clear for dogs and cats but my doctor said they are not always reliable as I was son steroids and anti allergy tablets at the time and it can screw with the results so don't know. Ifound that when I got the dog that was the start of my problems it was a pup and kept weeing all over at first so I think its urine. The dog is ok most of the time now but did a naughty in the kitchen last night but my son will clear it up. My garden is well fenced and we have loads of strategies for keeping the animals out of carpeted areas but its not full proof. The doctor recons that just keepijng the dog is enough but rspca r not being very helpful with the cats they just don't seem to care about cats at all.

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My neighbour rang the RSPCA about the stray cats in her garden....they just recommended ringing Cats Protection.

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Hi Ginaapple

I felt sorry for a starving stray cat several years ago & eventually allowed it to settle with me. What a big mistake - I gradually became more & more breathless & nauseous until I suddenly realised why, when I was sick after cleaning the cat litter tray. After phoning a charity to explain, I took the cat for rehoming & I also had to replace some carpets.

My advice to anyone who has a hint of breathing problems - DO NOT GET PETS. It was expensive to pay for rehoming & new carpets but at last I can now breathe better & not feel sick any more. My only regret is not having a cat, but your health comes first.

Sue

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I could never ever re home mine no matter what. Even if I had to wear a dust or vapor mask. My life without my fur balls would never be the same. Plus my dog gets me out for fresh air and exercise. I find them beneficial to my health and well being to be honest.

I would hate to be on my own completely. They at least give me hope.

xx Ros xx

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Hi I have a whippet and he does not have any affect on my copd , but good question will monitor this !!!!

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I too have two cats of the indoor type. I admit to being a slave to these little life savers but have some advice that may help. Do not shut them in anywhere but leave all doors open so they can get to the litter tray. To clean the tray with as little effort as possible.When deposited pick up poo and put down the toilet, flush away. Catsan is expensive but has very little dust and does not get smelly as it absorbs urine. With two cats I change the tray every third day by sliding it into a black sack, turn over and give it a thump which dislodges all the litter into the sack. Two jugs of water into the tray and a quick swirl and pour down the toilet. Refill tray and dispose of black sack. I have COPD with the added bonus of Arthritus and Psoriasis and while looking after animals ( or any dependant) is a challenge the reward is beyond description. But....if you feel your condition would be put under more stress by doing as described then it would be better for them to be rehomed. Only you know how you feel and have left out any reference to hair and dander as house dust and mites are more seriouse simply because they are everywhere, cat or no cat. Sorry if this sounds like a lecture, it's not meant to be, if you decide to let them go may I ask you to only allow them to go to a rescue centre. 'free to a good home' opens the door to a group of evil people. If you are in London or close to it then Celia Hammond will do her best to help. If not then Google Cat Rescue and you should find something local. I hope you can find a solution to help your breathing and wish you well.

Jane

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Am using a gel litter at the moment and my son cleans it out most of the time but think I need two my cats r quite old now I have had them for ten years and they are brother and sister. Am going to try an extra litter tray near the back door and see how I get on but your right about house dust I am allergic had a test done I think I need a new hover something a bit lighter than my dyson. Problem we have is when u r I'll it gets harder to keep up with the dust lol feeling a lot better today so will be getting some cleaning done tomorrow. It can be a bit like a vicious circle at times if u get the drift . Thanks for your reply and advice.

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Good response Jane and pleased to know you can continue to enjoy your cats. I also had allergy testing done at the hospital via consultant and was thankfully free of animal allergies. Would so like to have them as I once did..(they all lived to a ripe old age ,this was a few years ago, but I'm now in sheltered housing so not able to.

Lovelight x

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I have a beutiful cat called foxy she is 8 y o and means everything to me. ! have emphasemia and am on 3 litres a min oxygen 24 hours a day i think my condition is being made worse by foxy but her company is outwieing this. The only concern that i have is that i dont outlive her and i worry constantly what would become of her, she is a one man cat foxcourt

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My son is effected by Cats I am with cats and short haired dogs and was told not to have birds. One of my neighbours was floored with a Canary within 3 days of buying it.

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