Comments on The Hypoallergenic Dog Myth

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AnimalLux   El Paso, TX

3/5/2013 6:07:33 PM

I thank God that I am not allergic to dogs

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DR JR   Joyceville, ON

6/8/2012 6:53:29 PM

PART 1 OF 5: I am a physician and I simply must weigh-in here because this article is so misleading. I have loaded my complex comment in parts because it wouldn't load at its full-length; nonetheless, I think that a medical perspective is in order here. First of all, there is a HUGE difference between the terms "hypo-allergenic" and "non-allergenic." Yes, there ARE hypo-allergenic dogs, because the term hypo- simply means "less-than" (hypo- is Latin for "below," as in a hypodermic needle, which means one that goes "below the dermis" of the skin). So a "hypo-allergenic breed" would be one likely to cause a "lower" reaction than another breed - not "no reaction at all."

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DR JR   Joyceville, ON

6/8/2012 6:52:12 PM

PART 2 OF 5: I will agree that no dog is reliably and totally non-allergenic - which I think is what this author is trying to say. However, to say that there are no dogs who are hypo-allergenic - LESS-likely to cause allergies - is absolutely untrue. There is no question that certain dogs cause MORE of an allergic reaction in certain people than other dogs do. The author is correct in saying that it's the dander and not the hair to which people react (more specifically, it's the protein in the dander), however, isn't it possible that there are differences in dander between breeds? It's more than possible - it's quite likely. We know this because there are many who can tolerate the dander of certain dogs (such as poodles, shih tzus, bichon frises, Portuguese water dogs, havanese, etc.) who develop tremendous allergic reactions to other dogs.

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DR JR   Joyceville, ON

6/8/2012 6:51:39 PM

PART 3 OF 5: Here is my own experience - yes, it's anecdotal evidence, but it's good enough for me and makes this author's assertion highly suspect: I have significant, allergy-test-established allergies to "dogs," and have developed severe reactions reliably in the presence of certain breeds. For whatever reason, these have often been short-haired breeds, such as labs, pointers, boxers, bulldgos, dalmations, etc), including two reactions which landed me in the emergency department. Nonetheless, I do fine with the "supposedly-mythic" hypo-allergenic breeds, and I recently purchased a shih tzu, and am delighted that I do fine with her. My experience is not unique - indeed, this is a common finding. So what's happening here? Are my allergies - and the asthma they triggered - psychosomatic? Am I delusional? Are all these happy pet owners suffering a placebo effect? There's clearly something else going on.

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DR JR   Joyceville, ON

6/8/2012 6:51:13 PM

PART 4 OF 5: Let us look at cats - those wonderful critters to whom so many have dreadful reactions. It turns out that many people with cat allergies can and will acclimate to their particular cat - an allergist told me this after I tested positive to cat dander, and sure enough, I spent a miserable couple for months with my cat before my symptoms (largely, but not completely) resolved. Also, there ARE proven hypo-allergenic cats (remembering that hypo- simply means less-than) - Siberian cats are known to possess lower levels of the FEL-D-1 protein to which many are allergic; female cats and neutered males also possess lower levels. And I was recently delighted to discover that there is also a natural mutation of horse - the Bashkir Curly Horse - which possesses a different dander protein to which few otherwise-allergic folks will react. Ride on!

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DR JR   Joyceville, ON

6/8/2012 6:50:36 PM

PART 5 OF 5: Take-home message: don't believe everything you hear or read, even if it's "in an article." Do your own research - and that means spending real-time with the kind of dog (or cat or horse) you'd like to own and seeing for yourself how you react. However, don't assume that a reaction to one breed means you'll automatically react to another - it isn't the case for the countless allergic folks who nonetheless are happily snuggling with their poodles right now!

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DR JR   Joyceville, ON

6/8/2012 6:44:01 PM

I am a physician and I simply must weigh-in here because this article is so misleading. First of all, there is a HUGE difference between the terms "hypo-allergenic" and "non-allergenic." Yes, there ARE hypo-allergenic dogs, because the term hypo- simply means "less-than" (hypo- is Latin for "below," as in a hypodermic needle, which means one that goes "below the dermis" of the skin). So a "hypo-allergenic breed" would be one likely to cause a "lower" reaction than another breed - not "no reaction at all."

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Jane   Houston, TX

3/8/2011 8:38:51 PM

Well, I am allergic to dogs, and I am getting a poodle. I have spent time with this dog and have found that I have not had a noticeable allergic reaction. Hypoallergenic dogs are NOT completely hypoallergenic, so if you are allergic to dogs, research which ones are "hypoallergenic." Spend time with that certain breed to see whether or not your allergies respond.

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STB   Eagan, MN

7/30/2010 8:15:11 AM

wow! What a great article and good information.

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Janet   Bethlehem, PA

6/12/2010 9:40:45 AM

good article thanks

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anonymous   anonymous, YT

2/2/2010 2:07:42 PM

i am flabbergasted! my family said we can get a dog if u get a 95 or above on my report, and i was really looking forward to it, so now..... why bother!!!

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Madi   Lithonia, GA

10/12/2009 12:43:08 PM

I am shocked! Its very dissapointing because my brother has allergies and hes a dog lover. Does this mean we cant have one?

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kristina   lake city, FL

10/12/2009 5:18:25 AM

great article

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Janet   Bethlehem, PA

10/4/2009 7:35:13 AM

good article thanks

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Stephanie   North Canton, OH

8/6/2009 8:17:27 AM

Thanks for the info! My sister-in-law thinks Poodles are hypoallergenic. I better let her know...

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