Thursday, March 15, 2012

Allergy to Dogs or Dog Food?

Bee tested allergic to dogs in her last skin-prick test.  Whenever we are around dogs, she breaks out in hives.  When a dog licked her face we nearly had to take her in to the ER to control her reaction.  So, it would seem that we are allergic to dogs.

But through doing some research and thinking about past experiences, I have a new question:

Are we allergic to dogs or to their dog food?

My parents had a dog that never seemed to bother Bee.  I couldn't figure out why this one dog was different from all the others.  Then I remembered that the dog had been diagnosed with food allergies in the past.  When I spoke with my mom about her dog, she told me the dog was on a dog food that did not have gluten or corn or soy.  The only grain in her food was rice-it was a specialty food for dogs with allergies.

So, Bee is allergic to other dogs but not this one.  Is it because this dog ate a diet that Bee could also eat?

I had to find out what was in other dog foods.  I did a comparison and found that nearly every major brand has a minimum of 2 of Bee's allergens in the ingredients.  Some foods had more than 5.

It would seem to make sense that if the dog ate a diet full of Bee's allergens, then Bee would also be allergic to that dog.  But what if a dog ate a diet that Bee could also safely eat?  Would she have less problems around that dog?

That has been our new question for our doctor.  She felt it was thought provoking and is now working to research it further.  We will be retesting the dog allergy in a month and then decide what our next step should be.  Maybe one day we can safely have a pet, even if I have to make all the dog food from scratch too.


Kymmie said...

I'm not very knowledgeable about food allergies in people, but one thing I do know about is food allergies in dogs. We had a dog with 18 different allergies- including many of the major dog food ingredients. There are multiple options out there for commercial allergen free dogs foods, if you do end up getting a dog, that would save you the trouble of making the dog food all from scratch. It's more expensive than regular dog food (of course!) but it isn't too bad.

Lexi said...

Thanks! Can you give me some links to the brands? That would be so helpful! It would be nice to buy allergy-free dog food rather than make it.
We're still debating on the dog situation and will talk with our doctor further in April.

Cindy in GA said...

I have wondered pretty much the same thing. We are dog lovers currently without a dog (lost our sweet old buddy at age 15 when little dd was still a baby), and we'd love to get another soon. Dd hasn't been tested for dog but has had hives some times and not others w/ dogs. Not sure how to proceed!

Lexi said...

It's hard to figure out and even our doctor is unsure. We're going to talk with her in April and then go from there. We are so hopeful that we can have a dog soon!

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