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Archived Message
Asthmatic -allergic to dog
by Jeanine

Asthmatic -allergic to dog Hi,I am a very cronic asthmatic with allergies to dogs,cats and basically any animals with fur or dander. My 7 year old only child is desperate for a little maltese puppy. Some people have told me that maltese are hypo-allergenic--- Is this true? Can anyone offer advise.
Hi Jeanine! I'm allergic to cats and dogs and I have 2 Maltese and a poodle. I have had no problems whatsoever. My allergist told me it's the dander that causes the allergic responses, not the hair or fur of the animal. And all animals have dander-it's dead skin that falls off the animal. Although one person will tell you Bichon's are "non-allergic" dogs, and the next person will tell you there is no such thing as a non-allergic dog. You should discuss this with your doctor and if you know someone that has a Maltese go around the dog and see if you start getting symptoms. Also, you could take medication, get allergy shots to desensitize yourself, bathe the dog once a week, and keep the dog out of your bedroom-although I couldn't sleep without all 3 of my dogs-this is just the standard advice an allergist will tell an allergic patient who will not part with a pet due to an allergy. I hope this helps!
Sigh... I really would love to tell you what you want to hear, but it wouldn't be fair to you, your son, or the dog. Basically, there is no such thing as a non-allergenic dog, all dogs have some sort of dander or fur (allergens).. though some may produce less than others and therefore be considered by some "hypo- (lower)allergenic. There is a great article on this down at the bottom of the directory on the left-hand side of the page. I can say that my brother who has mild allergies to animals didn't seem to have much trouble when visiting Puff.. although I don't know how it would be if he lived with him. My biggest concern is that if you are an asthmatic, and turn out to be allergic to your new dog (remember, it can take a while before it shows), you would probably have to get rid of the dog. By that time, you and your son will surely be quite attached. The heartbreak at such a time will be much worse than if your son never had a dog. My only suggestion is to maybe talk to your doctor about allergy shots or other treatment if you haven't done so already. Also, if you know someone with a maltese, maybe they'd let it visit you for a while to see how you react. Remember that puppies have less allergens than adult dogs, so please don't assume that because you are ok with the puppy that it will remain like that.
Dear Jeanine: I too am allergic with severe asthma--cats, dogs, name it! Six-eight months of the year I live on Prednisone and use 3 different inhalers daily. I own a maltese and can actually HOLD her without wheezing, sneezing, eyes swelling shut. This is a lifetime FIRST. Maltese have hair versus fur with underdown. I assume maltese are capable of having dander, depending on the environment (also food, shampoo type, etc) but I have not found this to be the case. I have read and talked to many in our situation and the Maltese seems to be the answer. I suggest you do the following: If you have found a puppy you want--bring or better yet--have the dog delivered to YOUR house for a trial run. If you go where there are several dogs you may have a reaction that you would not have with only one. I found this out when we took our maltese to Miami where my brother had a bishion (sp?). Two dogs and carpet really did a number on me. During the two weeks in Miami I visited the E.R. twice and looked like a pumpkin from the meds. As soon as I arrived home I was fine, one maltese and tile floors. I truly hope you can have a maltese and based on my experience I think you can without problems. Good luck.
Go look in the archives on this website's homepage - there is surely a lot of discussion there regarding "Maltese and their hypo-allergenic coat". I know I have personally posted several replies to this inquiry over time, myself, as this is a primary reason we chose this Breed - in the beginning . . . . . ..

The Maltese coat is "single" - that is , without undercoat. It is basically akin to human hair in most all respects - other than it's PH make-up - but that is immaterial to this discussion.

My wife, Angie, is asthmatic and also allergic to dogs and, more particularly, cats. A sensitivity test revealed that she was, in fact, actually allergic to the dander in an animals coat and not the hair, or the animal, itself. As it is the undercoat on a dog that, for the most part, holds this dander (dust, skin particles, dirt, etc.) and not the top-coat - the Maltese is generally a highly likely candidate for a pet for individuals suffering from such a condition - in addition to the Breed's other many outstanding and redeeming qualities.

We also found that Angie IS sensitive to a dog's urine - so she must be extra careful not to touch her face after cleaning up after a dog - even when that only involves changing "papers".

Still, she can sit on the sofa with a lapful of Maltese, for hours on end - and not suffer the first hint of an asthmatic incident or any ill-effect whatsoever.

That is why we also keep the Maltese, after they have "finished" their Conformation Show Championships, in a short "puppy-clip" so there is less chance that their coat will get urine-stained and lead to a problem for my wife.

After having bred Maltese now for several years - I believe that even if Angie WAS allergic to them that we would still be raising, and "owned by", members of this charming, affectionate, fastidious, and elegant little "aristocratic breed of the Dog Kingdom".
Larry Stanberry Divine Maltese

I a'm also an asthmatic. I think everyone is different but I now have three Maltese. We tried our first 2 1/2 years ago and I was very careful at first to always wash my hands after petting etc.. Kelsey a male was three months old when we got him and I had a back up friend that was willing to take him if I couldn't keep him due to my asthma. I had a little sneezing at first but not what I normally would have with a regular dog. The asthma part was fine. Kelsey was such a joy that when he was 1 we got a little 8week female and named her Jasmine. Out of the two I seem to have a little more reaction to the female especially when bathing but no full blown attacks. I don't know if you are on any medications but the new pill Accolade that is out now seems to help even more for my regular asthma problems. I find I don't have to use inhalers as much. If I were you I would try to visit a home that has just one Maltese and see how you react. Good Luck
Jeanine, My friends husband has chronic allergies also and he always did fine with my Maltese. They did buy one of their own and have no problems so far. They do bathe him every few weeks just to make sure. And keep him in a "puppy cut". Hope this helps some...
Libby & Buster
You will hear all crazy types of stories about allergies and Maltese. Here is mine. I have serious asthma, usually only brought on my dogs and cats, well there are other things, but I have owned my dog since November of 1997 and feel great!!! A friend of my family also adopted a maltese and he also is fine. I will not lie, sometimes I sneeze a lot, and I have to use my inhaler, but nothing as serious as it used to be. Ironically enough, my dog is lying on my lap right now and I am fine. He also sleeps in my bed...I'm still alive. I was fortunate to adopt a pedigree Maltese. There is a group of people where I live that find homes for Maltese. They are rather expensive and never would have spent over $1000 without knowing if I were allergic to these hypo-aller. dogs. I was lucky Go for it, it will be the best experience, these dogs are little personalities. You will be happy you did so...Good Luck!
Nicole & Wiley
After reading the posts from others who have similar problems as you.. I'm starting to think maybe I was just a tad overly negative on the subject. I do have an aunt who is allergic to dander and she can't be around my dog for more than a few hours without an attack, but then again my brother didn't have much trouble with Puff at all. Also, I had the unfortunate experience at 9 of having to give up my beloved cat (which was a gift from my Grandmother) when we discovered that my dad and brother were both severely allergic to it... and this was terribly traumatic for me and my family. I still think you should test out your reactions to this breed before getting one.. but maybe there is hope from what I've been reading:)
I really can't speak about the allergy part of your story because I don't have to deal with that problem. Thank God! But one of the things you said concerned me. Your CHILD wants a puppy Maltese. Please, and I say PLEASE, don't get a Maltese for your child. Everyone in the family has to want one, especially you! A friend of mine did this for her 'CHILDREN' and boy oh boy what a mistake that was. She had no desire to get a dog, and now, 5 months later, they are looking for a home for her. The children lost interest, as most will, and now the burden is hers. She never wanted one. So please reconsider before purchasing a Maltese as to whom the dog is for. Good luck on your endeavors!
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