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Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that most of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinary medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.
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Allergies to Dog Saliva?
by Kim
Allergies to Dog Saliva? There are many posts about allergies, and the Maltese is thought to be a particularly good breed for allergy sufferers like myself. Yet, I've also been cautioned against dog saliva (not just dog's with fur). As I don't know anyone with a Maltese, would a Briard (or Portuguese Water Dog or Norwich Terrier or Irish Water Spaniel or Poodle) have that same type of saliva?


Gee Kim, you do know how to ask a hard question! If you are allergic to dog saliva it is probably to a protein in the saliva and there is a good chance that this protein is present in the saliva of all breeds (especially if you have already encountered it in the other breeds you mentioned). Aimee would know more about this than I do and she will most likely see your post and reply. My advice is to try to find a maltese that you can spend a bit of time with being "licked" and see if you have a reaction. If you don't know anyone who could "lend" you one, try approaching a breeder - if you are straightforward with them I'm sure they would understand and help. If you are really keen, you may be able to get a saliva sample and get your allergist to check it out for you. Also, try to get some more specific information from a Vet School library - the website below may help you track down some useful journal articles. Good luck! http://www.healthgate.com/HealthGate/MEDLINE/search.shtml
Deanna (Moose & Squirrel)

Well, as far as I know, if you are allergic to dog saliva, you are allergic to all dogs. You may be able to tolerate some beter than others. The thing about Maltese is they have hair rather than fur and may not build up dander as much as others. Also, when they lick themselves and the saliva dries, it may not fly around as much as with a breed that sheds a lot. There is a good article on this site (check the directory) discussing this. You *may* be able to live with a Maltese (depending on the severity of your allergies), if you don't have it sleep with you, limit petting and licking, limit the rooms it is allowed in, use air filters and purifiers, and bathe it often with special shampoos. Of course, that takes away a lot from the dog and from your relationship, but there are some who manage it. You may want to consider allergy shots to desensitize you or other treatments. Consult your allergy specialist or see one if you haven't already. Also, see if you can find a breeder or maybe a rescue group, that will allow you to spend some time with the dogs to see how you react.

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