Allergies

So I know Basenjis are considered a "hypo-allergenic dog". That is what initially introduced me to the breed. I found them while researching hypo-allergenic dogs because my boyfriend is allergic to all pet dander (dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, etc.)

We introduced him to someone who owned adult basenjis & after an afternoon with them he had no allergy symptoms. So we got Dallas. The day we got Dallas (after about 10 minutes after we left the breeder) the symptoms came & have been continuous since. Mark has tried every kind of medication you can imagine from Claritin to Nasonex & no results. We are unable to afford the shots right now as he doesn't have health insurance at his current job…

So basically my question is, have any of you found little solutions for lessing the dander [what little he actually has] & thus lessen the allergy symptoms? I found some websites online that have shampoos, conditioners & wipes that you can use to keep their dander not airborne. They have also recommended things like air filters & special sheets, etc.

Just curious if anyone has ever experienced these methods & found something that may actually work. Mark has already mentioned that if he doesn't adapt & his symptoms subside at least a little within the next month or so he wants me to seriously consider getting rid of him :eek: 😞 For me, that just isn't an option. However, I guess I shouldn't expect him to be miserable every day either. He lived with dogs growing up & his allergies did adapt some to where he would go weeks without sympotoms, then have symptoms for a steady week, then they'd be gone again. However it's been a month with Dallas & his allergies haven't subsided one bit. It's just a bad situation…

Any suggestions or help would be much appreciated.

[Just please don't criticize me for getting him in the first place knowing Mark had allergies…]

I would definitely start with the bath, possibly with special shampoo. My roommate is allergic, and as long as he doesn't play with Medjai, he's just fine.

Not to criticize… but this is one of my pet peeves.... all these sites and BYB's that say Basenjis are hypo-allergenic... when they are NOT (but usually depending on the person good with people that have allergies).... same as with saying that they don't back without expanding that they are NOT mute...

Sorry, wish I had some ideas for your, but I don't....

My husband is allergic to dogs, too. We got our B, Cooper, because he had less symptoms around basenjis than other dogs. However, he still feels that he occasionally reacts to Cooper.

Some things that work at our house:

-The Dyson Animal vacuum cleaner. It is awesome! Our B is very allergic to dust mites, so everyone in our family benefits from its incredible power. It will pull things out of your carpet and furniture that you never knew you had.

-Ask at your local pet store for allergen reducing shampoo. PetSmart carries at least 2 different brands. Also, keep a "waterless shampoo" or "grooming spray" on hand to wipe down the dog after exercise outdoors. Dogs are really great at bringing in outdoor allergens to us!

-Make sure you're feeding a high quality food, and supplement with fish oil capsules if your dog has dry skin. This should reduce shedding and dander.

-Febreeze has an allergen reducing spray that keeps dander from becoming airborne. Spray it on carpets and furniture after thorough vacuuming.

-Depending on your attachment to the dog and severity of allergies, consider making the bedroom a dog-free zone. Just sleeping in a "clean" area can help you deal with the dog better during the daytime. Also consider using an air purifier in your bedroom.

-Replace your furnace filter with a really good allergen filter. Filtrete makes one that we use. Replace it often!!!

Hope this helps!!!
Ruth

This is not a criticism but information for anyone who is looking at a basenji and has allergies. Most people do not react the first time they are exposed to the allergen, it is the second exposure that causes the reaction. So it always recommended that someone with allergies visit on two separate days to see if there is a reaction.

Ruth gave some really great advice for reducing the amount of allergens in your home. I am not allergic to dogs but I am allergic to grasses and would react to my boy Nicky if he rolled in the grass and I didn't wipe him down when he came in because his coat is so short that when the hairs would rub against me in wrong direction it was like a homemade skin test. So make sure you wipe Dallas down so you eliminate any other allergens he may be bringing home. Even a damp washcloth helps.

I agree with Ivoss…also consider the possibility that Dallas might be bringing in pollen, etc. When our son was younger, we discovered he was allergic to dogs....and we owned a much loved Boxer. The allergist told us that we didn't have to get rid of the dog - just don't let him sleep in the bed and try to minimize time of the furniture used by the allergic person. Also, once your boyfriend can afford allergy shots, I really recommend them. I'm not allergic to dogs but I'm allergic to all grasses and most trees. The shots have REALLY helped. Also remember that Nasonex isn't designed to help during an attack. It is a long term medication that takes awhile to become effective. My allergist tells me to continue using it - even when my allergies seem calm. Before the shots started lessening my allergies and I still had some bad attacks, I found that Allegra-D and Astelin nasal inhaler helped the most. I'm not endorsing those meds....I just found that they helped me. Both are prescription meds though. Good luck!

Pat

I got him a prescription for Allegra today & was told that combining the Nasonex spray right upon waking up & an Allegra pill mid-day should help at least lessen the severity of symptoms.

I am also looking into an air purifier (will be buying one this weekend in fact) & have already bought the dander-lessening shampoo. I did find these wipes that say it pulls the dander out of the coat & if used once a week it can drastically reduce the dander the dog produces all together. The same company makes spray in conditioner which does the same thing only it's for bi-daily use. I'll probably go with everything & see what works…

Also, we're starting Dallas on Merrick's this weekend & weaning him off of Eukanuba since I've noticed he has a bit of dry skin anyway. Him having dry skin could be why Mark's allergies have seemed to get worse not better over time.

Allergies stink don't they? Such a weird science.

Thanks for the support everyone. I just feel so bad & even foolish since I finally thought Mark & I struck gold (since we've both wanted a dog for years) but I should have known that it would have taken more than 1 exposure. I guess I was seeing what I wanted to see...sigh

Has your boyfriend been to an allergist? I have pretty severe allergies (mainly trees, grasses, and anything else that grows outside) so I finally went to see an allergist. I have been getting allergy shots for two years. The reason I bring this option up is because I'm also allergic to cats. I asked my allergist if we could deal with the cat allergy in my shots along with the trees and grasses. Since beginning the shots I now live with three cats and have no problem. I also don't have to worry anymore about visiting friends and family who may have cats. My eyes would swell close to shut when I used to be around cats. I used to get twice a year sinus infections but haven't had one since being treaed by the allergist.

I know an allergist and shots seem severe but since being treated by an allergist I have become a believer. Honestly, shots aren't that bad. I am one of those people who passes out at the sight of a needle coming toward me so I can attest to the fact that the shots are worth it. Anyway it is something I think anyone suffering from allergies should check out. Hope it all works out well.

@achandl2:

Has your boyfriend been to an allergist? I have pretty severe allergies (mainly trees, grasses, and anything else that grows outside) so I finally went to see an allergist. I have been getting allergy shots for two years. The reason I bring this option up is because I'm also allergic to cats. I asked my allergist if we could deal with the cat allergy in my shots along with the trees and grasses. Since beginning the shots I now live with three cats and have no problem. I also don't have to worry anymore about visiting friends and family who may have cats. My eyes would swell close to shut when I used to be around cats. I used to get twice a year sinus infections but haven't had one since being treaed by the allergist.

I know an allergist and shots seem severe but since being treated by an allergist I have become a believer. Honestly, shots aren't that bad. I am one of those people who passes out at the sight of a needle coming toward me so I can attest to the fact that the shots are worth it. Anyway it is something I think anyone suffering from allergies should check out. Hope it all works out well.

We would get the shots however he does not currently have health insurance through his employer so they would be just too expensive for us to afford. I wish we could start allergy shots since I have read that with people treated for allergens due to pets 80% are "cured" of their allergy. It seems like a great solution but without insurance I can only imagine how expensive they would be. Considering his current nasal spray is $85 & Singulair (the pill they recommended if his allegra doesn't work) is $130 for 1 month supply :eek: I can look into prices without insurance but like all things in this country, I'd imagine without insurance help it'd cost a fortune (which is obvisouly more than we have. Hah)

I am not sure what your situation is, but what about going for insurance independently? It is expensive, I looked into it before I got my current job and it was about 250 a month for just me (this was 4 yrs ago), but if you are already spending over $200 on meds, it may be worth it, plus then you have the comfort of knowing he is insured in case anything else happens. My husband went w/o health insurance for several yrs in college, and while he still says it was a great idea, it always scared me that something serious would happen (injury, sickness, etc) and he would not have coverage. So I don't know if this is a possibility or an interest for you, but I just thought I would throw it out there! Good luck, I feel bad for you in that situation, I hope things can improve for you! Also, I have bad seasonal allergies, and my doctor prescribed Rhinocort Aqua, its been great (Prescription Claritian, and others didn't work for me) as basically no side effects…you could ask the doctor if it works for animal allergies as well...

I actually have looked into private insurance & it was going to be more like $350/month for him alone. It's just too much right now for us to afford. However, he is looking into getting a new job very soon so maybe his new place would offer insurance. I too HATE the fact he doesn't have it because I'm always worried something might happen & if it does without insurance we're kind of SOL.

I remember that feeling well 🙂 Another thing to possibly look into, I don't know how old you are, but if you are young (I think under 25) he could look into the COBRA option. I did that until I was 25, which was 3 yrs ago. What you do, is you actually pay to go under your parents insurance. I did that with my dad, and payed about $150 a month, again this was several years ago. Its for people who are 25 or under, to help you because you aren't a dependent anymore, yet many people are still just out of college/looking for jobs, and can't get insurance. I payed that amount, then had the exact same coverage they had. Again, I don't know if this is an option for you, but I just thought I would share.
Eventually things will work out, but I know its a scary thing until you get settled…especially since its so expensive for insurance, yet its not like most younger people have that extra money to throw out for it!!!

Also, Are you absolutely sure he is allergic to the dog? I know you got your puppy recently, but seasons are changing, especially I would imagine with you living in FL, where there is warm weather. Are you sure there is nothing else in his environment that could be causing the allergic reaction?
Again, good luck 🙂 Keep us informed as to how things go!

We don't think it could be anything else because he is fine when he is away from our apartment for a while. For example, when he is at work during the day his allergies go away. They don't really come back until about 30 or so minutes after being back at our place.

He's been tested before by an allergist (although while he was a kid) for an allergy to pet dander & so it is a confirmed allergy. I just wish we could find some way to at least minimize his symptoms since they have been so bad lately. I am going to try some of the techniques already mentioned & I guess hope for the best…

Any update to the allergy problem?

Not yet. His allergies were the worst ever the other day when I posted this. They have calmed down so he isn't sneezing every 2 seconds like the other day. Not sure why the other day he was so affected but it's been better. I'm going to buy a HEPA air purifier tomorrow, we have officially switched Dallas over to Merrick's to help with his dry skin [which he LOVES by the way], Mark's taking Allegra daily now , & I plan on buying the allergen wipes tomorrow too . So we'll see how much it improves. I really think he'll get better with time since the body is very adaptable to things like this. But only time will tell…

well Nina, you can always send Dallas here lol, Mia would love it (lol, ok maybe not) or you can send Mark here which ever you feel you would have to part with 😃 lol

@Ninabeana26:

Not yet. His allergies were the worst ever the other day when I posted this. They have calmed down so he isn't sneezing every 2 seconds like the other day. Not sure why the other day he was so affected but it's been better. I'm going to buy a HEPA air purifier tomorrow, we have officially switched Dallas over to Merrick's to help with his dry skin [which he LOVES by the way], Mark's taking Allegra daily now _, & I plan on buying the allergen wipes tomorrow too _. So we'll see how much it improves. I really think he'll get better with time since the body is very adaptable to things like this. But only time will tell…

You might also consider use 3V caps for Dallas to help with the dry skin here is a link. http://www.3vcaps.com
I have used this, especially when after my bitches would whelp and would really blow coat…..__

I am actually going to a pet sciality store today [not the one I normally go to] to see if they have the fish oil in a pump like I know Michelle uses. If not then those pills look good & so I'll probably buy some 🙂

@Ninabeana26:

I am actually going to a pet sciality store today [not the one I normally go to] to see if they have the fish oil in a pump like I know Michelle uses. If not then those pills look good & so I'll probably buy some 🙂

The 3V also comes in a pump… and you can search for places on the internet for the best price...

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