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Does anyone have dog allergies but still own a Shiba?
  • AddieThibAddieThib
    Posts: 42
    Do you take medicine for it? Is there hope?

    I wasn't always allergic to cats and dogs, but it seemed to start a year after my cat of 11 years passed away. I was about to start college, so after she passed, I didn't have much contact with animals for the next few years.
    I'm determined to have a pet, and I know there's prescription allergy medicine for it.

    I have stuffy dry nose, watery eyes, my bottom lip or my eye swells, I become disoriented. It's not fun, but it's also not fun not being able to have a pet. Whenever I see a dog or cat, I still pet or hug it - my allergies don't stop me. My friends find it amusing, too haha

    I do notice some trends...
    If the cat or dog is bathed = no problem
    Outside = no problem
    (Also my allergies vary depending on the pet.)

    It's just really disappointing that this allergy developed. Can it "undevelop" with exposure to dogs and cats??

    So, my real concern here is looking for hope. Any suggestions?
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    There is this thread that talks about it a bit: http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/9285/allergic-to-new-shiba/p1

    But basically, I'd say no, you don't want a Shiba. In fact, you probably aren't going to be able to have any double coated dog, and I'll tell you why: the swelling (lips and eyes) and disorientation are pretty bad allergic reactions, not mild ones, and allergies tend to get worse. If you have this kind of swelling, you could go into anaphylactic shock, and have your throat close. NOT good!

    My godmother wanted an Akita very badly (same coat as a Shiba--Shibas may even have more dense double coats). Her husband is allergic to some dogs. On my recommendation, they spent the day with an Akita before putting down the puppy deposit. Good thing they did. He seemed to be fine at first, but noticed a little lip tingling but thought it was nothing. After two hours, on the way home, his face was so swollen that they had to go to the emergency room. By then, he was barely able to breathe.

    Soif you have a bad allergic reaction, you should not get a Shiba. It does not usually "undevelop" with exposure either. It usually gets worse with exposure.

    Taking meds for it may allow you to spend a day with a dog, but will not likely allow you to live with one, especially not a double coated dog.

    My god parents ended up getting standard poodles. He does not have an allergic reaction to them. So there are some dogs that you might be ok with.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8388
    @AddieThib - I agree with the above post. That is not a slight allergic reaction, but a severe reaction that could quickly turn into anaphylaxis.

    Have you sought medical attention or advice for this allergy? If not, I highly suggest that you do and have a medical professional prescribe an epi-pen for you to carry with you. These types of allergies will get worse with each exposure and if unprepared can land you in the emergency room or worse. :(
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • RacieRacie
    Posts: 49
    My son is mildly allergic to dogs so we have taken a few steps to help keep the amount of dander down in our home.

    -Bathing your pet regularly will reduce the amount of dander, but you don't want to bathe your pet too much or else it will dry their coat and skin out.

    -Brushing your pet regularly (outside, not in your home) will also help to reduce dander. Blow drying their coat on the cool setting also reduces dander

    -You should have an area that is off limits to your dog, usually your bedroom, to have an area that is somewhat dander free.

    -Keep a True Hepa type air purifier in the areas that your dog frequents the most, this will also keep dander levels to a minimum

    -Vacuuming daily (I recommend a Hepa filter vacuum) will also help. Shiba's shed quite a lot, try not to let the fur build up in your home.

    These are the things we do in our home to help our son and it has remedied his allergy symptoms to our Shiba. You can not cure your allergies, but for some people you can make them livable. Hope this helps!
    Post edited by Racie at 2014-05-09 13:30:48
  • HirokiHiroki
    Posts: 89
    I am quite allergic to some dogs, definitely got worse in the years when my family were dog-less. My lips and eye swelled once from exposure to a friend's husky, not good. When my parents got another dog, I eventually had no reactions to him and my reaction to other dogs tended to be less severe. When we first went to meet some shibas, I took cheap, supermarket own brand allergy tablets and I was fine, so decided I'd be ok to get one. First few weeks we had Hiroki I took one each day to be sure, but now I don't need them (unless I am going to be around certain other dogs)... So perhaps not entirely hopeless?
  • poltergeistpoltergeist
    Posts: 426
    I am allergic to both, cat and dog. I actually found that my allergies are practically non-existence now. I use to have it very bad and I still can get it bad when I get fur in my eyes.
    I take a allergic pill like Reactine(R) and I'm fine afterwards.

    Never bathe my cat either. Yoshi gets a monthly bath in the summer months and two months come winter. I don't vacuum that often.
    image
    Post edited by poltergeist at 2014-05-09 14:09:59
  • AddieThibAddieThib
    Posts: 42
    Thanks everyone, so much! I'm going to talk to a medical specialist on it, and maybe some veterinarians would know?

    There are some dogs that I'm COMPLETELY fine with. But my friend's pomeranian, for example, causes my lip to swell as such.
    My other friend's Lab mix doesn't cause anything and he's long haired. I can hug and play with him and everything is okay!

    I never had this problem as a kid, so it's really upsetting. I'm not trying to go against anyone's advice, but I do want to check to see if there is some type of medication that I could take that can work. (Just doing a little more research) I'll try to find someone with a shiba in my area and test any reactions around it.

    I definitely don't want to end up in the emergency room, so I'm keeping all everyone said in mind! Thank you <3
    Post edited by AddieThib at 2014-05-09 14:20:22
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8388
    @AddieThib - The best advice that anyone on the forum can give you is to see an allergy specialist regarding this. I would hate for someone here to give you a recommendation, you take it, and then have an anaphylactic reaction to a dog.

    Unfortunately adult onset allergies are a very real and very annoying thing. Last summer, I was the victim of a very sudden onset of an allergy to a substance that I had eaten practically every day of my entire life: peanut butter. Now, even if a peanut (or peanut substance) has touched my food, then I have a severe reaction. So yeah, I know the feeling, but your health is way more important than having a pet. So go get checked out and make sure to get an epi-pen!

    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
    Post edited by sunyata at 2014-05-09 14:31:49
  • poltergeistpoltergeist
    Posts: 426
    Yeah, and I had to recently limit my dairy in take. I have some bad exercise asthma and read that cutting down dairy helps :( - this was entirely new to me and started last year in fall!
    image
  • oneluckymugoneluckymug
    Posts: 67
    Your best bet is to see a specialist. There is too wide of a range for anyone to make an educated guess. It could be you have a serious reaction to animal dander in general. It could be that you have a mild reaction, but the animals bother you because of what they track around based on their environment. If it turns out your reaction is mild to moderate you may be able to work with that through a variety of methods (usually by choosing an appropriate breed, keeping pet indoors and keeping your indoors clean including possible air filters, getting the dog/cat when they are young, and keeping the dog clean and off your bed where you spend 1/3 of your time).

    However, you need allergy tested to even begin to start guessing. If you do decide to get a puppy after all is said and done....have appropriate outs for the pup....reputable breeder that will take them back no questions asked would be a good place to start.

    Allergies are no fun so good luck. I won't ever move back to the midwest where I grew up....eyes swell shut. However, here in the mountains I am perfect....even though everyone else seems to have horrible allergies.
    Post edited by oneluckymug at 2014-05-09 23:46:53
  • pwm72pwm72
    Posts: 5
    I find that I have a slight reaction to some dogs and most cats, but for some reason, Shibas have not bothered me. I have spent time with Labs and Goldens and get itchy eyes, but have spent a few hours with a few Shibas with no symptoms whatsoever. It really seems to be a very specific thing. I don't know if it the type of fur or different dander, but I was pleased that the Shiba didn't bother me.
    Paul Manuel
    pwm72@comcast.net
    Elkton, MD
  • AddieThibAddieThib
    Posts: 42
    I REALLY hope that I have a similar case with a Shiba. I will update the results whenever I see a specialist! Thanks for your concerns! You are all so awesome and caring. It's so nice to find a supportive community on this matter :x
    Post edited by AddieThib at 2014-05-10 11:03:18
  • AntoinetteAntoinette
    Posts: 885
    I am allergic to pet dander so I take benadryl at night and Alegra during the day. I also use saline solution to flush out my sinus passages in the morning. Since my adorable Shiba Quake has been shedding I have not allowed him in my bedroom during the day when I am at work but have let him stay in the entry area and kitchen in order to limit pet hair in my bedroom. I do allow him in my bedroom at night because he is used to sleeping in his little pet bed on the other side of the room from me and i don't want him to feel displaced. He is never allowed on my bed or on the sofa. I hope that you find relief. I have a vacuum cleaner with a hepa filter that helps. I brush him with a slicker brush and only when we are outside so that the hair doesn't go all over the place. I also take ginger capsules to bring down sinus inflammation. My adorable furry angel Quake is worth whatever steps I have to take. I adore him!
  • MoxyFruvousMoxyFruvous
    Posts: 384
    I have Asthma and am VERY allergic to cats, dogs, rodents, birds and so on. I have 4 house cats, two dogs (Corgi and a Shiba) and two rabbits (the rabbits live outside).

    I take Zyrtec daily. The only time I have real trouble is this time of year (spring) and when Moxy is blowing his coat. When we first got Moxy, the first couple of months were terrible due to allergies. But eventually my body stopped reacting to him. Same thing happened with the cats. But, whenever I am around a new dog or cat, I have allergy attacks. Even my moms dog, who I see once a week or so when I visit, I have reactions to her, because I am not around her enough to get my body used to her.

    So what I will say is that is is possible to get used to a certain animal, but I would strongly suggest seeing a allergist before getting a new pet. Find out just how allergic you are and what they recommend. (They may recommend no pets!) Allergy shots might be best for you, because you have such strong reactions. Make sure to ask about the allergy shots. I have friends that get 'em and it worked wonders.
  • Even if you find can't have pets with fur there are still many alternatives. You don't have to go petless for the rest of your life just because of allergies.
  • RustyAngelRustyAngel
    Posts: 82
    AddieThib said:


    There are some dogs that I'm COMPLETELY fine with. But my friend's pomeranian, for example, causes my lip to swell as such.
    My other friend's Lab mix doesn't cause anything and he's long haired. I can hug and play with him and everything is okay!



    Shibas are genetically much, much closer to Pomeranians than they are to Labs.

    Pomeranians and Shibas are both Spitz breeds with double coats. Labs have a different type of coat. You being ok around a Lab mix does not mean you will be ok having a Shiba. The fact that you have facial swelling while around a Spitz (the Pomeranian) is very worrying. Serious allergic reactions can kill, and far to many pets are given up every year due to owners with allergies.

    I have Asthma and am VERY allergic to cats, dogs, rodents, birds and so on. I have 4 house cats, two dogs (Corgi and a Shiba) and two rabbits (the rabbits live outside).

    I take Zyrtec daily. The only time I have real trouble is this time of year (spring) and when Moxy is blowing his coat. When we first got Moxy, the first couple of months were terrible due to allergies. But eventually my body stopped reacting to him. Same thing happened with the cats. But, whenever I am around a new dog or cat, I have allergy attacks. Even my moms dog, who I see once a week or so when I visit, I have reactions to her, because I am not around her enough to get my body used to her.

    So what I will say is that is is possible to get used to a certain animal, but I would strongly suggest seeing a allergist before getting a new pet. Find out just how allergic you are and what they recommend. (They may recommend no pets!) Allergy shots might be best for you, because you have such strong reactions. Make sure to ask about the allergy shots. I have friends that get 'em and it worked wonders.



    I'm glad you could adapt to Moxy. I'm also allergic to cats, and I never adapted to my roommates cat, even after 4 years. I didn't realize how bad my allergies had gotten until I was away from the house for a couple weeks then went home. The allergies had gradually subsided while I was away, then hit me like a hammer when I went home. I wound up moving.

    I miss having cats. I grew up with them, but I can never live with one. Luckily I'm fine with all dogs.
  • poltergeistpoltergeist
    Posts: 426
    My allergies have been running wild today. Though to be fair, I was cuddling all three of my pets!
    image
  • kagurarapkagurarap
    Posts: 208
    I am allergic to cats and dogs - but I think more cats since they bathe themselves versus dogs that can be bathed by their humans. And I have asthma.

    When I first got Tali, I'd break out into a rash or hives in the areas exposed to her. The only time I had issues breathing is if I try to brush her or bathe her, and I breath in her floating hair/skin, I go running for an asthma machine.

    And so, with time, my skin grew tolerance to her but in order to get there, I always washed my hands, had a set of clothes for hanging out when she was around and might touch me, and then when I went to bed, made sure I had a untouched set of PJs/clothes that were doggy free. I also took my showers before bed. I got a HEPA filter which helped me a lot. And I no longer brush her (leave that to my bf) and I bathe her whenever my bf isn't able but I take a benadryl beforehand in case. But once I became more tolerant to her, my reactions decreased.

    Doesn't mean I'll ever stop being allergic to her, as my allergist said, I've just become tolerant to her. I can pet her without having to wash my hands right away now and I don't normally break into rashes anymore unless she finds a patch of skin not yet exposed to her like one time she licked the back of my knee and I got itchy there.

    So it depends on the dog and what kind of reactions you get - you can get shots from your allergist to build tolerance as well but those are expensive. I went all gung-ho and didn't want to give her up so I managed. :-) But I can't recommend that for everyone if your allergies are super bad and you can't function. So long as I don't breath in her hair or stick my face into her fur or something - I'm fairing pretty well.
  • kagurarapkagurarap
    Posts: 208
    Oh and you never want to touch your face when you're petting your dog. Or let them touch your face if you have allergies/asthma. And I've learned Tali's body language so I know when she's going to randomly shake and I instinctively hold my breath and back away so I don't breath in anything she might be shaking off of her.

    Hope that helps. :-)
  • EJHEJH
    Posts: 44
    I can't speak for allergies and shibas, since we don't have our shiba puppy yet...However, I have found that I adapt to the animals around me, with regard to allergies.

    I don't have terrible allergies, but the mild common environmental type allergies. I have had a cat for 16 years and she can sleep on my head without bothering me :)

    I have had dogs and other cats in the past too. The ones living in my home have never bothered me. Sometimes going into a strange house with dogs or cats will bother me, particularly more so if they don't keep their house clean, and more with cats than dogs. Cleanliness seems to play a big part in whether you'll react or not. My parents home with another dog and cat rarely bother me, but again, they keep a clean house. Also brushing and/or bathing the animals helps too.

    I'm not giving advice to get a shiba or not but rather my experience.
  • AddieThibAddieThib
    Posts: 42
    kagurarap said:

    I am allergic to cats and dogs - but I think more cats since they bathe themselves versus dogs that can be bathed by their humans. And I have asthma.

    When I first got Tali, I'd break out into a rash or hives in the areas exposed to her. The only time I had issues breathing is if I try to brush her or bathe her, and I breath in her floating hair/skin, I go running for an asthma machine.

    And so, with time, my skin grew tolerance to her but in order to get there, I always washed my hands, had a set of clothes for hanging out when she was around and might touch me, and then when I went to bed, made sure I had a untouched set of PJs/clothes that were doggy free. I also took my showers before bed. I got a HEPA filter which helped me a lot. And I no longer brush her (leave that to my bf) and I bathe her whenever my bf isn't able but I take a benadryl beforehand in case. But once I became more tolerant to her, my reactions decreased.

    Doesn't mean I'll ever stop being allergic to her, as my allergist said, I've just become tolerant to her. I can pet her without having to wash my hands right away now and I don't normally break into rashes anymore unless she finds a patch of skin not yet exposed to her like one time she licked the back of my knee and I got itchy there.

    So it depends on the dog and what kind of reactions you get - you can get shots from your allergist to build tolerance as well but those are expensive. I went all gung-ho and didn't want to give her up so I managed. :-) But I can't recommend that for everyone if your allergies are super bad and you can't function. So long as I don't breath in her hair or stick my face into her fur or something - I'm fairing pretty well.



    When I read your response, this seems the most like me. I've adapted to some of my friends' pets, so I really hope this'll be the same case.

    I'm honestly not going against what anyone's said - just looking for hope. I do have some backup plans and safety plans for the puppy if there is a huge issue. I also will make sure to adopt from a breeder who can take the shiba back.

    I'm still going to an allergist. My aunt has been giving me tips about it, too. She's an animal lover with many pets, but she has allergies to cats. She got used to her cat, too.
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Just make sure you go and spend some time with a double coated breed BEFORE getting your dog. Most of the people responding here have mild allergies (not ones where your lips are swelling, which is pretty bad!).

    And it's not fair to the dog to get one and then have to give it up because you can't handle it allergy wise, even if the breeder would take it back (and honestly? no good breeder is going to place a puppy in a place where there is actually a good likelihood you might have to give the dog up). The dog will suffer in that case. So first, take care of your health and make sure you're not going to have a bad reaction (and don't count on them getting milder!). Then second, think really hard about the dog: is it fair to get a dog when you may not be able to keep it? (I'd say no). There are dogs that are less likely to cause allergic reactions, who might be a better fit.

    But absolutely do not get a Shiba puppy before spending some serious time with double coated dogs (Shiba/Akita, any other spitz type breed like a husky).
  • AddieThibAddieThib
    Posts: 42
    EJH said:

    I can't speak for allergies and shibas, since we don't have our shiba puppy yet...However, I have found that I adapt to the animals around me, with regard to allergies.

    I don't have terrible allergies, but the mild common environmental type allergies. I have had a cat for 16 years and she can sleep on my head without bothering me :)

    I have had dogs and other cats in the past too. The ones living in my home have never bothered me. Sometimes going into a strange house with dogs or cats will bother me, particularly more so if they don't keep their house clean, and more with cats than dogs. Cleanliness seems to play a big part in whether you'll react or not. My parents home with another dog and cat rarely bother me, but again, they keep a clean house. Also brushing and/or bathing the animals helps too.

    I'm not giving advice to get a shiba or not but rather my experience.



    Now that I think of it, (at no offense to my friend with the pomeranian) I don't think she cleans as much since she's not allergic to dog hair - she's not messy. But I also had a neighbor who would just let dog hair and dander sit until they were ready to do a general clean of the house since it wouldn't bother her and her husband. :)
    Post edited by AddieThib at 2014-05-16 00:25:16
  • AddieThibAddieThib
    Posts: 42

    Just make sure you go and spend some time with a double coated breed BEFORE getting your dog. Most of the people responding here have mild allergies (not ones where your lips are swelling, which is pretty bad!).

    And it's not fair to the dog to get one and then have to give it up because you can't handle it allergy wise, even if the breeder would take it back (and honestly? no good breeder is going to place a puppy in a place where there is actually a good likelihood you might have to give the dog up). The dog will suffer in that case. So first, take care of your health and make sure you're not going to have a bad reaction (and don't count on them getting milder!). Then second, think really hard about the dog: is it fair to get a dog when you may not be able to keep it? (I'd say no). There are dogs that are less likely to cause allergic reactions, who might be a better fit.

    But absolutely do not get a Shiba puppy before spending some serious time with double coated dogs (Shiba/Akita, any other spitz type breed like a husky).



    Thanks! I met a girl on this forum who lives in my area and she offered me to meet her and to let me play with her shiba to see if I have some type of reaction. That'll help for sure. I also don't want to be selfish, and I want a very happy home for my shiba if I get one. So I'm taking all precautions seriously.

    First, I'm going to the allergist. If he says all seems okay for some reason, I'll meet up with the girl and her shiba for a visit (maybe a few times, not sure, whatever is a convenience for her). If that goes well, then I'll get an air purifier (I kinda want one anyway because it gets rid of odors in general). I have a HEPA vacuum already.
    If I do get the shiba, I can brush him or her outside, and I've brushed and played with another friend's husky outside and all was okay.
    I really think I had a bad reaction because the pomeranian's hair was everywhere in the apartment.
    In the end, if everything sorts itself out as negative, I'll do what's ethical for the Shiba, if that means not getting one, no worries.
  • AddieThibAddieThib
    Posts: 42
    Either way, I'm still going to the allergist. I'm not jumping the gun. Just researching.

    I hope people understand that if I do get a shiba companion, I have gone to a doctor and received an "affirmative," and that I have taken all the precautions that anyone with allergies could possibly take.

    *****I want to continue to learn on this forum without being condemned or constantly reminded that I have a shiba and allergies. I opened up honestly to all of you, and I hope you understand that I'm just trying to get different perspectives.*****

    As stated before, if my doctor says that I should not get a shiba, then I won't.
    Thanks for your time, awesome advice, and concern.

    I am very ready for the doctor to say "no, do not get a dog/shiba." Swollen lips, even if they are caused by the most extreme cases of houses full of dander, are scary. I do not want to have a swollen throat for example, if that happens to be the next step. (That's never ever happened, but I know some people have it for food allergies.) I'm not going to do something stupid (for me or the shiba) is what I'm trying to say.

    I'll update the result when I have it.
    Post edited by AddieThib at 2014-05-17 00:06:21
  • AddieThibAddieThib
    Posts: 42
    ***(I'm really really sorry for the closed board again! I completely forgot that continuing on this thread would have been more convenient and relevant for the forum. I'm going over the rules again right now. Thanks for your patience.)

    Reposted: I can have a shiba! Yay!
    Just going to keep this kinda short and sweet. The allergist said I could own a dog (I told him about the shedding of shiba inus) BUT I'd have to absolutely take precautions such as air purifiers, cleaning the house regularly, and things of that sort. I'm going to be taking some medication, nothing too major.
    And I double checked with my friend who owns a pomeranian and she said that she brings in a lot of pollen into her apartment, so I probably reacted badly because of that.

    Of course, my allergies to dogs have been varied, but in general they've gotten a LOT better. I've been spending time with my friends and their dogs, and my skin is adapting and no longer itches whenever they scratch me by accident. My eyes don't get red or anything. I can spend all day with them, and nothing happens :D

    I got some great HEPA air purifiers.
    Going to get a HEPA vacuum.
    Slowly accumulating doggy supplies. (Nesting)
    (Just to be clear: I understand that you shouldn't bathe shibas until it is necessary because it can damage their coat by removing the oils that make it waterproof; so that's not an option, but it's fine because their coat pretty much repels most dirt.)

    I also met up with a user on here and met her shiba (Haru who was absolutely adorable). I'm keeping in contact with her for any questions. :)

    I don't think I'll be getting a shiba until around the end of this year though. But that's okay. Everything will be cozy and ready by that time.
    Post edited by AddieThib at 2014-06-25 15:18:28
  • ShinobiShinobi
    Posts: 8
    I'm also allergic to certain dogs. Luckily I have yet to have a single issue with Shinobi. It definitely varies dog to dog though. My friends have two pekingese dogs, I'm extremely allergic to one but am completely fine with the other. When you are looking for a Shiba I would suggest specifically interacting with him/her. Just because you were ok with one Shiba doesn't mean you will be fine with all Shibas. Just my 2 cents.
  • AddieThibAddieThib
    Posts: 42
    Shinobi said:

    I'm also allergic to certain dogs. Luckily I have yet to have a single issue with Shinobi. It definitely varies dog to dog though. My friends have two pekingese dogs, I'm extremely allergic to one but am completely fine with the other. When you are looking for a Shiba I would suggest specifically interacting with him/her. Just because you were ok with one Shiba doesn't mean you will be fine with all Shibas. Just my 2 cents.



    Definitely! A valuable 2 cents. That's the plan. I called a breeder here in Louisiana. She's just an hour away from my hometown, so I'll definitely be able to get some exposure when the time comes.
  • kagurarapkagurarap
    Posts: 208
    Good luck AddieThib! Happy your allergist gave you the go. There are a lot of allergists that don't even consider anything - right away they just go, no pets! And don't offer solutions to people that can have pets, only if they're willing to put the effort to co-exist with them. Let us know how the breeding visit goes. :-)
  • AddieThibAddieThib
    Posts: 42
    kagurarap said:

    Good luck AddieThib! Happy your allergist gave you the go. There are a lot of allergists that don't even consider anything - right away they just go, no pets! And don't offer solutions to people that can have pets, only if they're willing to put the effort to co-exist with them. Let us know how the breeding visit goes. :-)



    Thank you so much! I'm happy to put in the effort and preparations. I'll let you know :) Thanks for your support~

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