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How Your Pregnancy Affects Your Child's Risk of Developing Allergies
Nearly everything you do can affect your unborn child while you are pregnant, so it's no surprise that your pregnancy can also have an effect on your baby's allergy risk.
Fish Oil Can Reduce Inflammation and Allergies
Pregnant women who took fish oil supplements in a Western Australia study had babies who were less likely to develop severe eczema or egg sensitivity. Fish oil supplements reduce inflammation which may trigger allergies.
Probiotics May Be Helpful
Another study examined whether the babies of women who took probiotics during pregnancy had a lower allergy and asthma risk. Although taking probiotics did not affect the asthma rate, it did lower the allergy rate. Researchers think that the effect is due to protective effect probiotics have on microbes in your gastrointestinal tract.
Early Exposure Is Also Important
Exposure to pets during a child's early days can also affect his or her allergy risk. Living with a cat during the first year of life reduced the risk of a cat allergy by 48 percent, according to a study published in Clinical & Experimental Allergy. Male teens who lived with dogs had a 50 percent lower allergy risk.
Are you concerned that your child's allergies may mean that you will have to give up your pet? Although rehoming a pet may be necessary if allergies are severe, most children can live with pets if you are willing to make a few changes.
About three in 10 people who have allergies are allergic to cats and dogs, according to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America. The Foundation notes that cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies. Many people assume all pet allergies are caused by exposure to dander, a combination of pet hair and skin cells, but dander is not the only allergen that triggers symptoms. Your child may also be allergic to your pet's urine or saliva.
How You Can Reduce Pet Allergens
Decreasing your child's symptoms starts with reducing allergens in your home by:
Do you have a question about the best type of pet shampoo to use to reduce allergens or concerns about your pet's health? Give us a call and let us know how we can help you.
Annals of Allergy Asthma and Immunology: The Effects of Maternal Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on Infant Allergy, 3/14
American Academy of Pediatrics: When Pets Are the Problem, 11/21/15
American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology: Pet Allergy Overview
Humane Society of the United States: How to Live with Allergies and Pets
Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America: Pet Allergy: Are You Allergic to Dogs or Cats?, 10/15
American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology: Prevention of Allergies and Asthma in Children
Reuters: Probiotics Linked to Lower Risk of Allergies for Kids, 8/22/13
Fit Pregnancy and Baby: Pets, Pregnancy and Your Baby’s Allergy Risk
Clinical & Experimental Allergy: Lifetime Dog and Cat Exposure and Dog- and Cat-Specific Sensitization at Age 18 Years
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Don't take a good vet for granted, that's what I say. I currently live in another state and have taken my 10 year old dog to numerous vets over the years (California, Colorado, Vegas, and then some). Never have I ever received the attention and care I've gotten w/Dr. Hines. Within the past 3 months alone, my dog went to 3 different vets for a horrible and painful skin problem that broke out all over her body.
The first vet: I spent more time ponying up the $175 for the visit than the Dr. spent actually looking at my dog. He performed a woods lamp exam for ringworm. Even without Google or a veterinary degree, I could tell it wasn't ringworm. Thanks for taking my money.
Second vet: "Here's some spray, now here's your bill. Bring her back in two weeks so I can charge you another visit." No tests, nothing.
Between the two, I felt like I got nowhere. No definitive answer on why this affected my dog and the medication given wasn't even for a diagnosed condition. Just some general topical spray. I could have bought it at Petsmart and saved myself the time and money.
Recently, on a visit to Idaho, I planned ahead to bring my dog to the Rupert Animal Clinic. I asked the same questions, had the same concerns and now have different results. Dr. Hines gave me options on what route to take, ran appropriate tests and communicated with me every step of the way (even calling me personally when test results came in). My primary concern was cancer. Our dog is like our child- we'll pay the money if we can keep her healthy and safe. In the future, I've resolved to bring my dog to Rupert Animal Clinic on our annual trip for all of her exams. I know she won't be treated as a little cash cow to exploit an owner's love for pets.