Dog Allergies

Similar to cats, the biggest cause of allergic reactions to dogs has not been seen in the hair but in the proteins that are produced by the sebaceous skin glands, and on the saliva that goes onto the dog's hair and skin when it licks itself, which also causes dander. The biggest dog allergens are called Canis familiaris 1 and 2. One other source of dog allergens is caused by a dog's urine; however, it has been observed that saliva and dander are the worse perpetrators. Just as with cats, when the saliva of a dog dries, it causes the secretions to flake on the hair and then shed throughout the home. Another problem that has been observed is contact with dogs that have been running through an area that had pollen and come into contact with their owners, causing the owner to have immediate symptoms of allergies, such as swollen and itchy eyes, hay fever etc.

There have been many studies made to find out if indeed one specific breed causes more specific allergens and while it has been observed that there are variations in quality and quantity of extracts taken from different dog breeds, it has not been proven that different breeds are more or less allergenic than others.

Dogs and dander: Dogs naturally shed dander, which are dead skin cells. This happens because the outer layer of skin (more commonly known as epidermis) naturally turns over or restores itself. A dog's skin is made up of several thin layers that are continuously pushing upwards from under the epidermis in order to replace the cells that are above. This whole process is called epidermal turnover time. This process, usually takes about twenty one to twenty two days in a normal dog. When the new epidermis starts coming up, the dead ones turn into dander, which then flakes off from the dog's skin. The problem is that these little flakes of dander are completely soaked with sebaceous gland secretions, urine, saliva etc, and all of this causes it to boost their allergenicity.

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