Infant Allergies to Dogs

Infant allergies are more and more frequently met nowadays and may be due to food, pollens, dust mites, but also dog dander. Kids may develop allergic reactions to pets, especially to dander and saliva. Infant allergies should be controlled with allergy shots, medication or immune system support.

Infant Allergies Causes

The main factor causing allergic reactions to dogs in kids is a glycoprotein produced by the dog. This glycoprotein is found in high concentrations in the dog’s skin, especially dead skin or dander. Children come in contact with the dog’s skin or may also inhale the dander which is present in environments where dogs live.

Other possible allergens that cause irritation in children may be:

  • The dog’s saliva, which contains the same glycoprotein found in the dander
  • Canine urine, can feature varied concentrations of glycoprotein
  • Dog hair, which can have pollens, chemicals, dirt or dust from the outdoors, and these substances are common allergens affecting children

Not all children are allergic to dogs. Allergies are believed to be a disease of the immune system. The immune system reacts when the child’s body is invaded by the allergen, creating a negative response and a production of inflammatory cells and histamines, for protection. These will lead to the development of the allergic symptoms. If the child’s immune system is healthy, it will not react when meeting the allergens.

Infant Allergies Symptoms

Immediately after being exposed to the allergen, the child may display a few allergic symptoms that may vary in intensity. These symptoms may range from sneezing to anaphylaxis and may also include:

  • Dry coughing
  • Skin dermatitis
  • Swollen skin
  • Skin itchiness
  • Transparent discharges coming from the eyes or mouth
  • Swollen face (if the child develops a severe allergic reaction)

If anaphylaxis occurs, the child has to get an emergency shot, as the allergic reaction will cause major swelling involving the air passages and can interfere with the child’s normal breathing.

Infant Allergies Treatment

An allergic child should receive allergy treatment, as in time, the allergic reactions can worsen and the child may start developing allergic reactions to other things as well.

There are a few treatments that can be applied in children with dog allergies:

  • Allergy shots, which can give good long term results and may make the child more resistant to the dog or other irritants
  • Antihistamines, for quick symptom relief
  • Steroids, administrated as tablets or ointments that will reduce swelling and skin irritation
  • Immune system support, which addresses the root of the problem. Several supplements can be administered
  • Epinephrine shot, recommended only if the child develops an anaphylactic shock
  • Reducing the child’s exposure to dander

None of these treatments will cure the allergies completely, but will help in the allergy management. Some children may no longer experience allergic symptoms after going through puberty, provided the immune system strengthens.