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I'm breaking out from Bailey's fur. Anyone else have this problem? Thought Malts were supposed to be hypoallergenic.
 

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I have belonged to a number of Maltese forums in the 5 plus years I have had Lady. I have heard reports from many people who got a Maltese thinking they were hypoallergenic, but turned out to be allergic to them.

MALTESE ARE NOT NON-ALLERGIC
Any animal with fur or feathers can trigger an allergic reaction. These include cats, dogs, rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, ferrets, mice, horses, cattle, monkeys, goats, pigs, chickens, and birds. Of these, research indicates that cats are by far the worst offenders, followed by dogs and horses.

While some animals seem to be more tolerable than others, there are no dogs, cats or other furry animals that do not cause allergic responses. It makes no difference whether an animal has short hair, long hair or how much it sheds.

Cats cause more severe allergic reactions than other pets
The major cat allergen is an extremely potent one called Fel d1. Secretions from the sebaceous glands of the skin are the primary source of Fel d1, but it is also deposited on the fur through the saliva when cats clean themselves through the licking or self-cleaning process. Eventually the Fel d1 flakes off and becomes airborne to trigger the symptoms that characterize allergies to cats. Male cats generally produce more allergens than females do.

DANDER
The problem is not with the pet's hair. It is the dander, or microscopic scales of dead skin (similar to, but much smaller than the dandruff on the human scalp) which pets are constantly shedding that is the cause. They are so tiny that you seldom, if ever, know that they are circulating in the air or laying on the furniture and carpets.

URINE
Recent studies indicate that urine (protein), from cats and dogs as well as from ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters, and mice, contain allergens which can also trigger allergic reactions.

Short-haired or long-haired dogs - Doesn't matter
All dogs – short-haired, long-haired, wire-haired, curly-haired, even hairless—are potentially allergic. Allergic reactions to dogs are not caused by the hair or fur but by dander (the tiny scales of dead skin) and by sebaceous and salivary gland secretions. Short-haired dogs can cast off as many allergens into the environment as long-haired ones do.

Maltese are not hypoallergenic
Just because a Maltese "doesn't shed", so to speak, it makes no difference. It is surprising how many Maltese owners have bought these breeds because they were told they did not cause allergies. Not true!

While it has recently been established that some dogs cast off more allergens than others, there are no non-allergenic dogs. The reason Maltese dogs are thought to be "safe" is probably because they are shampooed and groomed regularly and therefore cast off less dander in the home.

Some people may have more problems living with a dog that shed hair profusely because of the excessive amount of loose hair contaminated by dried saliva and dander clinging to it shed from the pet onto the rugs, furniture and the dogs bedding and favorite lounging places. Frequent vacuumings are usually necessary, along with the use of a moist sponge, to pick it up.

A Maltese puppy will cause fewer allergy problems than an adult
A Maltese puppy has no old skin to shed and consequently has no dander. It usually takes a few months before puppies produce these allergens. This may explain why people who buy young pets become allergic to them when the they reach maturity.

People cannot be allergic to some breeds of dogs and not to others
The possibility of dog breed-specific allergens was first investigated many years ago, reports Dr. David Knysak of the Department of Medicine's Allergy Division of the University of Michigan Medical Center. Subsequent studies have determined both qualitative and quantitative variations in the antigen content extracts derived from different dog breeds, however, he adds, no breed-specific allergens have been found.

It is true, though, that an individual may occasionally become sensitized to or build up resistance to a single breed over a period of time. Another reason why people may think they are allergic to certain breeds of dogs is that some dogs shed many more allergens than others, a process which may produce a higher level of exposure and consequently more allergic symptoms.

Restricting your Maltese to one or two rooms of the house does not help
The longer your Maltese lives in a home, the more its allergens will have permeated the entire house to cause symptoms. Isolating your Maltese to one or two rooms in the home does not contain their allergens. Air currents from forced-air heating, air conditioning and fans spread the allergens through the house.

Such particles tend to remain airborne for hours, even in homes with minimal disturbance. Once they do settle, vacuuming or walking on the carpet, sitting on the furniture, fluffing up cushions pillows and the pet’s bedding, raising or lowering the blinds, and opening or closing the drapes or curtains causes tremendous amounts to be set loose in the air once again.

People cannot tell if they will be allergic the first time they encounter a pet
No one is allergic to a substance the first time he or she comes in contact with it. Sensitization, or the process that leads to development of symptoms, requires repeated exposures over a period of time, anywhere from days to months and possibly years. Sometimes, though, only a few minutes of a pet's presence is necessary. People who come in contact with a cat, for instance, or who enter a room where a cat has been, may react to it within seconds. Other times a pet can be kept for many years and then suddenly its owner will become severely sensitive to it.

Being allergic does not mean that you can't have a Maltese or that you must give up one you already have.....
If you are allergic to six things, get rid of three of them and you may drop below your allergic threshold, and become symptom-free. Find out from a physician what your particular allergen is, and if it turns out to be pet- related, try to reduce the allergens in the environment. Using air cleaners or filters could be a start. Your physician may also be able to prescribe medications to lessen the symptoms associated with allergies. If you are allergic to fur, a breed of dog that doesn't shed such as a Maltese might be the answer.

Dander is a common culprit in allergies to dogs. A dog can be bathed up to twice weekly to try to alleviate the excessive dander production. Be sure though to use a medicated pet shampoo prescribed by a veterinarian and not an inexpensive alternative which can dry out your pet's skin and worsen the problem for the both of you. A non-allergic member of the family should brush the dog often, preferably outside.
 

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I wonder though since your little one has been with you a while that it may be a new shampoo that you are using on her or him. Did you change the shampoo or conditioner.

Susan
 

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I was allergic to Bella when we first brought her home. So much so that we were looking for a new home for her. There were times I'd have to leave the room cause my face would be itching and felt like I had fur all over me.

I brought her home at a very young age and she had never had a bath. I put off giving her one because she was so young and I just didn't know any better. I did notice that after I started to bathe her weekly she didn't bother me as much. I do notice now that if I wait too long between baths she will start to make me itchy. Luckily that was the solution here along with some good brushing! I hope it will be that simple for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Originally posted by Teddyandme@Aug 10 2005, 06:38 PM
I wonder though since your little one has been with you a while that it may be a new shampoo that you are using on her or him.  Did you change the shampoo or conditioner. 

Susan
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I just got him Saturday, and I'm using the 8 in 1 whitening shampoo that costs 4.99 a bottle. I'm thinking of also using a flea shampoo. I'm sure you don't use the whitening shampoo every time, maybe that's what's causing the allergic reaction more than his dander. I gave him two baths already one day and then the next because he was out rolling around. I guess I shouldn't bathe him that much because it might dry out his skin?
 

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I agree with Janine. A whitening shampoo and a flea shampoo is pretty heavy duty stuff, especially for a puppy. I'd use a tearless puppy shampoo.

Most of us only use a whitening shampoo occasionally, like once a month at the most. As for fleas, ask your vet about a flea preventative when you take Bailey in for his check-up. A shampoo won't kill any new fleas and will just dry out his coat and skin. Products like Frontline can be used even on puppies.

Do you have a known allergy to dogs? Have you been tested? That would help you figure out if it's Bailey or the shampoos you are using.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just wanted to use a flea shampoo to prevent fleas, but I'll ask my vet this Saturday at his first appointment what I should use. I've been tested for allergies and was getting shots for many years (allergic to cats more than dogs). My other dog didn't bother me too much since I bathed her often. Don't want to bathe this puppy too much so I don't dry out his skin. Will just use hydrocortisone cream and get him to like the brush.
 

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I developed adult allergies a few years ago and one of them was to cats. Now, I've had cats all my life and never been allergic to them before and wasn't about to give them up!

Fortunately, my cat allergy is pretty mild. I am much more allergic to mold and have to get allergy shots now anyway, so there is cat allergy potion in my shots.

Hopefully, it's the harsh shampoos that are causing the reaction, not Bailey. Since you are breaking out, it sounds like that might be the cause. The perfumes in shampoos (like laundry detergents) can cause allergic reactions. I have to use "free and clear" laundry soap now, too. Otherwise, maybe just an antihistamine might help. Or you might have to go back on the shots.
 

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Bridge,

Couple of things going on here...your allergy and the puppy with the bath. First he seems like he is very young...so I would limit the whitening shampoo because they say that is very hard on the skin and hair...I have actually never used it and people say Teddy is so white...could be I got lucky, and you might have as well.

As for Flea shampoo, this also is very hard on the puppy skin and hair...and it will not prevent fleas...I am also lucky in that Teddy has only had about three fleas in the year he has been with me...I have spotted them right away and taken care of them...I learned that using a dryer sheet (downey etc.) just before you take them out will keep the fleas from getting on them (you literally just rub the sheet all over them making sure to get the underbelly and between the legs)...this seems so much safer than the harder medications that are used...but again, my Teddy is allergic to the Frontline and I did not want to subject him to another brand if he did not need it. Supposedly our troops overseas use this technique so it was passed around here in the spring...seems to work great.

The other thing which I just learned from my Vet is that if I put about 8 drops of Cider Vinegar in his water then that will also keep the fleas at bay as well as Ticks. She told me to start slow only adding one drop a day until he gets used to it I just heard this so I am in the process of adding the drops now...I will let everyone know if it works.

Now, for the allergies...I would definitely try and bath him with a puppy shampoo (I use the oatmeal because it is very soothing on the skin, even mine as I bath him, which could keep his dander down because it will not flake off as much) and good conditioner, to keep his dander under control...but I would also not be surprised if this clears a bit as he ages....Puppies have a strong odor and although I love it....it makes me stuffy. Have you tried to take something yourself for this...I am on Zerteck for another reason...but it has helped my allergy to my daughters dog.

I would just hate to see you not enjoying the most special of relationships with your little one...Teddy offers me more than I can even express every single day..

Susan
 
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