There might be hope for some dog lovers who refrain from pet ownership because of allergies.
According to a Boston doctor, about “30% of people who are allergic to dogs are actually allergic to one specific protein that's made in the prostate of a dog.
“If you're allergic to only that specific protein in the male dog, you may be able to tolerate a female or a neutered dog," Dr. Lakiea Wright, an allergist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, told CNN.
A pet allergy is an allergic reaction to proteins found in an animal's skin cells, saliva or urine. Science has indentified six dog allergens, CNN reported, but you might be sensitive to only a couple of those.
Male dogs make the protein Can f 5 in the prostate. The protein is spread when the animal urinates.
"These proteins are very lightweight, so they get dispersed in the air as the animal moves around," Wright said, "They can also stay in the air for a long time and land on our furniture, mattress, even our clothes."
If you find yourself sneezing more when around male dogs than females, consider seeing an allergist. If your history warrants a test, the doctor can do a skin prick or blood test — which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration last year — to determine your sensitivity to Can f 5.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America lists numerous ways to lessen the effect allergens might have on you. Just know that buying a “hypoallergenic” animal likely isn’t one of them. Because your body reacts to proteins, there is no truly hypoallergenic pet, AAFA says.
The good news is there might be a breed you aren’t allergic to, so your dream of being a pet owner can come true.
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