One way allergy sufferers can fulfill their pet-owning dreams is by purchasing hypoallergenic dogs. People think that Dachshunds are a good choice because they have short fur. Unfortunately, Dachshunds aren’t hypoallergenic. So, you should expect a reaction if you come in contact with a Dachshund and have dog allergies.
If you want to learn more about Dachshunds and whether any dog is hypoallergenic, read on.
What Causes Dog Allergies?
The cause of dog allergies has been identified as a sensitivity to the protein “Can f 1” in dogs’ saliva, skin cells, and urine. People allergic to cats are sensitive to the protein “Fel d 1” found in the cat’s saliva, skin cells, and urine.
It all starts in the immune system. Your immune system records all the infections you’ve ever had and is trained to deploy antibodies when it detects the presence of specific pathogens.
Fel d 1 and Can f 1 are harmless proteins that pose no inherent risk to humans. However, their immune system has registered the protein as a pathogen to a person with dog or cat allergies. When the body senses the presence of Can f 1, it releases histamines, a hormone that helps the body rid itself of pathogens.
You might begin to itch, cough, or sneeze when the histamine reaction starts. You may break out in hives on your skin if you touch a dog. You may also experience swelling and narrowing of the airways, known as anaphylaxis. In severe cases, contact with a dog may require an epinephrine injection to keep the allergic person from going into shock from the sudden lack of oxygen.
What Are Hypoallergenic Dogs?
There is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog.
Dogs given the “hypoallergenic” moniker produce and thus shed lower amounts of the Can f 1 protein. Because these dogs shed less Can f 1, people with allergies will have a lessened allergic reaction to them. Some may not react at all!
However, hypoallergenic dogs will still produce a reaction because they produce less Can f 1, not zero Can f 1. Veterinary scholars still haven’t figured out what purpose the Can f 1 protein serves for dogs. However, we know that it’s benign to humans unless they have a predisposed hypersensitivity.
What Can Allergy Sufferers Do to Lessen Their Reactions?
Allergy sufferers can take over-the-counter allergy medication or get prescription-strength medications from their doctors. Allergy sufferers with more expendable cash can look into immunotherapy shots.
Immunotherapy shots are a series of weekly shots that microdose the immune system with the allergen to teach the immune system not to react to the allergen. The shots must be administered weekly for 1–3 years, but people who go through the entire process usually experience remission of their signs.
Unfortunately, these shots are considered cosmetic and are rarely covered by insurance in the United States of America.
While it might be disappointing to learn that the Dachshund is not a hypoallergenic dog breed and that there’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog, allergy sufferers need not worry since advances are being made in medical science and immunology regarding pet allergies every day! Many scientists think we may soon discover a cure for pet allergies. So, hang tight and keep an eye on recent medical journals!
Featured Image Credit: Masarik, Shutterstock