Skip to comments.Infants Wheeze Less In Homes With Multiple Dogs
Posted on 12/04/2006 5:55:38 PM PST by blam
Infants Wheeze Less In Homes With Multiple Dogs
Living in a home with multiple dogs may help reduce an infants risk for developing wheezing in the first year of life, according to new research from the University of Cincinnati (UC).
Having multiple dogs in the home early in life may help prevent future allergy development in certain kids. (Image courtesy of University of Cincinnati)
Cincinnati researchers, led by David Bernstein, MD, have found that infants living in homes with high levels of endotoxins (bacterial contaminants) and multiple dogs were more than two times less likely to wheeze than other infants.
They found that wheezing was not associated independently with either dog or cat ownership or high levels of indoor endotoxins; however, high endotoxin exposures in homes that also had multiple dogs resulted in less wheezing.
Our research presents evidence that pet ownership offers a protective effect against development of lower respiratory symptoms in young children, adds Bernstein.
The UC-led teams findings conflict with earlier studies suggesting exposure to high endotoxin levels or pet ownership can protect against an increased risk for future allergic diseases, the UC team reports in the December edition of theJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Exposure to high endotoxin levels in the home may not be an important determinant of aeroallergen sensitization during infancy, explains Bernstein, professor of immunology and senior author for the study. We do not yet understand how and why exposure to high levels of bacterial endotoxin and multiple dogs in the home exert a protective effect in these high-risk infants from wheezing early in life.
Endotoxins are natural compounds secreted from pathogens (disease-causing agents) like bacteria that are commonly found in the intestines and feces. Scientists believe that endotoxins can stimulate our immune systems in many different ways.
Our bodies are programmed to produce allergic responses early in life, Bernstein explains, but there are environmental factors like bacterial endotoxins that may modify the immune system and block development of allergies early in life.
The UC-led team analyzed the effects of pet ownership (cats and dogs) and endotoxin exposure in 520 infants enrolled in the Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study (CCAAPS) who were identified as being at greater risk for developing allergies because at least one parent had known allergies.
The CCAAPS, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, is a five-year study examining the effects of environmental particulates on childhood respiratory health and allergy development.
Researchers collected dust samples from the infants homes to measure endotoxin levels. They also determined the number of siblings and gathered information about the home, including the presence of mold and second-hand smoke. Environmental and food allergy development was monitored through annual skin prick tests.
Previous studies have addressed the role of pet ownership in childhood allergy development; however, findings have been inconsistent, according to Bernstein. Until now, it was unclear whether animal ownership, endotoxin exposure or a combination of the two resulted in wheezing. Bernstein says further research is needed to determine if these early protective effects have long-term benefits.
Collaborators in this study include Manuel Villareal, MD, of Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center and UC colleagues Paloma Campo, MD, Hapinder Kalra, MD, Linda Levin, PhD, Tiina Reponen, PhD, Rolanda Olds, Zana Lummus, PhD, Seung-Hyun Cho, PhD, Gurjit Hershey, MD, PhD, James Lockey, MD, Sherry Stanforth and Grace LeMasters, PhD, principal investigator of the CCAAPS.
I wonder whose idea this study was.
Dogs are good for you in more ways than one.
Dog licks butt. Dog licks kid's face. Good for both!
Well, we have multiple dogs, often six in the house. And we have multiple kids & grandkids. It's gratifying to think we are benefitting their good health as well as everyone's entertainment.
Then kids in my home would be extra allergy free.
Any kids in my house will be thoroughly protected.
Yes thats what I was thinking too. Along with kid eating/drinking from dogs dish. If you have dogs it will happen at least once with each child guarenteed.
I guess the upshot is kids that aren't raised in clinically sterile environments do better in the real world ?
My son would drink from the dogs' dish, eat their (dry) IAMS food, and crawl in and out of the doggie door. For a while there I wasn't sure exactly which species he was.
Actually, pugs cannot lick their own butts. Therefor we have a pug. :o)
Those kids have never been around my pug when she farts. I wheeze and gag.
Guess what? I think you're 100% right! I think we Americans are way too obsessed with "germ-free" everything and "bacteria-killing" products. How the heck are we supposed to develop healthy immune systems?
I betcha that if I dare go visit Guatemala (where I came from) I will get a severe case of the runs if I dare drink the water or eat something right there on the street... neither of those was an issue nine years ago, when I lived there!
On the other hand... I would not change living in this God-blessed country for anything in the world!
Anyone want to borrow one of my four canines? Guilt free pet ownership is a good thing. ;) Never tried the idea on our kids...we didn't have any.
By the way.. my kids grew up with dogs around them since they were born (I had an Irish Setter who would "hide" in my oldest's son crib -kid in crib, too- whenever there was a blackout or loud noise). Those kids never get sick... a cold here and there and that's it. They are now all healthy adults.
Do liberals approve of dogs?
The worst was the "tea" she made in one of her little tea-set cups: cat food steeped in water. "It's coffee!" she explained.
I once joked that "gray" aliens are actually human time travelers who shriveled up into physical atrophy because humans devolved from playing video games, eating junk food, having sex using full-body condoms, and using antibacterial hand soap. They've come back from the future to tell us to get the kids to play outside, get dirty, and play football. Go ahead and play with the dog, it'll build up their resistance!
Only if they are neutered.
( The dogs are neutered that is. Liberals well it goes without saying are neutered by definition. )
I wonder if they looked at a similar protective effect from cats? The last article I saw on something similar said the researchers had found a protective effect against asthma from both dogs and cats in the home before the kids reached age 1. On an anecdotal basis, I believe it .... The home I grew up in was pretty grubby (my mom had better things to do than clean :), and we had cats inside, but only one dog outside. As an adult, I am not allergic to cats, though I am to dogs, and I have never had asthma. My husband grew up in a spotless home with no pets, and both he and one sister have asthma and allergies to cats -- even though neither of their parents had allergies to anything.
Keep a happy, grubby home with lots of critters in it. Works for me!
Gee, I sound awfully mean -- I'm really not - I will stop and feed animals that are hungry and people have dumped out -- I just don't bring them home anymore.
And then you have the incredible rise in allergic reaction to airborne pollen, etcetera, that seems to track pretty well with the advent of widespread air conditioning in residential construction. Throw those windows open if the temps are comfortable, it's good for you, plus the crickets are natural white noise to help you sleep, lol.
Don't ask me how I know this.
It's your choice whether to have pets in the house or not, obviously. But your post is unclear -- do you not have them in the house simply because they make a mess, or is it because you are allergic to them and/or have an asthmatic response to them?
Although there may be a little coughing now and then. hoc tuey
AAAWWWWW! What adorable two-legged and four-legged creatures!
They seem to get along beautifully!
:) They do! The boys are doing fairly well with the "gently, gently" training, and our rottie girl is in absolute heaven with these man-pups around (even when "gently, gently" breaks down a bit). If one of them cries, she bounds across the room and sniffs to make sure they're okay (and both she and my border mix have to give the boys a thorough once-over everytime we return home after going somewhere). They've been exposed to enough doggie saliva to keep a whole classroom from developing wheezes.
I've had them in the house in the past -- but now, for various reasons unrelated to allergies or anything like that, having them in the house just grosses me out. I don't even like to go in someone's home who keeps animals inside. I know, I'm weird. I just don't like the thought of animal hair floating around inside, landing on the bed, landing in food, etc.
I'm not a neat freak, I'm not particularly organized or anything like that - it just doesn't seem very sanitary to me. I really do have a good reason for this ... ick factor, I guess you'd call it -- I have relatives who go to the other extreme, and I think that's what has done it to me. Birds or fish inside don't bother me, but cats/dogs inside ...