Latest Post from the Pets & Animals Section
Many parents worry that keeping a dog or cat in the house may make a child more likely to develop pet allergies. But the scientific evidence suggests otherwise.
Instead, Fido and Whiskers seem to have the reverse effect. Most studies now show that children who are exposed to a pet during their first year have a lower likelihood of developing dog or cat allergies later on in life.
In the latest study, appearing this month in the journal Clinical & Experimental Allergy, researchers at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit followed 566 boys and girls from birth until age 18, regularly collecting data from the children’s families about exposure to indoor pets. At the end of the study, the researchers took blood samples and tested the subjects for their allergic sensitization to dogs and cats.
The children who had shared a home with a cat in their first year of life were about half as likely to be allergic to cats as those who had not. A decreased risk also was found in boys who lived with a dog as infants, though for some reason the effect was not as strong in girls.
The researchers also concluded that exposure at later ages did not make much of a difference — it was exposure in infancy that mattered. “The first year of life is the critical period during childhood when indoor exposure to dogs or cats influences sensitization to these animals,” the study’s authors concluded.
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Latest Post from the Tulea Section
For those new to my blog, I have a dog, an 8 lb Coton de Tulear (pronounced Tulea). Tulea is the name of my dog. Tulear is a town in Madagascar where the breed originated. I got mine 6 1/2 years ago when she was 2 months old. I didn’t want an all white one, too chi chi, so I found a breeder in Montreal called Sara France, who breeds cotons that have color (Though it tends to fade as they get older—the call of the gene pool! Half Tulea’s face was black when I got her.)
The Sara France website is www.cotonnerie.com.
Anyway, at a dinner party in Ann Arbor last Friday, a couple at the table asked me what kind of dog I have and I said, “Oh, never mind. It’s an unusual breed and no one’s ever heard of it and it’s too complicated to explain.” (I’d had a drink or two).
The man insisted saying, “We’re dog people. Tell us.” So I said, “I have a coton.” and he exclaimed, “so do we!!”
And we did the whole “OMG- this-is- too- amazing- No- one- ever- has –one” thing. “Where did you get yours?” I asked. “From a breeder in Montreal,” he answered. “Not Sara France???!!!” I asked. Again, “OMG, yes, from Sara France.” It was a great coincidence that made us all so happy. Like me, he and his wife bought the dog in the Montreal airport. His is much bigger…about 13-14 pounds, if I recall correctly, while Tulea is 8 pounds. The runt, just what I wanted.
Here are a couple of pictures of their coton named Shaggy. I love the one of the two cotons dancing together! We have since found out from the breeder that Shaggy is Tuleas cousin!.
Here is a video of how Tulea greets me when I’ve been away. I adore the sounds she makes. Such happiness it sounds like pain. Enjoy!
Category: My Blog, Tulea
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New York Times: Really? The Claim: Pets Can Raise a Child’s Risk of Developing Allergies