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DogsAndTheMob

Dogs and cats protect babies against allergies and asthma — and the more pets, the better

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https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-12-20/pets-allergies-asthma-dogs-cats-immune-system-microbes/10630174

 

Excerpt from the news story by Belinda Smith:

A Swedish study found the more pets in a household in early life, the less likely a child will go on to develop conditions like asthma, eczema and hay fever.

For instance, kids aged 7-9 years that shared a house with four pets when they were a baby were half as likely to have a recent allergy compared to their pet-free counterparts: 17 per cent compared to 33 per cent respectively.

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RuralPug   

Statistics can be confusing, especially when you take a large survey like this and concentrate on only looking at the responses to a single question.

It doesn't surprise me that in households where young children have a lot of exposure to dogs that get out and about their immunities are higher and therefore allergy responses are lower - same as with households that do not use automatic dishwashers (because more microbes are destroyed by water hotter then human hands can stand).
Children who are allowed to splash in puddles or make mud pies in the average backyard are also more likelier to have broader immunities than those who are not so permitted. That all makes sense to me.

But we need to careful in what we hear when statistics like these are quoted. Could it be that parents who allow pets indoors mixing with their young children are probably the parents who do not smother their bubs in antiseptics seven times a day and have the "clean enough to be healthy, messy enough to be happy" approach to housekeeping?  Did anyone correlate whether or not the pets were indoors or outdoor only? Did any of these pets get smothered in frequent antiseptic baths etc?

Let us not start a myth that dogs (not so much cats, according to the article and other pets are not even mentioned) all by themselves are the answer to immune problems such as asthma - it is more likely that in reality they contribute to building immune systems along with many other factors.
 

On the plus side though, it will be great to quote this study to those people wishing to surrender their pets because a new baby is on the way ...

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32 minutes ago, RuralPug said:

Statistics can be confusing, especially when you take a large survey like this and concentrate on only looking at the responses to a single question.

It doesn't surprise me that in households where young children have a lot of exposure to dogs that get out and about their immunities are higher and therefore allergy responses are lower - same as with households that do not use automatic dishwashers (because more microbes are destroyed by water hotter then human hands can stand).
Children who are allowed to splash in puddles or make mud pies in the average backyard are also more likelier to have broader immunities than those who are not so permitted. That all makes sense to me.

But we need to careful in what we hear when statistics like these are quoted. Could it be that parents who allow pets indoors mixing with their young children are probably the parents who do not smother their bubs in antiseptics seven times a day and have the "clean enough to be healthy, messy enough to be happy" approach to housekeeping?  Did anyone correlate whether or not the pets were indoors or outdoor only? Did any of these pets get smothered in frequent antiseptic baths etc?

Let us not start a myth that dogs (not so much cats, according to the article and other pets are not even mentioned) all by themselves are the answer to immune problems such as asthma - it is more likely that in reality they contribute to building immune systems along with many other factors.
 

On the plus side though, it will be great to quote this study to those people wishing to surrender their pets because a new baby is on the way ...

That's true, RuralPug. It's also possible that some parents choose not to have pets because they're worried about their child's health, and are therefore more likely to observe and report allergic symptoms - although similar results were found in a questionnaire based study and a birth-cohort study based on clinical diagnosis.

Here's the link to the journal article: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0208472

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RuralPug   
6 hours ago, DogsAndTheMob said:

That's true, RuralPug. It's also possible that some parents choose not to have pets because they're worried about their child's health, and are therefore more likely to observe and report allergic symptoms - although similar results were found in a questionnaire based study and a birth-cohort study based on clinical diagnosis.

Here's the link to the journal article: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0208472

I'm pretty sure that the journal article you have linked to IS the same study that the news article refers to - it is quite interesting that the authors pointed out the statistically significant surveyed difference between rural households with multiple animals as compared with urban households with multiple animals. They speculated that the lesser allergies suffered by the urban group with multiple animals in early years was due to urban homes being more likely to have pets indoors than rural homes ( in Sweden anyway).

It really is fascinating stuff.

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asal   

unfortunately asthma is also inherited too, killed my grandfather and he had dogs, cats,chooks, parrots and Horses as a child and so did his kids..so I grew up in almost a zoo.... mine were brought up with all the above, goats sheep and cattle as well.... still developed asthma... perhaps not as bad maybe..

would have to wonder how bad it may have been without all the early exposure.....but sure didn't prevent it 

 

.. but asthma should never be taken lightly.... it can be dormant for a year or even years and wham....cant breathe and gone, if someone isn't handy with whats needed if your suddenly out to it.  always carry your medication......

Edited by asal

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