Cats no-no for asthma kids? Hogwash

People believe furries are bad for kids’ health. This is apparently too broad a stroke, not to mention outdated and a cop-out.

Dogs Plus Smog Bad for Asthmatic Kids

But cats didn’t boost pollutant-linked symptoms, study found


By Robert Preidt

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) — Fido may not be an asthmatic child’s best friend, a new study suggests.

A team at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine found that the presence of dogs in the home can worsen lung response to air pollution in children with asthma. This was not the case with cats, however. … more

That’s a recent study, just 3 months old… but the evidence has been building for a while now:

May 2003

From Penn State

Study shows asthmatics more irritated by airborne dog allergens than cat allergens

Man’s best friend may be poor company for asthmatics.

Although it’s known that people with asthma also tend to suffer with allergies, a new study by the Asthma Clinical Research Network (ACRN) put cats, dogs, cockroaches, and nine other allergens to the test to see how each affected people with asthma.

“Although a greater number of people had reactions to cat allergen, dogs came out on top as promoting greater disturbances in pulmonary function measurements for asthmatics,” said Tim Craig, D.O., professor of medicine and pediatrics, Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and lead author for the study. “This may be surprising to many because it dispels the myth that cats cause more severe allergic reactions.” … more

But all in all, exposure to animal allergens may actually benefit asthmatic kids:

Last Updated: Monday, 3 July 2006, 00:12 GMT 01:12 UK


Image of a lab mouse

Handling rodents conferred some protection against asthma

Exposure to certain animals may prevent rather than trigger asthma and allergies, experts believe. Lab workers who frequently handled research rodents had fewer allergic reactions to the animals as a result, an Imperial College London team found.

The researchers believe it is the type of exposure that is important.

A recent study found early childhood exposure to cats increased eczema risk, whilst early exposure to dogs appeared to be protective. … more

Doesn’t all this put paid to all the out-dated concept that molly-coddling sickly kids is right? They’re the worse for all that protectionism.

I think what Dawn says is right – doctors have a social responsibility to  help identify allergens if a child is asthmatic rather just prescribe a blanket cure to get rid of pets.

Someone just wrote in to say that her doctor has told her to get rid of her cats as one of her children has developed asthma recently. Apparently these cats have been with them for many years and they did not have any problems. I asked if a skin prick test had been done and am awaiting her reply. She mentioned the doctor said it was a good idea to get rid of the cats because people were often allergic which isn’t necessarily true. What if she gets rid of the cats and then it turns out her child is still allergic? It doesn’t help the child OR the cat. … more

If I have a child, and my doctor tells me this, I’d ditch him for another sooner than a cat can lap up stinkywetfood.

(Created 9 Nov 06)


One response to “Cats no-no for asthma kids? Hogwash

  1. are bunnies bad for a astmatic kid?

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