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Does Doggy Dander Protect Your Children Against Rsv?
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Does Doggy Dander Protect Your Children Against Rsv?

A joint study by the University of California, San Francisco and the University of Michigan shows that dust from homes where dogs are living may actually provide protection from respiratory syncytial virus also know as RSV. That virus is associated with an increased risk of childhood asthma and other breathing related conditions. That informational paper was being presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Microbiology.

In that study, researchers used three groups of mice, one fed dust from a home with a dog present, the other two groups were not fed this dog dander infused dust. Groups one and two were then exposed to RSV while the control group was not. The first group of mice exhibited zero changes in their health status while the group that was exposed to RSV without the protection of the dog dander showed symptoms of that condition.

Postmortem exams showed that the first group also had a significant change in key microbes in their gut which suggested that that colonization might be part of their new immunity to RSV and subsequent conditions like asthma. Children all over the country might not only breathe a little easier they are also likely to be very happy with this new study which contradicts a 2010 study. That study, by the University of British Colombia, linked an increase in asthma in children who lived in a home with dogs. Those kids all shared family history, however, which may have been the key difference between the two studies. The most recent study used rodents and did not establish family history as a key consideration.

But, having a dog in the house has been proven to have other health benefits as well. Babies who are raised in homes with dogs are less likely to have the skin condition called eczema. Adults who are dog owners are also less likely to have depression, have lower blood pressure and have more positive outcomes if they have a heart attack. Having a dog is also known as a great way to meet health and fitness goals as well as to meet social goals by serving as an ice breaker and conversation starter.

Study authors cautioned that this is not the green light to run out and get a new dog just to protect against RSV and/or asthma. There are other considerations that must be weighed before making a major change in your family makeup, including whether or not to add a pet.


Street Talk

If this is true we should all be good here, lol Good info Amie, thanks for sharing it.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
Johnney  

Nice article. I agree with the authors that one should consider many factors before bringing a new puppy or dog into the family. Dog ownership is a responsibility that too many take too lightly I'm afraid. Very interesting studies.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Interesting article! Lots of great info.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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