Boston Doctor Says Dog Allergies Might be Related Primarily to Male Dogs

If you're allergic to dogs, there might be an easy solution to this problem. 

“Up to 30% of people who are allergic to dogs are actually allergic to one specific protein that’s made in the prostate of a dog,” said Dr. Lakiea Wright, an allergist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

While science has identified six specific dog allergens, if you're only allergic to the specific protein that is found in the male dog, you could be just fine with a female or neutered male. 

When it comes to pet allergies, it's not the dog's hair that triggers an allergic reaction, but proteins in their urine, saliva, and dander (dead skin cells). 

People can be allergic to one or more of the allergens, which is good news because this means you can be allergic to one breed or gender, and not another. Because of this, however, there is also no such thing as a "hypoallergenic" dog, contrary to popular belief, because all dogs make at least one of these allergens.

In a male dog, a protein called Can f 5 is found in the prostate. When the dog urinates this protein can spread onto the dog's skin and fur and then when they're pet by their humans, the protein is then transferred to them. The proteins are lightweight and can easily transfer onto furniture, clothing, and other household items. 

You can get tested by your doctor to see if you're allergic to the Can f 5 protein with a simple skin prick or blood test. 

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