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asmatic grampa reacts to grandchildren's cats' dander

(12 Posts)
soifed Sun 18-Nov-12 01:06:38

My husband is severely asthmatic and despite his not visiting any more and my extensive efforts to "decontaminate" myself and my clothing when I get home from my visit he wheezes. Son and daughter-in-law say the cats are part of their family and won't give them up. Now I do not know what to do since I do not want to give up my son or his children but cannot go on causing my husband to have a life-threatening illness. Perhaps my efforts to decontaminate are not good enough. Is there anyone who has figured out how to do it and have it work? We cannot find a solution thus far.

Maz007 Sun 18-Nov-12 07:07:01

Oh dear - how tough for you!! Cat dander does get everywhere... Someone might have some good advice on decontamination - my experience is of discovering a severe allergy to cats I was living with, so finding them a new home was the only option for us but as you're only visiting hopefully someone will have some pearls of wisdom. Has your husband been to see his GP / consultant for advice? Not sure what impact it would have on asthma as the main symptom but my GP put me on a course of antihistamines when I was in a similar situation to try to dampen down my response... Hope you find an answer.

soifed Sun 18-Nov-12 13:02:11

Thank you for responding. It is heartening that someone cares enough to read and reply.We have been both to our GP and an allergy, asthma specialist both of whom gave my husband inhalers for daily use and emergency use. I asked the specialist if the meds were masking the damage to his bronchioles and he said that there is some research being done on that. My husband had a cat scan the other day to determine that and will have a pulmonary function test later this month. In the meantime I don't know if I should avoid my children--I can't, in my heart, abide by that recourse either. I don't even know if laundering clothes or showering does get the dander out.

AnyaKnowIt Sun 18-Nov-12 13:05:14

Can you have a spare change change of clothes ready to get changed into as soon as you come home?

cate16 Sun 18-Nov-12 13:20:20

Go swimming before coming home? (+ total change of clothes)
Sorry if this is a really stupid suggestion as I have know experience with allergies.

IDontDoIroning Sun 18-Nov-12 13:21:17

The cats are part of the family so wtaf are you are you and your dh?

soifed Sun 18-Nov-12 14:17:58

Yesterday, I used a leaf blower outside to get rid of the dander on my coat. Then came in the back basement door, stripped at the door, threw my clothes into the washing machine, ran into the shower, showered and shampooed and still my husband started to wheeze the minute he came downstairs. If I changed before I got into the car to come home wouldn't the new clothes get covered before I leave their house? I can't change outside in the cold and in the open. I do appreciate your response.

Maz007 Sun 18-Nov-12 22:47:43

You poor thing! It sounds like you have tried everything... one last thought maybe. I found the cat protection league quite knowledgeable in terms of products that might be helpful in destroying the allergen. It wasn't enough for us with two cats in the house but you never know. Fingers crossed you find a solution.

Sallster Fri 23-Nov-12 15:25:47

I have the same problem with my DH who is asthmatic and therefore can't take anti-histamines (although it doesn't stop him smoking 20 a day - don't go there....) who is severely allergic to all animals with feathers/fur, feather duvets, down pillows, even the sofas in my Mums house...

If anyone knows of a solution please share as it is a real pain not being able to visit friends/relations with pets, not to mention heart breaking for me to see him suffer - can't even sit in a pub if a Dog has been in the vicinity!!

giraffesCantFlyLikeReindeer Fri 23-Nov-12 15:30:51

If he is that allergic perhaps he needs further treatment?

Is he only on inhalers?

Has he trid piriton or similar?

There are also several asthma tablets that can be taken.

Could discuss with asthma nurse doubling dose of preventor before being around cat dander, and take a dose of ventolin before you home. And continue higher dose of preventor for a couple of days after.

Don't do this without speaking to nurse/dr first.

Blu Fri 23-Nov-12 15:36:00

Wear a disposable paper coverall suit to visit your son? And take it off and put it in their dustbin once you have left their house, and then have a good wash?

DS coughs and wheezes and has to take anthistamines whenever a cat-owning friend or relative comes round, and I have to strongly discourage such visitors from sitting on DS's bed.

Someone told me it is actually the protein from cat saliva that causes the allergy. The cat licks it's fur and then sits around and you pick up the protein on your clothes and skin.

moggle Fri 23-Nov-12 15:49:07

Petal Cleanse is the name of the range of anti dander stuff. There are sprays for carpets and upholstery and curtains, liquid to put the wash, and stuff to wipe on the cats. It is completely safe for the cats, they ingest it as they groom which is the important bit, for most people the allergen is in the saliva as blu says.
We use this stuff as DH's family is mostly allergic and wheezy to them and it works well. BIL can now stay overnight in our house, previously he had to leave after a couple of hours. It has a lasting effect on new hairs shed, esp when you use the stuff that goes directly on the cats., i think the recommendation is to use it every fortnight.
It can be a bit pricy esp if its used religiously as directed, but if you share the costs it should be OK. I would give it a serious try, use it in their house and your basement, and in your car, spray your clothes with it before you come in the house, put it in the wash with your clothes. and don't forget to put it on the cats too. Also brushing the cats is helpful to reduce the amount if hair floating around, but don't you do that or you'll bring even more home!
Really hope it works for you too. It's a really difficult situation!

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