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Is the cat likely to be causing Ds's asthma symptoms?

(11 Posts)
Jojay Mon 25-Aug-08 14:43:16

DS is 21 months old and has suffered from bouts of wheeziness since around his first birthday.

They're normally when he has a cold, and used to go 1-2 months between each bout. He has a Salbutamol inhalor and was prescribed those pink steroid tablets with every attack.

He's recently had 2 attacks within a fortnight, so we've been prescribed a brown preventor inhalor to use at the very first sign of a cold or any wheeziness. This hopefully will mean we don't need the steriod tablets any more.

The doctor asked me about pets at time, nad I said we had a cat - we've had him since I was 3 months pregnant with DS - and he said this could be a factor in the wheezing.

I feel this is unlikely, as the cat has always been around, and DS can go several months without any symptoms. The cat doesn't go into DS's bedroom, though he is in the communal areas of the house (and our bed.......)

Do you think the cat could be aggravating the wheezing? Has anyone else known an allergy to cats cause similar symtoms?

Jojay Mon 25-Aug-08 14:44:17

'Scuse my typo's - I'm sure you don't need me to point them out.........!

DontlookatmeImshy Mon 25-Aug-08 14:48:13

It's possible. Dh is allergic to cats now. he developed symptoms about 15 years ago after living with cats all through his childhood with no problem at all.

But I don't know how you would go about confirming whether it was the cat or not.

Sorry thats not much help really is it?

AvenaLife Mon 25-Aug-08 14:53:44

I looked after a little boy who had an asthma attack due to a cat. He was at a friends house. I think your little one would need to be wheezy all the time if your cat was there all the time. ds has asthma, he's worse when the weathers cold or he's got a cold. I always make sure he's wrapped up and has a scarf ofer his mouth and nose to warm the air up as this is what seems to cause the problem.

squiffy Tue 26-Aug-08 09:09:25

The reason it might not have come up before is that your DS has probably started stroking him and such like, which he won't have done when he was much younger.

TBH I am amazed that this hasn't been mentioned to you before - these allergies are very common and there is a known link between childhood asthma and pets (with the pets excarbating the asthmatic conditions). see here and here.

You really must rehome your pets. I know it is easier said than done. My parents had to do the same with two much loved dogs once. But you really must do this. I speak as someone who grew up with a brother whose asthma is about as bad as it gets. I wouldn't wish the worsening of this condition on my worst enemy.

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Tue 26-Aug-08 09:24:00

[hhm] i have asthma that is allergy trigered i have allergies to household dust, dry grass and cats. its much worse when i have a cold.

i had allergy tests after having a big row with my mum over her giving away my budgies. we went to the doctor who reffered me to a specialist for allergy tests.

we had no cats at the time so it was not a problem. but i was always ill when i went to my nanas who did have a cat. untill the allergy test we thought it was her central heating that was bothering me. anyway a few years later my sister had to have an operation on her eye. she had always wanted a kitten but never been allowed due to my allergy. though my dad forgot about this and bought her one anyway. i am more allergic to adult long haired cats and this was a short haired cat so i was slightly whheezy for a few days and worse if the cat stayed too close for too long. but it got better after about a week.

the cat had long haired kittens one of which my mum kept and i was fine. about a year later i left home however everytime i came home to visit i was very ill. to the point where i rang my friend at 3am in the morning to take me to buy piriton and new bedclothes as i was convinced the cat had been sleeping on my bed.

it occured to me that the cat had never bothered me when i lived there and had always liked my bedroom so decided that i must build up a tolerance to cats over a period of time. as i couldnt stand being ill everytime i came home, and i was very ill, my choices were to stop coming home at all and make my mum visit me which would mean i only saw her a few times a year and would miss out on family xmas's, make my mum get rid of cat which would break her heart and given his nervous dipostion it would have been kinder to put him to sleep, stay in hotels when i came home or get my cat. thereby building up a tolerance to cats again.

i now have two short haired cats i have had since kittens and can visit my mums with no problems. i suppose what i am trying to say is that if your ds is allergic to cats surely he would have built up a tolerance to them? plus my allergy was quite bad with puffy eyes, itchy skin, dry mouth, swollen lips as well as wheezing. but im fime with cats now.

im not sure if you can still get allergy tests but id ask your gp about them

squiffy Tue 26-Aug-08 09:43:39

Seashells - there are some people who are allergic to cats, sound like you are one of them (I am too). For first couple of weeks in their presence you get a bt fluey/wheezy then you're ok. That's just an allergy. Never goes away but you get ok with it after a while (though I find it flares up again if I get scratched)

Then there's people who develop asthma. They have the gene there when they are born but it takes a while to wake up, which is why you often see athma develop during childhood, rather than being there from the off. For these people dust and mites and dog/cat fur can become the trigger and can set them off. For these people it is simply not possible to build up a tolerance, it will just get worse the more they become exposed.

squiffy Tue 26-Aug-08 09:52:11

some more info on allergy/asthma here.

Don't get me wrong, I love cats, have had them as pets as well as dogs. But I would not have them in a house with an asthmatic child. Sorry, Jojay sad

Jojay Wed 27-Aug-08 21:26:17

Thanks for that everyone - those articles make interesting reading Squiffy, esp the Times one.

What tests are there to find out for sure? Will they do them on the NHS??

I like my cat a lot but I love my son much more, so I'd rehome the cat immediately if that was the problem - I'd rather that than my son having to take steroids regularly.

But I'd like to be sure that the cat is the problem first.

And in answer to a previous question, DS doesn't really touch the cat or get close to him - they have a fairly healthy respect for each other, and the cat certainly isn't the type to lie there and be mauled by a toddler! Inevitably though, there must be cat hair / saliva etc in the house to a degree.

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Wed 27-Aug-08 21:31:46

i got mine on the nhs. just ask your gp.

Jojay Wed 27-Aug-08 21:32:22

Shesellseashells - I've always agreed with your theory about allergies to an extent - in fact it was one reason for us getting the cat in the first place!

I used to ride and keep horses when I was younger, and could muck out stables all day long. Now I don't do it regularly, I suffer from hayfever symptoms if I try.

DH was the same as you when our previous cat decided to move in with us ( as cats do). He sneezed and itched for a month or so and then seemed to build a tolerence, and he's been fine ever since.

I think I'll talk to the doctor at our follow up appointment next week, and see if we can get a test done.

Thanks smile

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