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allergies & brain inflammation
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allergies & brain inflammation

A year ago we had a dog in the house as a pet for our children.  Because of being gone so much we had to get rid of him.  About two months after he left, my five year old became allergic to dogs! and hamsters!--she was already allergic to cats.  She loves animals, but her reaction includes runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, and eyes swelling shut.  Is it safe to have an outside dog?  I have two other children that are begging for another pet.  I've heard recently of brain inflammation due to allergies and it really scares me to allow her around any animal. Thanks for any help or info you can give.
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Sounds like your 5 year old is allergic to dogs and has probably responded to residual hair and dog dander that remained after you got rid of the dog.  Keeping the dog outside would help with indoor exposures but it is highly unlikely, given her affection for dogs that she would be able or choose to avoid close contact with the outdoors dog.  You should consult with your primary care doctor regarding the risk of brain inflammation and perhaps with a board certified allergist regarding your child's allergies but I suspect the advice you would be given, would be to have no animals in close contact with your home or family members.  Please read our allergies to animals information at http://www.nationaljewish.org/disease-info/diseases/allergy/about/allergic-to/animals.aspx to learn more.
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