In January of 2007 I moved in with my boyfriend. He has a 6 year old chow mix who suffers from constant skin infections. I don't know the exact name of the dogs condition but it's a recurring disease that they cannot get rid of they can only control it with antibiotics. Since I've moved into the house I've had more difficulty breathing than ever in my life. I'm 25 years old and have had mild asthma for 12 years otherwise I'm healthy. During the summer though I started interacting with the dog more and I let him touch me. He actually licked my hand. A few hours later I noticed my left arm and hand started to tingle and kind of hurt (he licked my left hand) later I realized that the lymph node under that arm had gotten swollen. It's been several months since this happened and as long as I keep away from the dog and his areas it goes away. Any time I touch something of his or him the same things happens. We have hepa filters in our home and we have strict rules about coming inside with clothes that have his dander or anything that we've worn after heavy interaction. I'm only concerned because I've four upper respiratory infections and several incidents where I've had to go to urgent care because my fast acting inhaler has not worked. Last year when I lived with no pets I had none of these problems. I don't react like this to all pets it seems to be an isolated case with just him. Besides immunotherapy is there anything else I can do so both the dog and I can live in the same home? Or is it just better for my health that we find another home for this dog?
From your description, there is little doubt that the reactions you describe are attributable to contact with the dog. The problem could be infectious or allergic. You might begin by consulting with the dog's veterinarian regarding allergy vs. infection and, if infection, the likelihood of dog-to-human transmission of the infection.
Either way, it seems highly unlikely that you will be able to live in the same home with the dog, and be able to avoid this recurring problem. Separation would, indeed, be the best thing for your health.
You might also be able to confirm your suspicion by observing what happens when the dog is kenneled for several weeks.
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