There is a consensus among veterinarians that Chihuahuas do not alleviate asthma symptoms in humans. So, it’s clear to see that Chihuahuas aren’t helpful to asthmatics at all. As a matter of fact, there is NO clear evidence that chihuahuas can be beneficial for asthmatics.
Chihuahuas helping with asthma is merely a set of legends.
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Myth #1 (Urban Legend)
According to an urban legend, Chihuahuas can help asthmatics by reducing their symptoms with their presence.
It is believed that these rumors are dated back to the Aztec period when Aztecs believed that dog’s breath was sacred and can help to cure any illness. This speculation is still believed by some people living in Mexico City.
Myth #2 (Cure Childhood Asthma)
There is a belief by some parents that Chihuahuas help to absorb asthma symptoms in their kids who are suffering from asthmatics.
They had observed that their kids who had been diagnosed with asthma (history of wheezing) when they were babies had recovered from this disorder as they grew up with the companion of their chihuahuas.
This makes them believe that the presence of Chihuahuas helps to prevent and even cure asthma attacks in their children.
This is certainly not the case.
Based upon information published by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, approximately 50 percent of kids with asthma conditions will “get over” their respiratory difficulties during adolescence.
This is because the airways of a child’s lungs increase in size as he or she grows. As a result, the inflammation of the respiratory tract, which is an asthmatic characteristic, often goes unnoticed.
So, it does not mean that a person will be free from asthma in the future. Rather, it means that the symptoms have been well controlled.
At present, asthma is not curable. Medication is used primarily for the control and prevention of asthma attacks.
There are 2 types of inhalers used to treat asthma:
- Inhaled corticosteroids are the most commonly prescribed medications used to control asthma on a long-term basis. They work by preventing the inflammation of the airways that causes symptoms of asthma. The use of these medications on a daily basis can significantly reduce asthma attacks.
- Albuterol is a fast-acting medication found in quick-relief inhalers. These inhalers aid in opening your airways quickly and facilitating breathing.
In spite of the fact that dogs are not able to heal or treat asthma attacks, they can alert their owners to potential asthma triggers such as pollen, dust, or smoke, which can aggravate their condition.
If they notice any change in their owner’s breathing, such as wheezing, they will nudge and paw to warn their owner of an impending asthma attack.
Is It Possible for an Asthmatic to Live with a Dog?
Generally, the answer to this question is YES, provided the correct breed of dog is chosen.
Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds Suitable for Asthmatics
As an asthmatic who loves dogs, do you really have to give up the idea of adopting a dog as a pet?
The hair and dander from the dog can get into every corner of your house and possibly trigger your asthmatic. This is even though you have designated specific areas where your Fido is allowed to go.
For this reason, it is crucial to choose the “right” breed of dog for adoption that will not aggravate your asthma.
You should go for hypoallergenic dog breeds such as Poodle, West Highland Terrier and Bedlington Terrier as they do not have an undercoat or curly hair that are likely to trigger allergies.
Furthermore, these breeds have a coat that is easy to keep clean, and they do not shed as much hair as other breeds of dogs.
Dog Breeds That Asthmatics Should Avoid
Depending on your allergy, you may wish to know beforehand which aspect of the dog is likely to cause an asthmatic reaction in your body.
For most people, it is the dog’s dander. Nevertheless, some people are allergic to the saliva of dogs.
If you are worried that you are allergic to dogs, or if you know you are, you should consider getting tested and finding out which allergens, specifically, affect you.
German shepherds are more prone to having dry skin than other breeds of dogs and are not recommended if you have dander allergies.
Doberman pinschers, huskies, and Labrador retrievers are also known to shed considerable amounts of hair and dander.
Bulldogs, Saint Bernards, and basset hounds are well known for their affectionate personalities. If you are allergic to dog saliva, you should avoid these breeds.
A Chihuahua isn’t hypoallergenic and may cause allergic reactions to those who are prone to allergies.
The Link Between Pets and Asthma
The relationship between pets and asthma has been a topic of interest for researchers and medical professionals for many years.
One of the prevailing theories surrounding this connection is known as the hygiene hypothesis. This hypothesis suggests that early exposure to certain allergens, including those found in pets, may actually help to reduce the risk of developing asthma and allergies later in life.
The hygiene hypothesis proposes that growing up in an excessively clean environment, where exposure to various microorganisms and allergens is limited, can lead to an overactive immune system.
In such cases, the immune system may mistakenly identify harmless substances as harmful and trigger allergic reactions or asthma symptoms.
Studies exploring the association between pet ownership and asthma development have yielded mixed results. Some studies have suggested that exposure to pets, especially cats and dogs, during early childhood can have a protective effect against asthma and allergies.
These studies have found that children who grow up with pets in their homes may have a reduced risk of developing asthma or allergic diseases.
However, it is important to note that this protective effect may not be universal for all individuals. The relationship between pet ownership and asthma can vary depending on different factors, including genetic predispositions, environmental factors, and specific allergens.
Furthermore, it is crucial to understand that pet allergies are a common trigger for asthma symptoms in individuals who are specifically allergic to pet dander or proteins present in the saliva, urine, or skin flakes of animals. In such cases, exposure to pets can exacerbate asthma symptoms rather than alleviate them.
In conclusion, the link between pets, including Chihuahuas, and asthma is complex and multifaceted. While some studies suggest that early exposure to pets may have a protective effect against asthma and allergies, there are also conflicting findings and individual variations to consider.
It is essential to consult with healthcare professionals and consider personal factors, such as specific allergies and triggers, before making decisions about pet ownership for individuals with asthma.