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Discussion Starter #1
I am facing a very tough situation concerning my dogs and I would like to ask for your help in the form of prayers or good vibes sent our way.

I am disabled and live alone with my 2 dogs and they are my world (I love my children dearly but they live hours away). I’ve had chronic asthma for 30 years. My asthma is triggered by allergens. Until about 2 years ago, I was able to manage it and living very well with it.

Since I moved, my asthma has very slowly started to become harder and harder to manage, until it has become completely out of control, even with very strong medications. I will be getting another medication this morning, on top of what I am already taking. This is very hard on me because even with those, my breathing isn’t right and the side effects of the meds are not pleasant.

My anxiety is sky high, I am so afraid I will have to rehome my dogs. 30 years ago I had to rehome my beloved cats because they were making me very ill (asthma too). I thought I was only mildly allergic to dogs but I suppose 30 years of living with them and being exposed to allergens has taken it’s toll. I feel like I am reliving this nightmare again.

I’m still hoping it’s an infection or something else in the house and that it will clear in a few weeks but the hope is slowly fading away as the days go by and the situation doesn’t improve.

If I have to choose between breathing and my dogs, then I will have to choose breathing, but losing my dogs is like a death sentence to me. :-(

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.
 

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I appreciate how hard this is for you. BF has asthma and cats are one of his main triggers. If my cats had been young when we got together I would have had to rehome them, but they were both about 12 when we moved and I kept them separate from us upstairs until one of them died. I then sent her sister to my mom who had lost her cat and where Alex had a very nice final year or so.

These are anxious times, but you should try to do some practices to reduce your anxiety since anxiety will exacerbate immune response issues involved with your asthma flaring. I hope maybe meditation and deep or rhythmic breathing might help you.
 

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Dechi, you probably already have air purifiers. Here's a March 2020 article that might add something, here.

Some hidden enemies I can think of: Curtains, venetian blinds, baseboards, the tops of refrigerators, wall art frames hold dust. Even sofas can be thoroughly vacuumed. Mildrew sometimes can be found under bathroom and kitchen sinks. If possible, hiring a maid to clean all that while you go elsewhere (maybe a hotel? they're cleaned daily) to avoid inhaling the cleaners. And could Hammy Hamster's bedding or other any pets be a problem source? Given the circumstances, if all this cleaning and upgrading purifiers is too costly, there's no shame in starting a Go Fund Me page.

And Catherine is right about anxiety (fear) overstimulating making our immune system over-reactive, and the news lately is a 24/7 horror show. Best wishes.
 

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Are you sure that you aren't experiencing seasonal allergies? My allergies are really acting up this week. I have asthma too although I only wheeze when exposed to dust mites and I've managed to get those under control with dust mite proof pillow and mattress covers and frequent bedding changes. Lots of other things will trigger allergies and asthma, why don't you look for non-dog causes as well?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Dechi, you probably already have air purifiers. Here's a March 2020 article that might add something, here.

Some hidden enemies I can think of: Curtains, venetian blinds, baseboards, the tops of refrigerators, wall art frames hold dust. Even sofas can be thoroughly vacuumed. Mildrew sometimes can be found under bathroom and kitchen sinks. If possible, hiring a maid to clean all that while you go elsewhere (maybe a hotel? they're cleaned daily) to avoid inhaling the cleaners. And could Hammy Hamster's bedding or other any pets be a problem source? Given the circumstances, if all this cleaning and upgrading purifiers is too costly, there's no shame in starting a Go Fund Me page.

And Catherine is right about anxiety (fear) overstimulating making our immune system over-reactive, and the news lately is a 24/7 horror show. Best wishes.
Thanks for the link about the air purifier.

I’ve taken care of most of hidden enemies already, including rehoming Nuage a few months ago. I’ve bought new bedding, pillows, I have no carpets, my sofas are in leather or faux-leather, ect. My house is allergy friendly. My dogs only use the main floor, and I sleep on the second floor.

Without going into too much details, I’ve been looking into different ways to make my life easier. Including looking at air purifiers. I’m hoping something will work but anything I will do will cost money and I can’t do it all, so choosing one option over the other without knowing if it will work or not is hard. I could never use Go fund me, it’s just not something I would do.
 

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Oh wow, I feel so bad for you. You said the symptoms got worse after you moved two years ago. Is there a chance that some sort of environmental factor (mold, pollen) in your new dwelling is contributing to the problem?

My allergies manifest as dermatitis. I will be fine for months. Then I get exposed to a bad trigger like poison ivy. After that, things which don't normally bother me - scented hand soap, certain brands of laundry detergent, latex gloves, mangoes, ficus tree sap - will send my immune system into a frenzy. I have to avoid all of these items for the next three months or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Are you sure that you aren't experiencing seasonal allergies? My allergies are really acting up this week. I have asthma too although I only wheeze when exposed to dust mites and I've managed to get those under control with dust mite proof pillow and mattress covers and frequent bedding changes. Lots of other things will trigger allergies and asthma, why don't you look for non-dog causes as well?
I’m positive. I also have seasonal allergies on top but this time I’ve had non-stop allergies since last summer (almost 10 months). I also have chronic sinusitis because of my allergies, on top of severe asthma.

Dogs are one possible cause, but I’m also looking at any possibility, including the house itself. Sadly, I just moved here not even two years ago. I’ve put a lot of money into it to fix problem and make sure it is safe for me, since I am vulnerable to respiratory problems. So in principle, my house should not be the problem. I have also tested it for radon (not even sure it causes asthma) and should have the results in a few weeks.

I am really not leaving any stone unturned.
 

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Oh wow, I feel so bad for you. You said the symptoms got worse after you moved two years ago. Is there a chance that some sort of environmental factor (mold, pollen) in your new dwelling is contributing to the problem?
Thank you ! The house being a problem is a possibility, but as I said I have spent a lot of money to make it safe for me.

One thing I had at my old house is an air exchanger. I had two experts come to this house and give me an estimate but unfortunately, the way the house is built makes it really hard to install one. I am looking into having someone come look again when the crisis subsides and see if we can find a solution, even if we have to be creative.

This is expensive but it might be the best chance I have to tolerate the dogs. With summer coming, I will start opening the windows again and should be able to tell if my symptoms are relieved with new air coming in. If not, then there won’t be a point to installing an air exchanger.
 

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I want to send love and positive energy your way. How horrible to feel like you might have to choose between your heart and soul or your ability to breathe.

I really hope you don’t mind me saying this. The medication that I’m assuming your doctor added often causes severe anxiety, among other symptoms, as a side effect. Especially if it’s a high dose course. It could be making the difficult situation you're going through exponentially more difficult and nightmarish. In my years as an RN I’ve seen this effect (too often). I wanted to make sure you’re aware of it/look into it more/and call your doc if need be. If you already were aware, I apologize and can edit this out.
I don’t have any additional ideas to add to what others have said for the short term solutions— except to give yourself more time to allow this flare up to pass and hold on to a twinkle of hope that whatever caused it will clear up on its own, or is as simple as some HEPA air filters.

Feel better, Dechi. I hope the support here is helping a little.
 

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First of all, big hugs. I'm so sorry you're struggling.

Second: I have had good luck with a BlueAir air purifier.


Since the dogs don't sleep with you, you can get one that's correctly sized for your bedroom and keep the door closed. That's key. The unit itself is not cheap, but I've never regretted mine. The replacement filters are available for a good price at Costco. (I've been known to vacuum mine to prolong their life, but the relief that comes with a new set of filters is almost immediate.)

Perhaps giving your immune system a break at night would be beneficial.
 

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I want to send love and positive energy your way. How horrible to feel like you might have to choose between your heart and soul or your ability to breathe.

I really hope you don’t mind me saying this. The medication that I’m assuming your doctor added often causes severe anxiety, among other symptoms, as a side effect. Especially if it’s a high dose course. It could be making the difficult situation you're going through exponentially more difficult and nightmarish. In my years as an RN I’ve seen this effect (too often). I wanted to make sure you’re aware of it/look into it more/and call your doc if need be. If you already were aware, I apologize and can edit this out.
I don’t have any additional ideas to add to what others have said for the short term solutions— except to give yourself more time to allow this flare up to pass and hold on to a twinkle of hope that whatever caused it will clear up on its own, or is as simple as some HEPA air filters.

Feel better, Dechi. I hope the support here is helping a little.
I did not know, thank you ! I do have generalized anxiety disorder and the pandemic has made it worse, mainly because my lungs are inflamed as it is, which means I pretty much don’t stand a chance if I catch the coronavirus.

I’m also scared of losing my dogs, which is making it worse. Not the best of times but we’ll get through it ! :)
 

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Since the dogs don't sleep with you, you can get one that's correctly sized for your bedroom and keep the door closed. That's key. The unit itself is not cheap, but I've never regretted mine. The replacement filters are available for a good price at Costco. (I've been known to vacuum mine to prolong their life, but the relief that comes with a new set of filters is almost immediate.)
I was thinking I would put the air purifier in the living room, where the dogs spend most of their time, so it would catch their dander before it even gets upstairs. I also seem to have more trouble breathing suring the day, because the dogs are always glued to me. I sleep with my door almost shut.

Perhaps giving your immune system a break at night would be beneficial.
I am contemplating boarding the dogs for 2 weeks, to see if it would make a difference. But I’m hesitant because that money could be used to help buy an air purifier or do other work on the house to help me breathe better.

I read the article that Vita linked and the Rabbit air has been proved to help with asthma. The Blue air is also well rated, so it would probably be one of those two. The Rabbit air has a nicer design which gives it am edge over the Blue air. We’ll see what I decide to do. Everything needs to be carefully weighed against pros and cons, and cost.
 

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Oh Dechi, I feel for you and am sending thoughts and prayers your way. I have seasonal allergy and it has been terrible with very high tree pollen. Everytime I go out to my SUV, it is covered green with pollen. With the covid-19 I try to stay home and am doing well, all things considered. I do take allergy meds during pollen times.
 

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I'm so sorry that you're going through this. Maybe it is the house? Or carpet(do you have any?)? The apartment that we live in needs the carpet changed. It needed to be changed before we moved in, but they didn't do it.

I haven't tried it, but there's this stuff called allerpet and it's for people who are allergic to their pets.
 

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I'm so sorry that you're going through this. Maybe it is the house? Or carpet(do you have any?)? The apartment that we live in needs the carpet changed. It needed to be changed before we moved in, but they didn't do it.

I haven't tried it, but there's this stuff called allerpet and it's for people who are allergic to their pets.
I don’t have carpets, except on the stairs going to the basement, but they are behind a door that I keep close. Nonetheless, I have planned to rip it apart since day 1 and will get to it eventually. Since I can’t do any physical work, anything done around the house I need to pay someone to do, so it is not going as fast as I would like.

Sometimes I wonder if there is something inside the walls or other places. The house is about 40 years old but it’s very well maintained. So I don’t know.

I still have an old Allerpet bottle from a long time ago, lol ! It never helped me.
 

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Love and humor will sustain us all during these trying times.

I have anxiety issues, I see a therapist
This is my mantra
You need to give yourself a break from worrying, (I refuse to panic Simply cannot)
You need to laugh and make others laugh
You need to call the people you like and talk
You need to limit the news
You need to be prepared but don't be crazy,
The rest well will sort itself out

My running joke during all this is this

I was supposed to go to England this year, last time I was supposed to go my mother died and the company I was working for went out of business.
So what next an asteroid?

Life isn't fair, life just happens we humans are along for the ride, it's best we enjoy all the good bits, and do our to endure the rest.
 

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Dechi, that's really unfortunate :( I really feel for you.

I am highly allergic to most dogs and cats- Annie is mostly fine, but i have to wash her every 2 weeks, and I am definitely more allergic to moms yorkie. Singulair (monteklast sodium) is what works best for me. The doctor recommended it for allergy based asthma. I also use daily cetirizine hydrochloride on bad days/weeks.

When I lived with my sister for 4 months in her carpeted house with two large shedding dogs and two cats, she borrowed a very expensive hepa air filter plus replaced the filters for the furnace. It made a huge difference.

Also... re furnaces. Do you have one? Would you consider closing off your bedroom vents and using a space heater? I hate HVAC systems, they really aggravate my allergies and stir up/transport dust. At my moms, I have a vent cover in my room and just rely on the heat rising from the rest of the house.
 

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Dechi, that's really unfortunate :( I really feel for you.

I am highly allergic to most dogs and cats- Annie is mostly fine, but i have to wash her every 2 weeks, and I am definitely more allergic to moms yorkie. Singulair (monteklast sodium) is what works best for me. The doctor recommended it for allergy based asthma. I also use daily cetirizine hydrochloride on bad days/weeks.

When I lived with my sister for 4 months in her carpeted house with two large shedding dogs and two cats, she borrowed a very expensive hepa air filter plus replaced the filters for the furnace. It made a huge difference.

Also... re furnaces. Do you have one? Would you consider closing off your bedroom vents and using a space heater? I hate HVAC systems, they really aggravate my allergies and stir up/transport dust. At my moms, I have a vent cover in my room and just rely on the heat rising from the rest of the house.
Thank you. Right now I’m on Symbicort, Claritin and sinus rinse. I had to stop nasonex as it made my nose bleed. I am shaking from the Symbicort and having massive headaches on and off. I hate it. I was given Singulair to start if the other meds didn’t work. They’re not working so I’m starting Singulair tonight.

How long have you been taking Singulair daily ?

I don’t have a furnace. I have 100% electric heating. As for Hepa filters, I’ve been shopping online today and I’m looking into buying a medical grade air purifier. They use it in hospital rooms so I figure if any air purifier is going to help, this one will. It’s expensive but I can return it within 30 days if it doesn’t work.
 
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