From the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in Washington
Possibly the most heated dispute in human history is: Which is the better pet? Cats or dogs? I’m quite prepared to sing the praises of the canine companion but I’m sure there’s at least one reader out there prepared to do the same for feline friends. For eons, dog and cat proponents have faced a stalemate. Until now.
Here at AAAAI 2009, Dr. Tolly Epstein and her colleagues presented data in a poster on predictors of eczema in children. When they looked at the association of dog or cat sensitization and eczema in a sample of more than 600 children, they found a big difference between the two pets.
According to the research, having a dog appears to confer a protective effect that dampens the positive association between sensitization to dog and eczema. In contrast, having a cat in the house appears to enhance the positive association between sensitization to cat and eczema. “Dog ownership appeared to promote tolerance to the effects of sensitization, while cat ownership in combination with sensitization was associated with eczema,” they wrote.