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Hello,

My husband and I are looking to get a dog in the near future, but one of our concerns is that my husband takes immunosuppressant drugs to take care of his health condition. His concern is that he can get viruses or diseases more easily from the drug, especially if the dog goes out side, poops/pees and comes back into our home - as the place will be "less sanitary" and also if she scratches / bites will playing around.

I guess the question here is - how likely / possible is it that one can get disease from something like this? Should we be concerned at all if we keep regular maintenance of the dog by keeping her clean, getting vaccinations yearly, feeding cooked meat etc.

Apologies if any of these questions are stupid - there just doesn't seem to be a lot of information out there about being immunosuppressed and having a dog and would love to get a perspective from someone that knows of someone or is on an weakened immune system, so I can calm him down a bit.

Thank you!
 

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I underwent 8 rounds of chemo and 38 sessions of radiation for cancer in an 8 month period. During that time my 4 dogs contracted giardia. I gave them their meds, bathed them weekly and washed their rears after every poop, and I also picked up after them. I blow dried them, fed them, cleaned their crates, etc. I never contracted anything from them. I took stool samples to the vet multiple times and after a month or two they tested clear. I kept them very clean, and I also made sure to keep myself clean, i.e., frequent baths and lots of hand washing. Every situation is different, but with due diligence, it can be done. I would check with your doctor and talk to a vet. Yours was definitely not a stupid question. You are showing great foresight and concern.
 

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My daughter has chronic disseminated Histoplasmosis. While fighting it she also contracted Cdiff.
The Histo and all the medications are horrible for your immune system. I asked the infectious disease physician about the dog that eats, breaths and sleeps with her.

He had said as long as it was vaccinated and dewormed, taking the dog away would be worse for her than it sleeping in her bed.
Talk to your husbands physician and ask. You may be surprised
 

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I take a drug for MS which leaves me with no B cell component of my immune system between infusions. As Dunmar said above I feel the companion and assistance factor far outweigh the any risk. My Dr.s all know my dog and have never expressed any concern.
I also clean her waste up using bags.
 

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...but one of our concerns is that my husband takes immunosuppressant drugs to take care of his health condition. His concern is that he can get viruses or diseases more easily from the drug, especially if the dog goes out side, poops/pees and comes back into our home - as the place will be "less sanitary" and also if she scratches / bites will playing around.
I also take medication (more accurately, two different medications) that suppress my immune system. While I am not seeking an early demise, there comes a point-in-time when it's necessary to critically assess one's life situation. Sooner or later, preferably "later", one of life's insults will kill me. In the meantime, I have to decide how much I'm willing to let it prevent me from living.
For me, the joys of having a dog far outweigh any concerns about compromised immune systems. For what it's worth, none of my doctors seem all that concerned.

I guess the question here is - how likely / possible is it that one can get disease from something like this? Should we be concerned at all if we keep regular maintenance of the dog by keeping her clean, getting vaccinations yearly, feeding cooked meat etc.
Realistically, the best person to be talking to about this is your doctor. What you mention "can't hurt". But, I know that my situation is not one where I need to be concerned our dog. My bigger concern is those around me who might have a communicable disease.

Apologies if any of these questions are stupid - there just doesn't seem to be a lot of information out there about being immunosuppressed and having a dog and would love to get a perspective from someone that knows of someone or is on an weakened immune system, so I can calm him down a bit.
At a certain level, the lack of information about the negative consequences of pet ownership for people with compromised immune systems could be considered "a good thing" (i.e., no one in the medical community feels this is an area-of-concern that needs to be researched). At a more practical level, there are many scholarly articles that address the negative affects of stress on immune systems, and I can attest to lowered-levels-of-stress that can be directly attributed to our Kona, and pet-ownership-in-general.

When all-is-said-and-done, you'll need to make a decision that both of you can live with. Best wishes in your journey and decision. I'm pretty happy with mine.
 

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Hello,

My husband and I are looking to get a dog in the near future, but one of our concerns is that my husband takes immunosuppressant drugs to take care of his health condition. His concern is that he can get viruses or diseases more easily from the drug, especially if the dog goes out side, poops/pees and comes back into our home - as the place will be "less sanitary" and also if she scratches / bites will playing around.

I guess the question here is - how likely / possible is it that one can get disease from something like this? Should we be concerned at all if we keep regular maintenance of the dog by keeping her clean, getting vaccinations yearly, feeding cooked meat etc.

Apologies if any of these questions are stupid - there just doesn't seem to be a lot of information out there about being immunosuppressed and having a dog and would love to get a perspective from someone that knows of someone or is on an weakened immune system, so I can calm him down a bit.

Thank you!
Great question as we are currently going through the same issue. My husband is also on very high dose of an immunosuppressant for a medical condition and to top that off, we just got his allergy test results last week and found out that he is HIGHLY allergic to our beautiful 15 month old Bruno...I cried buckets thinking we would have to send him back to the breeder...Bruno, not my husband. After speaking with the allergist (also an immunologist), our primary care physician, his neurologist and his pulmonologist, they were all in agreement that there should not be an issue with keeping Bruno...but I would certainly also check with your husband's doctors as well. Good luck!
 

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Great question as we are currently going through the same issue. My husband is also on very high dose of an immunosuppressant for a medical condition and to top that off, we just got his allergy test results last week and found out that he is HIGHLY allergic to our beautiful 15 month old Bruno...I cried buckets thinking we would have to send him back to the breeder...Bruno, not my husband. After speaking with the allergist (also an immunologist), our primary care physician, his neurologist and his pulmonologist, they were all in agreement that there should not be an issue with keeping Bruno...but I would certainly also check with your husband's doctors as well. Good luck!
We added an Aprilaire filter to our furnace for not much money at all. It cut my dusting down to monthly (we dont have dog allergies) vacuuming with a good vacuum and I would think allergies would be easy to control with brushing and bathing.
My sister was allergic to dogs and my mother vacuumed a lot and dusted and she was fine on an allergy pill. I'm allergic to cats and nothing she did helped that. I'm not sure if it was because cats don't get bathed?
 
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