Urban environment predisposes dogs and their owners to allergic symptoms

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Hakanen , E , Lehtimäki , J , Salmela , E , Tiira , K , Anturaniemi , J , Hielm-Björkman , A , Ruokolainen , L & Lohi , H 2018 , ' Urban environment predisposes dogs and their owners to allergic symptoms ' , Scientific Reports , vol. 8 , 1585 . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-19953-3

Title: Urban environment predisposes dogs and their owners to allergic symptoms
Author: Hakanen, Emma; Lehtimäki, Jenni; Salmela, Elina; Tiira, Katriina; Anturaniemi, Johanna; Hielm-Björkman, Anna; Ruokolainen, Lasse; Lohi, Hannes
Contributor organization: Biosciences
University of Helsinki
Research Programs Unit
Research Programme for Molecular Neurology
Veterinary Biosciences
Equine and Small Animal Medicine
Veijo Kaitala / Principal Investigator
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Ilkka Hanski / Principal Investigator
Hannes Tapani Lohi / Principal Investigator
Veterinary Genetics
Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
Petbone – ortopedia, fysioterapia, kivunlievitys
Date: 2018-01-25
Language: eng
Number of pages: 9
Belongs to series: Scientific Reports
ISSN: 2045-2322
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-19953-3
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/233426
Abstract: Our companion-animals, dogs, suffer increasingly from non-communicable diseases, analogous to those common in humans, such as allergic manifestations. In humans, living in rural environments is associated with lower risk of allergic diseases. Our aim was to explore whether a similar pattern can be found in dogs, using a nation-wide survey in Finland (n = 5722). We characterised the land-use around dog's home at the time of birth as well as around its current home, and described several lifestyle factors. The severity of owner-reported allergic symptoms in dogs was estimated with a comprehensive set of questions, developed by experts of canine dermatology. Also, the prevalence of diagnosed allergies in dog owners was recorded. The results indicate that allergic symptoms are more prevalent in urban environments both in dog owners and in dogs (accounting the effect of dog breed). Several factors related to rural living, such as bigger family size and regular contact with farm animals and other pets, were also protective against allergic symptoms in dogs. Interestingly, allergic dogs were more likely to have allergic owners than healthy dogs were. Therefore, we suggest that the mutual presence of allergic symptoms in both species indicates common underlying causal factors of allergic diseases.
413 Veterinary science
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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