A new hair of the dog treatment cures young boy of deadly allergy…
A British school boy has been cured of a serious pet allergy after being administered a ‘hair of the dog’ treatment.
Danny Pearce, 11, suffered from an allergy so severe that simply coming into contact with a dog would cause the young boy to blackout.
But now, thanks to 3 drops a week of the new treatment, he has built up an immunity and can finally take the family dog for walkies.
Pearce, who was just three when he was clinically diagnosed as having a severe allergic reaction, is said to be the first in Britain to try the new drug made from animal hair.
‘I’ve always loved dogs but I just couldn’t touch them. But the treatment has changed all of that – it feels brilliant…
‘I’m now allowed to touch dogs and I stroked about 10 dogs over the weekend. I just kept going round to friends’ houses stroking their dogs. It is my wish come true.’
Danny’s parents explained how they had always wanted a family pet, but knew that doing so would jeopardize his life. Father Jonathon, 40 recalled:
‘We decided to have a pup, a Staff cross, and named it Toffee even before we had it…
‘A day before our holidays we decided to give Toffee a brief visit to our home and Danny’s nose came into contact with his cheek…
‘As I took the dog back Danny collapsed and by the time I came back he was on the settee unconscious…
‘His eyes were swollen, closed like a boxer after doing 15 rounds.’
Danny remained unconscious for 30 mins only to come round in the Ambulance on the way to hospital.
The severity of the allergy prompted social worker Jonathan and mum Sue, a hospital ward manager to conduct various tests on Danny’s skin – showing his allergies to dogs, horses, cats, grass, and trees.
Father Jonathon said:
‘He would even get swollen eyes just sitting on the same chair a dog owner had recently sat on…
‘Things we took for granted like a walk in the park were impossible as at that time contact with dogs could have proved fatal for Danny…
‘The school asked parents not to walk their dogs to school and we were careful where we allowed Danny to.’
Danny, was then referred to London-based pediatric consultant Adam Fox, who suggested that he might benefit from a new unlicensed drug made from dog hair. The experimental treatment, however, was not without risks, and an intensive care bed was put on stand-by, in case anything went wrong.
‘It was a big risk but it was either Danny staying as he was or trying it…
‘It was all about quality of life for Danny, and at that time he had no quality of life.’
Despite reacting badly to his first dose, he was soon able to tolerate an intensive course every half an hour over four days.
In a big test held in a controlled hospital experiment, which was filmed in front of TV cameras for a BBC Horizon programme to be shown later this year, Danny was given a taste of playing with a dog.
A first he became violently sick, but doctors soon realized this was a reaction to the stress of the situation. Nevertheless, the test proved Jonathon could now stroke dogs with less severe consequences.
Following a further two years of treatment, Danny has beaten his deadly symptoms altogether and has lived his dream of taking his neighbor’s dog Bailey out for a walk.
‘It’s made a big difference. This has meant Danny having a life…He can go out in the park and play rugby without us worrying.’
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