Occupational allergy is an important health problem. This study was aimed to reveal the prevalence of dog allergy and other common allergy and allergic symptoms in police dog trainers.
Fifty-six police dog trainers and 150 workers as control group were included in this study. Medical records of dog trainers including respiratory, skin, eye symptoms and physical examinations and skin prick test results are compared with the medical records of control group. To predict skin prick test (SPT) positivity to dog allergen, binary logistic regression was used for multivariate analysis of all potential predictors associated with sensitization to dog.
Positive SPT to dog was present in 21.4% of dog trainers, whereas the frequency of sensitization to dog in the control group was 1.3% (p < 0.001, odds ratio [OR] = 20.18, 95% CI 4.35-93.60). Dog allergy development risk is found 20 times greater in dog trainers than control group. In multiple logistic regression analysis it was found that SPT positivity (other than dog allergy) was associated with dog allergy likelihood. Age, smoking, cat keeping, bird keeping, working duration and family history of atopic disorders were not associated with dog allergy likelihood.
This is the first study investigating the presence of sensitization to dogs and common allergens in police dog trainers. Sensitization to dog allergens is an important occupational problem for dog trainers. Precautions should be taken to prevent the development of dog allergy in this profession group.