Canine Allergies 

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Dog allergies fall into three categories.

  • Those caused by fleas and other biting insects (flea allergy dermatitis)
  • Those caused by inhaled allergens such as dust mites, grass's, moulds, tree and weed pollens (Canine Atopy)
  • Those caused and by foods and drugs (food allergy)

While humans tend to experience upper respiratory symptoms when an allergy is triggered the target organ in dogs is the skin, with intense inching being the principle sign.
Dog with allergies often scratch continuously, are miserable, snappish and generally unpleasant to be around.
There are two kinds hypersensitivity. The immediate type occurs minutes after exposure and usually produces hives. The delayed response occurs hours or days later and causes intense itching. Anaphylactic shock is severe hypersensitivity reaction of the immediate type accompanied by diarrhoea ,vomiting, weakness, difficulty, breathing, collapse and death.


Hives are an allergic reaction characterized by the sudden appearance of raised, circular, itchy wheals on the skin. The hair sticks out in little patches. Frequently you will see swellings of the eyelids. Hives generally appear within thirty minutes and disappear with twenty-four hours.
Insect bites are a common case of hives. Hives can occur after a vaccination. Penicillin, Tetracycline and other antibiotics can produce hives. Topical insecticides and soaps are other causes. Hives that come and go usually re caused by an allergen in the dogs environment.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

This is the most common allergy in dogs. It is caused by a hypersensitivity reaction to one or more substances in the saliva of flees. Flee allergy dermatitis is an allergic reaction of both the immediate and delayed type ; Itching begins immediately and tends to persist long after flees have been eliminated.
Flee allergy dermatitis is characterised by severe itching with inflamed skin and red pimple like bumps found where flees are heavily concentrated - over the rump and base of the tail , under the legs , on the groin and belly.

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Canine Atopy (Atopic Dermatitis)

Canine Atopy is a disease in which there is an inherited tendency to develop "IgE" antibodies in response to exposure to allergens inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
This extremely common allergic skin disease is 2nd only to Flee Allergy Dermatitis in frequency and affects about ten percent of dogs.
Atopy begins in dogs one two three years of age. Susceptible breeds include "golden & Labrador retrievers" "Lhasa Apsos" "Wire Fox Terrier" "West Highland White Terriers" "Dalmatians" "poodles" "English & Irish Setters" "Boxers" "Bulldogs" among others.
Signs firs appear in conjunction with the weed pollens of late summer and autumn.
Later, other pollens begin to influence the picture: Tree pollens in march and April, then grass pollens in may, June and early July. Finally, the dog starts to react to wool, house dust, moulds, feathers, plant fibbers etc.
With prolonged exposure and multiple allergens, the condition becomes a year round affair.

Food Allergies

Food Allergy is the third most common cause of allergic itching and scratching. It occurs in dogs of all ages. Allergies can develop to meats, milk, eggs, fish, beef, pork, cereal grains, potatoes, soy products and dietary additives.
The principle sign is severe itching, accompanied by the appearance of small red bumps, pustules and raised patches of skin. Characteristically, the rash involves the ears, feet, backs of the legs and underside of the body. Since food allergy is less common than Canine Atopy and flee allergy dermatitis, the dog is often thought to be suffering from one of those diseases

Canine Bowen Technique and the treatment of Allergies

The Canine Bowen Technique can Support treatment for allergies in dogs. Often the dogs diet may need reviewing also. Allergies are responses to a vast array of outside influences on the dog which the dog becomes unable to cope with, resulting in food or skin allergies. Obviously stings and flee bites do not come under this category. The skin is the largest organ of the body and it is here that we see most allergic reactions.
The Canine Bowen Technique aims to rebalance the bodies systems triggering these systems to work efficiently together for the dog. Using fingers or thumbs to stimulate the bodies own healing abilities, Lymphatic drainage and stimulation of circulation are useful approaches when dealing with allergies. Gentle moves are made on key areas over the body

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