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In medical terms, an allergy is a severe reaction of an animal’s (including humans) immune system to a substance. In other words, substances that are eliminated from the body in normal animals, but which cause various inflammatory processes in allergy sufferers. Allergies are usually inherited.
Allergies are known to be strictly specific, i.e. they are caused only by a particular substance. Moreover, the amount of the substance in the body is usually of no particular significance. For example, a tiny piece of food weighing just a few grams is enough to trigger a food allergy.

What allergies do dogs suffer from?

Dogs have several types of allergies:

  • flea saliva,
  • to substances in the external environment,
  • food allergies.

The most common allergy is a reaction to flea saliva. In addition, the parasites themselves may not be present on the animal at the time and the bite may have been accidental and occurred during a walk in the park. However, just one single bitemay cause an allergic reaction.
Food allergies are less common. It takes some time for the body to develop such an allergy, so it is not necessary to assume that food allergies are caused by new products – new products are the least likely to cause a reaction, which is why they are used in diagnostics. It is also important to note that each body’s allergy is strictly individual: one has an allergy to beef, another to fish.
The second most common reaction is to substances in the external environment (atopic dermatitis). The substances that cause it can be as diverse as pollen, house dust and mould. The average age at which an animal can develop this allergy is between 10 months and 3 years. This form of allergy is probably the most severe: it is impossible to completely protect the animal from the external environment, so it follows that this allergy requires lifelong treatment. Moreover, it is not possible to cure the allergy completely, but it is possible to select such treatment, to make your pet’s life as comfortable as possible.

Signs of Allergy

Allergies are not detected by outward signs. This is due to uniform external manifestations such as scratching, redness, scraped areas. Secondary signs may be the only clue: flea allergy is characterised by lesions on the back, rump and tail; clear seasonal allergy is more characteristic of atopic dermatitis and flea allergy.


Canine allergy is diagnosed on the basis of clinical signs. In order to make an accurate diagnosis, it is also necessary to exclude other possible causes of digging, i.e. parasites. It should be remembered that there is no such analysis that will confirm an allergy, as the clinical signs of the different types of allergies are very similar.Canine allergy is diagnosed on the basis of a process of exclusion, gradually ruling out one allergy after another. In contrast, when trying to rule out food allergies, the animal is fed for 6-8 weeks on a special diagnostic food, which is used to products that are completely new to the animal.
It is very important to follow the vet’s instructions exactly during this period, as even the smallest piece of food can reopen the problem and prevent a correct diagnosis.


There is no cure for food allergy. It is only possible to remove the product from the diet that is causing the allergic reaction.
To get rid of the dog’s allergy to flea saliva, use flea preparations and special collars. However, do not overdo it, as excessive use of such preparations can harm the animal.

As we have already mentioned, it is not possible to cure an allergy to the external environment. The only solution is to control the course of the disease. Since allergy is a hereditary condition, it is not recommended to use such animals for breeding. It should also be remembered that allergies can lead to the development of secondary bacterial and/or fungal inflammation. In this situation, the animal requires additional antibacterial treatment.

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