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Natural Health Bible for Dogs and Cats

Author: Shawn Messonnier, D.V.M., is a holistic veterinarian and nationally recognized expert on integrative medicine for animals.


Atopic dermatitis is relatively common in dogs and rare in cats. As previously mentioned, atopic dermatitis is a genetic disease. For this reason dogs (and cats) with atopy should not be bred. Due to the genetic component of the disease, certain breeds of dogs have a high incidence of atopic dermatitis. Breeds with a high incidence of allergies include Cairn Terriers, Shar-peis, West Highland White Terriers, Scottish Terriers, Llasa Apsos, Shih tzus, Wirehaired Fox Terriers, Dalmations, Pugs, Irish Setters, Boston Terriers, Golden Retrievers, Boxers, English Setters, Labrador Retrievers, Miniature Schnauzers, and Belgian Tervurens. Despite these breed predispositions, allergic dermatitis can occur in any breed of dog. No specific cat breeds have been shown to be predisposed to atopic dermatitis. Some (but not all) studies of atopic dogs show that females are more effected than males.


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