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Atopy or CAD, Castro-Castalia Bullmastiffs
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Atopy or CAD, Castro-Castalia Bullmastiffs

Mitsouko de Castro-Castalia

Atopy or CAD can be explained as an inherited proneness to develop allergic symptoms following repeated exposure to some otherwise harmless substance, called allergens, like dust mites or pollen. Affected dogs usually begin to show the first allergic symptoms between12-18 months, sometimes later. Bullmastiffs are one of the predisposed breeds, although more and more breeds are affected, including mixed breed dogs. In fact, the incidence of Atopy is increasing both in men and animals.

Atopic dogs normally lick, chew, bite, rub or scratch at their feet or muzzle and ears and will also try in any possible manner to reach their armpits or groin, causing hair loss, and reddening and thickening of the skin. Until recently, many people thought this to be the attitude of a bored animal, but it was finally found out that the origin is not boredom but allergy.

The causes for an animal to itch desperately contact allergies to pollens, dust, grass, etc., food allergies and allergies to different parasites, mainly fleas and flea saliva, but not to just those. Atopy can also be caused through bacterial or yeast infections of the skin. Eliminating the causing agent may allow a dog’s itchiness to go away. Therefore it is important to recognize what causes the allergy before treating it.

Interestingly enough, the Black’s Veterinary Dictionary in its 18th edition, mentions a study performed to 208 atopic dogs who were tested to find the cause, having found out that almost 40% of these were allergic to human dandruff!

Bullmastiffs are particularly prone to developing allergy do flea bite and flea saliva although most owners won’t accept gladly that fleas can be the causing agent to their dogs condition, simply because they won’t admit that their homes may be infested. Yet I must outline that this has proved to be an important cause, so before proceeding with any other more sophisticated testing or even starting whatever treatment, the owner should treat the dog with a run of Frontline® Plus. If the itching disappears it should be enough with using this product regularly. Otherwise, it is time to check with the Vet what other agents may be causing the Atopy.

(Original text written by Christina of Lima-Netto and Federico Baudin specifically for this web page and protected with Copyright. Not even whole can be reproduced not partially by any way, without Castro-Castalia's express assent in writing)


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