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Seasonal Allergies Genetic?


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Absolutely, they can be. Some breeds, like Labs, are especially prone to allergies.

 

As to whether to breed or not, I'd certainly take it into consideration, especially if they're really bad. I had a Lab/pointer that was literally debilitated for months starting early summer through a killing frost. He'd chew his forelegs till they bled. It was so bad we would have put him to sleep if the allergy shots hadn't eventually helped somewhat, in combination w/ meds, including steroids. I wouldn't wish that on any dog and personally wouldn't knowingly risk passing it on.

 

If they're not that severe (and keeping in mind that there are better meds now), I'd make sure any dog that dog was paired with was mature and had never shown any signs of allergies.

 

JMO, of course . . .

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Well, yes, in the sense that the genes that predispose a dog to develop allergies are passed down from one generation to the next. At this time we know the inheritance pattern is complex and are still trying to understand it fully. Problem is, the same genes that trigger allergies can't (and probably should not) be bred away from like you would with CEA. It would take me some time to explain why, or you could do a bunch of reading on major histocompatibility complexes (MHCs).

 

I went to a conference that discussed MHCs and how they relate to genetic health in animals for an entire day. The conclusion of the experts was that we need to breed for diversity in MHCs because more diversity = a healthier immune system. Most breeds have only a few of the many MHCs found in dogs.

 

Would I breed a dog with allergies? It depends.

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interesting responses thanks. Could immunizations also cause auto immune problems that cause allergies? this is probably something to consider since that wouldn't necessarily be genetic right?

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MHCs are part of the innate immune system. In other words, the MHCs are part of the immune system you are born with as opposed to the adaptive immune system that learns based on exposure.

 

There are many different MHCs, but you only inherit a select group of them. Let's say, for example, that dogs as a species have 32 different MHCs. Let's also say that each dog can only carry 6. However, because of the limited number of founder animals for each breed, most purebreds tend to only carry a few. These few also tend to be found at different levels within the breed.

 

Example: poodles (these are made up numbers, used to illustrate a point only)

 

MHC1 makes up 90% of all MHCs

MHC4 makes up 5%

MHC17 and 31 make up the other 5%

 

So, your average poodle is going to have MHC1, MHC1, MHC1, MHC1, MHC1, MHC4. Not good for their immune system because of the lack of diversity.

 

Now, let's say that having that combo predisposes a dog to hypoadrenocorticism. However, only 10% of dogs with that gene set will eventually develop the disease. See the problem here?

 

Allergies likely work the same way (having a certain set of genes predisposes you to them but does not guarantee it).

 

Would I breed a dog with allergies?

 

Yes, if... the dog is worth keeping in the gene pool and the allergies are not severe.

 

Remember, every dog carries the genes to cause diseases. Some genetics experts have estimated that number to be, on average, 6 disease for each dog. If you eliminated every dog from the gene pool that carried a genetic disease, you would not be left with a single dog to breed.

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interesting responses thanks. Could immunizations also cause auto immune problems that cause allergies? this is probably something to consider since that wouldn't necessarily be genetic right?

 

Vaccines can be the trigger (but not the cause) for autoimmune diseases. Allergies are a similar but separate issue.

 

And allergies are not a sign of a "weak" immune system. In fact, they represent an overreaction. Look at them instead as a problem with immune system regulation.

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Liz: you know that hollywood famous holitic vet that is on Oprah and stuff? I read his book a while back (it's at least 10 years old now) and I'm sure he stated that all allergies and ear infections are food?

 

From what you have put out on this thread it sounds like it would have to be a whole lot more complicated than that?

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Liz: you know that hollywood famous holitic vet that is on Oprah and stuff? I read his book a while back (it's at least 10 years old now) and I'm sure he stated that all allergies and ear infections are food?

 

From what you have put out on this thread it sounds like it would have to be a whole lot more complicated than that?

 

BS. Only a small percentage of allergies are triggered by food. These dogs tend to follow a particular pattern based on when they start showing symptoms and what those symptoms are. The dermatologists estimate that only 30% of dogs with allergies are reacting to food.

 

It is a very complicated issue.

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