ALLERGIES Dale Malony: Some people are allergic to bee stings and their body reacts dangerously to them. Would that be because there’s something about bee stings that makes them particularly toxic for that individual, or something that makes their immune system… Dr. Padgett: No. There’s something in that allergen that the body cannot defend against. Dale Malony: Okay, so no matter how hard it tries it still can’t get rid of it. Dr. Padgett: Right. And so you react to the allergen. Same thing with fleas or dust or whatever you’re allergic to. And we’re allergic to the same types of things our dogs are allergic to. Debbie Martin Question: If you have a family of dogs that are allergic to one thing, say something in the food, and then you removed that food and don’t see an expression of that disease anymore. Then another generation or two down you start seeing different problems. Would that fit your description? Dr. Padgett: No. If you have a gene for an allergy, that gene is going to stay for that allergen. Now that might be expressed a lot of different ways. Like you could be allergic to dust, for example, and you can get the dust from the carpet one time, and then the bed the next time, and so you might not relate the two circumstances, but the allergy stays the same. Genes don’t just change overnight. They’ll stay exactly the same. Joanne Chanyi: I think what Deb’s trying to say is like one of our dogs is allergic to soybeans, so we all stopped feeding soybean for food. Well, lately we’ve been having ear infections or other skin problems. Dr. Padgett: I would not relate them unless some way or another soybeans are getting in to their diet. I mean that’s possible. Joanne Chanyi: Usually when soybeans are in the dog’s treats, you get redness in the skin and they loose all the hair on the back. But these are extreme cases. Dr. Padgett: Different system. Different problem. That’s my opinion. You know I’m not God, I can’t tell you that for sure, but I can tell you for sure that genes don’t change. So if you have an allergy to soybeans that’s not going to give you an allergy to sweet peas. Debbie Martin: And it would still be an allergic dog? Dr. Padgett: Sure, it’s an allergic dog. You just took away the allergic influence. What you’ve done is alter a genetic disease environmentally. And that dog will transmit allergies to soybeans to its offspring. I mean you’re not seeing it anymore but you  feed the offspring’s soybeans and you’ll see it. Others’ Questions: Can allergies be developed in a non-allergic…genetically, non-allergic dog? Are all allergies genetic? Dr. Padgett: That is the question that it comes too. What happens with some genetic diseases is you need enough stimuli to trigger it. You almost never will react to anything the first two, three, four times… you’re exposed to an allergen, but then you get it severely. Then if you keep using that allergen, it gets really, really bad. Joanne Chanyi: And also if you stay away from it. I’m allergic to a lot of things that I’ve stayed totally away from for five or six years, and now I can tolerate them. But just in little bits…not overindulge. Dr. Padgett: Sure, sure... Allergies are probably divided into multiple individual diseases and not lumped together under the term allergy. They’re not all going to be in the same disease, but let’s look at them. Say if 45 percent are affected with allergies (considering all allergies related, for the sake of argument), then probably 75 percent are carriers. You’re then at the point where the Hardy-Weinberg law turns in on itself, you’re at a limit. At 50 percent affected, the Hardy-Weinberg law won’t work because you don’t have any non-carriers left for breeding. Every mating has to have an affected dog in it. So if 45 percent are affected, then probably only 10 or 12 percent of the dogs are genetically normal for that set of traits. That will change if we look at each disease individually. Like the problem with the soy is an individual disorder. Debbie Martin: So basically what you’re saying is if we have a dog that’s got food allergies we could breed it to a dog that has inherited allergies and block it? Dr. Padgett: And block it.
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