Atopy is an allergic disease with similarities to hayfever and eczema in humans.  It can be triggered by allergens such as pollens, grasses, moulds and dust mites that contact the skin or are inhaled from the environment.

Unlike hayfever, the clinical signs in pets manifest predominately as itchy skin.  Generally these signs first appear in dogs less than 4 years old,  and often occur seasonally in Summer and Spring.  Signs may worsen as each year passes, particularly when the conditoin is unmanaged.  This may result in the condition being a problem all year round. 

Below are some of the symptoms and signs of seasonal allergies;

  • Scratching
  • Itchy, red skin
  • Rashes
  • Sneezing
  • Watery or green ocular discharge
  • Red, irritated or swollen eyes
  • Smelly or itchy ears


Some breeds are more prone to allergies than others.  These include but aren't limited to;

  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Bull Terrier
  • Labrador
  • Maltese
  • Shihtzu
  • West Highland White