Sensitivities of Small Dog Breeds

Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog
Many small or toy breed dogs are believed to be more susceptible to allergic reactions or sensitivities to some pet meds and vaccinations Over the years there have been increasing health care preventative recommendations for both dogs and cats. Not only have increasing numbers of vaccinations been developed, however, increasing numbers of topical and oral pesticides against internal and external parasites (worms, fleas, and heartworms) are now being recommended for all pets. Over the years, however, many veterinarians have observed that smaller breeds in particular have an increasing numbers of allergic reactions as more and more products are used.

As a more holistic-oriented veterinarian, I’ve always wondered why the same dose of vaccination is to be used on two vastly different size breeds, such as a Chihuahua and a Great Dane. In fact we are just now starting to appreciate that smaller breeds may in fact be more chemically sensitive to the same doses of vaccinations. Many of us have also observed similar chemical sensitivities in many families of toy breeds regarding topical flea and tick medication ranging from local skin irritation to occasionally more serious systemic reactions involving the digestive or nervous system. On rare occasions reactions to oral heartworm preventative medication can also be seen.

I’ve observed that sometimes chemical sensitivities in the same dog may manifest later as a vaccination reaction. And while fortunately these types of reactions are rare, we must certainly be fully aware of these possibilities and continue to recognize that pets are individuals as are people. In addition, it’s also important to continue to practice good preventative medicine through proper vaccination and external and internal parasite control programs. However, should your pet suffer a chemical or vaccination reaction, more natural measures of flea and tick control, as well as infectious disease control should be implemented. Given the wide variety of products available it is probably best to consult with a holistic veterinarian for the most appropriate products for your pet.


  1. Consuelo Sanchez
    Posted September 17, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    myi dog has allergys to some shampu products he gets hives on his skin, I wander if there is any thing for him that won’t irritate his skin.

  2. Posted October 13, 2011 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Really interesting article. Thanks for sharing. :)

  3. Posted October 13, 2011 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Really interesting article. Thanks for sharing :)

  4. lynda mclean
    Posted June 22, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    if any of the flea control brands are on the overthe counter for sale, are they the same as what you sell.

  5. Posted June 10, 2015 at 4:54 am | Permalink

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