Immunotherapy for Allergic Pets

injectiontreatmentImmunotherapy or “allergy shots” is used to help with hyposensitization of your pet to the identified allergens. Once the specific allergens are identified by either the intradermal tests or the serum testing, a mixture of the allergens is formulated into an allergy extract. The pet is then given small doses of the allergy extract once a week and the dose is gradually increased over time. Improvement in the allergy symptoms may take 6  months to a year to show an improvement in their symptoms. A good response is found in  60-70% of dogs will show substantial improvement. Some dogs will continue to develop new allergies or may be allergic to a substance not identified which will result in a poor response. Those dogs that do respond can then reduce the amount of cortisone and other medications that have been used to treat their allergies. Allergy injections may need to be given to your dog for their lifetime to help control their allergies. Food allergies can not be treated with the immunotherapy. Once the offending food substance is identified either by allergy testing or food trials, the best way to control food allergies is by not feeding the food to your pet. This will require closely reading all labels of treats and foods to identify the ingredients. For more information on immunotherapy, check out


Oral immunotherapy has been used in Europe for over 20 years and is now available for our pets. SLIT (sublingual immunotherapy) is an easy, effective alternative to allergy injections. The mixture of allergens is delivered in a metered dose under the pets tongue or in the side of the mouth. The starting dose is 3 times a day for every day but over time will be reduced to  3 sprays 6 days a week. An improvement can be seen in 6 months to a year, but some pet owners have reported improvement after 4 months. Each vial lasts for about 4 months and must be ordered through your veterinarian. Oral immunotherapy has made hypo-sensitization of your pet to allergies much easier. For more information on oral immunotherapy, check out


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