Can Immunotherapy Cure Your Pet of Allergies?
Unlike pet vaccination, animal allergy shots provide somewhat uncertain results in Toronto, Scarborough and other surrounding areas. Success rates are generally high, but in approximately 20% of cases, the effects of the treatment are minimal or non-existent. Still, allergy shots are worth considering if you have pets who are otherwise healthy but suffering from the effects of environmental allergies.
Symptoms and Development of Allergies
Environmental allergies in pets are usually first discerned when you notice constant scratching, licking or biting in your animal companions. If your dog or cat develops an allergy, these symptoms will usually first appear at around one year of age. As in humans, allergies are an immune response to a benign substance that causes the body to produce histamines. The result is a reaction that causes your pet to have very dry, irritated and itchy skin. Unfortunately, allergies in pets are progressive, which means over time they will worsen. Though flare-ups may only occur sporadically at the moment, in a few years’ time, they may become a year round occurrence.
How Immunotherapy Works
The first step is to establish what allergens cause a reaction in your pet. To determine this, a sample of your pet’s blood will be tested for antigen-induced antibodies and screened for a wide variety of allergens in your pet’s blood. The sample is screened for a wide variety of allergens, eventually revealing the problematic substances. From there, all allergens will be mixed in various concentrations to develop your pet’s unique allergy shots. Over time, the concentration of the shots will increase. It can take anywhere from six to nine months before you see any results. Generally, during the initial phase of immunotherapy shots are administered daily. Over time, the shots become more and more infrequent. The best cases result in cessation of the shots all together, as your pet will no longer have a response to these allergens.
Pros and Cons of Allergy Shots
Some of the most difficult aspects of going the route of allergy shots are the time, effort and monetary investment that are required. Due to the costs being so high, many pet owners are unwilling to move forward with this process. Additionally, there are risks involved. Treatments sometimes cause shock or anaphylaxis. Still, when your pet suffers from an allergy, it can be one of the best ways for them to gain relief. Living with an allergy is difficult for pets. There’s the constant scratching for one. Then there’s the infections that repeatedly arise. Your dog might lick itchy spots till they bleed and become sores. Your cat could develop raw bald patches in their fur and have discharge from their ears. It’s not a very good quality of life for your dog or cat to have. That’s why our clinic often suggests immunotherapy for canine and feline allergy sufferers in Toronto, Scarborough and other surrounding areas.
If you have any questions about pet allergies or anything else, please contact Brimley-Lawrence Animal Clinic today. We’re here to help.