Your pet inherited its ability to become allergic from its parents. After continued exposure to the offending allergens such as pollen, mold or dust for months or years, the signs of allergy become apparent. This usually occurs when your pet is 2 to 4 years old.
The most common clinical sign of allergies in dogs and cats is itchy skin which can lead to scratching, chewing, face rubbing, hair loss and even recurrent ear infections.
Not all scratching is due to allergies. Other causes of scratching such as fleas or bacterial infections must be ruled out. If these problems are ruled out, it may be necessary to either do a low allergen food such as Science Diet Z/D or allergy testing. A blood sample is taken and sent to test which allergens your animal is allergic.
Immunotherapy is a medical treatment where these allergens are injected in increasing amounts and concentrations. Successful immunotherapy changes the immune system to be less sensitive to these allergens.
The goal of immunotherapy is to reduce the severity of clinical signs and reduce reliance on steroids which are used to make the allergic pet comfortable.
Initially, your pet will receive injections every 4 to 7 days. The goal is to lengthen the interval between injections to 3 or 4 weeks. These injections are given under the skin and are painless.
Contact our office for details about how we can help make your animal comfortable.