Treating the root cause of allergies
Let’s talk about immunotherapy
There is no known “cure” for allergies and the prospect of avoiding all the things an animal reacts to is unrealistic, we turn to hypo-sensitization to help us most effectively manage allergies in dogs, cats and horses. The only treatment that can make the animal’s immune system stronger and stop it from reacting to environmental allergens is hypo-sensitization (also called allergen-specific immunotherapy). This is a tailored treatment for your pet or horse, designed to stop allergy symptoms from affecting its overall health, comfort and quality of life.
Hypo-sensitization is the gold standard of medical treatment for some types of allergies. Our treatment sets are custom built based on your animal’s allergy profile, containing allergenic extract designed to gradually introduce your animal’s immune system to the offending allergens and increasing their tolerance. It is available in sublingual oral spray or subcutaneous injections.
Hypo-sensitization is treatment containing just the allergens that your pet or horse is allergic to. To begin with, the amount of each allergen is very small, but with each dose this amount increases, until a ‘maintenance dose’ is reached. The goal is to is to increase tolerance to the allergens in the treatment, and therefore symptoms, decrease or disappear.
Hypo-sensitization is effective and safe for long-term use, and your pet or horse may be on it for the rest of its life in order to keep the disease under control.
What to expect from Hypo-sensitization Therapy?
Before starting this treatment, it is important for your pet to be comfortable, with its symptoms under control. If that is not the case, short-term medication can help during the initial treatment period (work-up phase). You should ask your vet about the best options for short-term allergy relief that can be used in conjunction with immunotherapy.
Every animal responds differently to medications, but Hypo-sensitization Therapy has proven to be successful and very effective. Around 75% of pets & horses show improvements and most show improvements within a few months. Sometimes, it can take up to 12 months to see results.
Should your pet or horse experience an increase in symptoms, you should reach out to your veterinarian to discuss treatment concerns. Regular follow-up appointments are important, especially during the first year of treatment. It may be necessary to change the dosage and interval.
Each set contains 3 vials of increasing potency: green, blue, and red. The volume of the first injection is 0.1 ml, and this is gradually increased over several months to a maximum volume of 1.0 ml. If your pet finds this treatment schedule too fast, your vet can adjust it. The maintenance dose is usually reached after 13 weeks, and the interval between injections can then be adjusted to provide the best symptom control. We provide a Treatment Diary, so that you can keep track of the doses given, any symptoms that occur, and add comments. Compliance is the key to success with allergy injections!
Sublingual allergy drops are a great solution for pet parents or horse owners who prefer a needle-free option. This medication will be administered on a daily basis by spraying in the animals mouth, between the gum and cheek. Proper and consistent administration is key.
Topicals & supplements
Help your pet or horse find extra relief through supplements and skin care. OTC products can also be beneficial, especially in combination with immunotherapy. Supplements that promote healthier skin and improve the skin barrier may be helpful. Topical products, such as medicated shampoos, sprays and wipes, help remove allergens and promote healthier skin. Bathing in water helps to relieve itchiness and removes environmental allergens from the animal’s coat (it is important to use the right shampoo). Most pets with allergies have ear problems, like recurrent infections, so any products that help to prevent and treat these are good. Essential fatty acids will help to optimize the coat of your animal and has an anti-inflammatory effect.