Undeniably, dogs are beautiful animals to pet. The affection you feel towards your pet dog is an unexplainable feeling. However, petting does not include feeding and bathing your dog on time and providing it the playful time it needs. As a responsible dog owner, you have to take care of your dog’s necessities like vaccinations, allergy shots, spaying/neutering, etc., to guarantee a healthy lifestyle.
Immunization, also referred to as vaccination shots, ensure that your dog stays protected against deadly diseases. There are core and non-core vaccines for dogs that are essential and non-essential, respectively. However, besides the usual vaccination shots, some dogs might need allergy shots (immunotherapy) since being allergic to certain triggering factors may make their survival a nuisance.
This article briefs about giving allergy shots to dogs, their importance, the signs and symptoms that relate to dog’s allergies, etc. So, without any further delay, let’s get started!
What is an allergic reaction?
Be it humans or animals; everyone tends to be allergic to certain things. However, allergic reactions do not fall under the ‘normally’ occurring reactions of an animal’s body, yet these are not worrisome. So, before we move on to how to spot a dog’s allergy, let’s have a light on what allergic reaction exactly is.
Just like some humans, who cannot tolerate dust or pollens, your dog might be allergic to pollens, feathers, dust, mites, etc. too. The triggering factors, also called allergens or allergic agents, enter your dog’s body either through mouth, nose, and eyes and tend to elicit an allergic reaction by hyper-activating the body’s mast cells. However, such agents like dust, mites, pollens, etc., might not produce a similar response in every dog.
Overall, we can conclude that some dogs tend to respond to specific external agents by having an allergic reaction in the body.
A quick guide to spot dog’s allergy
There are always particular signs and symptoms that your allergic dog might show up with while having an allergic reaction. However, if we dig deep into dog’s allergies, you must know that there are four types of allergies; atopy, contact, food, and fleas.
An atopic allergy refers to the allergy that occurs due to the release of excess histamine by the body’s mast cells. As mentioned earlier, when your dog gets exposed to the triggering agent, the agent hyper-actively works in the body and causes the mast cells to de-granulate, i.e., release histamine, the primary chemical mediator in allergies. Therefore, histamine is responsible for most of your dog’s signs and symptoms during an allergic reaction.
Allergies related to pollen are atopic. However, your dog might become allergic to any ingredient of its diet. Therefore you have to be very careful about what you are giving to your dog as a meal. Moreover, your dog might catch allergies by coming in contact with fleas or any other thing. However, here we will mention the signs and symptoms of a dog’s atopic allergy only;
- Scratching due to itch
- Chewing and biting
Immunotherapy for allergies
Undoubtedly, medical science has escalated in every aspect and has ensured better and healthy lifestyles for both humans and animals. If you have recently found out that your dog is allergic to pollen and develops seasonal itching, scratching, and other signs, as mentioned earlier, then you do not need to worry much! Vets have derived ‘immunotherapy’ for allergic dogs, which works wonders. Rest assured!
Immunotherapy is a science-supported process that involves introducing allergic agents into your dog in a specific amount. The overtime introduction of allergic agents in your dog leads to the development of tolerance by your dog’s body, and it will stop showing the signs of allergic reactions.
The route of administration of allergic agents depends on your vet; they might introduce the agent through injections beneath your dog’s skin or by oral drops beneath its tongue. Your vet can decide how often your dog needs the immunotherapy shots and the dosage as well.
As per different international vets, the therapy should continue for a year, and your vet must also give anti-allergic medicines to the dog.
Check out our article for vaccine schedule and their cost.
How to treat dog allergies?
Treating dog allergies is no rocket science. All you have to do is take care of your dog just a little extra than usual, and you can easily save your dog from the uneasiness of allergies.
Clean your dog after outdoor walks
Keeping your dog clean is essential. Outdoor walks bring many hidden germs and external agents that your dog’s body may dislike and react to in the form of an allergy. Therefore, it would be best to clean your dog using wet wipes after outdoor walks.
Use an anti-allergic dog’s shampoo
You can consider any dog’s shampoo as hypo – allergic or anti-allergic if it contains primrose oil or aloe. When buying a shampoo for your allergic dog, these are the ingredients that you must look for when buying a shampoo since they tend to soothe their bodies by relieving the itch.
Supplements to combat allergies
You can give your dog the biotin supplements or those which contain omega – 3 fatty acids. These are famous for relieving the itch during seasonal allergies and improve the overall health of your dog.
Sulfodene for dog’s rash
If your dog develops red rashes owing to uncontrolled itching, it would be best to consider giving sulfodene containing spray to your dog. You can spray the product on the red rashes and itchy parts of the body.
Use an anti-bacterial spray
If your dog has gone wild and scratched itself to an extreme, then it would be better to spray an anti-bacterial spray on its exposed wounds so that it does not catch any bacterial infection.
Pros and cons of immunotherapy for dogs
Besides using the medicated sprays and ointments for your allergic dog, immunotherapy is the only medically approved method to help your dog get rid of its atopic allergies. In addition, these allergy shots are convenient, and your vet has to choose the frequency and dosage of the shots. Besides, these shots tend to save most allergic dogs from the worst signs and symptoms of allergy.
If immunotherapy works successfully for your allergic dog, you would not have to keep buying the medicated sprays, shampoos, and anti-allergic medicines for the dog. However, there are a few exceptional cases where dogs do not respond to immunotherapy.
The major con of immunotherapy for dogs is that it’s costly and not cost-effective. However, it works wonders for some dogs, while others may not respond to it at all. Besides, you cannot administer the allergic shots to your dog by yourself; you always have to pay the vet for allergic shots.
Moreover, some dogs tend to react to these allergic shots. Since the therapy involves introducing an allergen to the dog’s body, this procedure might elicit a different allergic reaction in your dog’s body. Also, while your dog keeps getting the allergy shots for a year, you have to put it on anti-allergic medications as well.
Side effects of allergy shots for dogs
We will divide the side effects of allergy shots into two categories; the serious ones that you need to report to your vet urgently and the usual ones that you can ignore.
After the allergy shots, if you observe that your dog has developed unusual facial swelling, extreme itch, gut upset issues like diarrhea, or if it becomes too sluggish, you think it may collapse any time. Please, rush to your vet urgently.
However, the non – serious side effects of allergy shots include; swelling and pain at the injection site, slight itching, panting, unusual loud stomach sounds, frequent swallowing, etc.
- How to Give a Dog an Insulin Shot
- How Often Do Dogs Need Rabies Shots
- What Does a Distemper Shot Do For a Cat
- What vaccines do indoor cats need
- What Is Cytopoint Injection for Dogs
- How much is cat boarding
Beyond any doubt, allergies are a nuisance and ruin the normal routine lifestyle of both humans and animals. Furthermore, since most of the allergies are atopic and occur seasonally, they tend to get worse every year during the specific season. Therefore, allergy-specific immunotherapy is beneficial not only for humans but also for your pet dogs.
In this article, we have tried our best to discuss immunotherapy for dogs, its pros and cons, and how you can identify that your dog is allergic. Hopefully, the information we have provided will prove helpful!