Allergy Shots for Dogs

Allergy shots for dogs can relieve the skin itchiness and other symptoms caused by different allergens. Some dogs can get rid of allergies for good. However, you should be aware that allergy shots are effective only after the administration of a few shots over several months.

Types of Allergies

  • Inhalant allergies
  • Food allergies
  • Contact allergies
  • Parasite or bacteria allergies

Inhalant allergies can be treated with immunization shots. Shots are not effective against allergies caused by food.

Diagnosing Allergens

The allergens must be identified before any treatment is prescribed. The identification of the allergens is particularly important for allergy shots, because they're made up of small quantities of allergen that are injected under the skin.

Skin testing and blood testing are efficient in detecting inhalant allergies. Food allergies will be identified via food trials.

Treatment Options for Allergies

Allergies in canines can be controlled with steroids, antihistamines or allergy shots.

Most of the times, antihistamines are prescribed in conjunction with steroids. However, being hormones, the steroids are not recommended for long term use and should be discontinued after a few months of treatment.

Antihistamines and hormones may have side effects such as nausea, lethargy, behavioral changes or irritability.

Why Opt for Allergy Shots

Allergy shots have no side effects, and there's a chance that your dog will get rid of the allergies for good.

The shots will be administered several times per month at first. After a few months, the vet will prescribe 1 or 2 injections per month. You will have to learn how to give your dog the shot. The amount of the injected allergen will be gradually increased, the purpose being to make the dog immune to the harmful substance.

The desensitization will reduce the allergy symptoms and will be effective after a few months of treatment, depending on the severity of the allergy and your dog’s immune system.

How to Give Your Dog a Shot

As the immunization treatment will consist of numerous shots, it's important to know how to give your dog a shot.

  • You will need someone to assist you to help you hold the dog still.
  • Have sterile syringes and needles at hand and fill up a syringe with the necessary amount of allergen. Make sure there are no air bubbles in the syringe. Place a needle on the syringe.
  • Ask your assistant to hold the dog still. The dog should be seated on the back side and held by the front legs.
  • After your dog is calm, grab the skin from behind your dog’s neck, between the shoulder blades and insert the needle gently. Massage the area to make sure the dosage enters your pet’s blood flow.
  • Reward your dog with a treat.

Immunotherapy works in more than 75% of cases. The therapy will last for at least 1 year or more. The dog will need a periodical booster to make sure the allergy symptoms do not reoccur.