Allergy Shots For Dogs: A Guide to Relief and Treatment

Golden getting a shot from two people holding dog

Allergies can be just as frustrating for dogs as they are for humans. Fortunately, there are several excellent treatment options available, including allergy shots specifically designed for dogs. These shots can provide much-needed relief and, in some cases, even cure your furry friend. In this article, we will provide you with all the necessary information to make an informed decision about the right allergy treatment for your dog.

Does My Dog Have Allergies?

There are a few ways to determine if your dog is suffering from allergies. First and foremost, observe if your dog displays any allergy symptoms. These symptoms may include:

  • Constant itching and scratching
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive licking
  • Hives or rashes
  • Itchy eyes and ears
  • Red and inflamed skin
  • Sneezing
  • Swelling in the face, ears, or lips

If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, you can use an at-home dog allergy testing kit to identify the cause of the allergy. Additionally, visiting your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and sharing your test results with them is highly recommended.

Canine Allergy Treatment

Yes, dogs can receive allergy shots to help alleviate itchy allergy symptoms and develop tolerance to allergies. One well-known anti-itch shot for dogs is called Cytopoint. It is important to note that Cytopoint is not a vaccine for dog allergies; rather, it is a shot that effectively stops the itch.

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Your veterinarian may also recommend immunotherapy, a treatment that helps make your dog less susceptible to allergens and potentially eliminates them entirely. It’s worth exploring all the options available, such as Apoquel, to understand which one would be most suitable for your dog’s needs.

Cytopoint For Dogs

Cytopoint is a dog allergy shot specifically designed to treat skin reactions to allergens or atopic dermatitis. It provides relief for itching within 24 hours and continues to work for four to eight weeks in most dogs. Some dogs may require year-round treatment with Cytopoint, while others may only need it seasonally.

The way Cytopoint works is fascinating. This allergy shot utilizes engineered monoclonal antibodies that mimic the ones naturally produced by your dog’s immune system. These antibodies neutralize the protein responsible for causing itching, reducing scratching and allowing the skin to heal. Cytopoint can be a valuable addition to your dog’s allergy treatment plan.

Immunotherapy For Dog Allergies

Immunotherapy, another method to treat allergies in dogs, involves gradually injecting small amounts of the allergen your dog is allergic to. This gradual increase in dosage helps your dog’s immune system learn to tolerate the allergen, potentially reducing the need for medication and symptom management. However, it’s important to note that immunotherapy only treats environmental allergies and is not effective for food allergies or flea bite allergies.

Side Effects

It’s natural to wonder about potential side effects when your dog receives allergy shots. Each dog may respond differently, and there is a possibility of side effects, including diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, redness or swelling at the injection site, and facial swelling. If you notice any of these side effects, contact your veterinarian immediately, as they may indicate a severe allergic reaction requiring immediate medical attention.

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Effectiveness of Allergy Shots For Dogs

The effectiveness of allergy shots varies from dog to dog, but they can be highly effective overall. According to experts, approximately 60 to 80 percent of dogs with environmental allergies respond well to immunotherapy, often eliminating the need for other medications. Additionally, Cytopoint has shown to be effective in about 75 percent of cases, providing either long-lasting or more modest itch relief depending on the individual dog.

Cost of Dog Allergy Shots

The cost of allergy shots for dogs can vary based on your location, your veterinarian’s pricing, and the size of your dog. Immunotherapy usually costs between $5 and $10 per ml, with dogs typically requiring 1-3 ml per month. Cytopoint injections average between $65 and $135 per injection. It’s important to consult your vet to determine the number of injections your dog will need and to inquire about any additional costs associated with your allergy treatment plan.

Easing the Cost of Care

Treating allergies in dogs can be expensive. To alleviate the financial burden, consider obtaining pet insurance coverage from day one. This will help ensure your pup receives the necessary care without limitations for pre-existing conditions. Check out our experts’ reviews of the best pet insurance companies to find the right policy for you and your furry friend.

Now that you have a better understanding of allergy shots for dogs, you can work alongside your veterinarian to find the most effective treatment plan for your beloved pet.

Sources: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tagged With: Reviewed By Dr. Racine, DVM

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