Treatment Questions

Our veterinarians report that more than 80% of animals on immunotherapy have moderate to excellent responses to treatment. Failure to respond to immunotherapy is most often due to secondary contributors, such as untreated bacterial or yeast infections, or undiagnosed food allergy.

At your request we can drop-ship sets directly to the pet owner. There is an additional charge and the owner must assume responsibility for the set. Since the sets are temperature sensitive, someone must be available at the residence to sign for it.

We often get requests to ship sets to owners, so we never put the invoice in with treatment sets. We will quote a price on the phone at the time the order is placed and send a monthly invoice to the clinic. Please call our sales support department if you need the price for a treatment set.

Double treatment sets should always be given using separate syringes and at separate injection sites. This prevents cross-contamination of the treatment sets. It is also important to note which allergens are given at each site, so that adjustments can be made if the pet has a reaction to the injection.

This color change is normal and will not affect the vaccine’s effectiveness. Our treatment sets are custom made with purified allergen, mainly pollens. Pollens contain natural pigments that may change with time. Color or pigment changes do not indicate contamination.

Unfortunately, no. When frozen, proteins in the antigens will break down making the allergens unusable. If a set is ever frozen, please discard and call us to reorder a new set.

We currently do not provide immunotherapy treatment for staphylococcal allergens. Preparation of staphylococcal antigen for immunotherapy treatment purposes is a highly dedicated manufacturing process and must be given separately from other allergens.

We currently do not provide immunotherapy treatment for Malassezia allergens. There have been no peer-reviewed studies documenting the efficacy of Malassezia allergen immunotherapy treatment to date.

Stinging insect venom is comprised of highly purified venom protein and is extremely potent. Therefore we do not combine venom allergens in the same treatment set.

Mold, mite and insect allergens have a very high enzymatic activity level while pollens and indoor allergens do not. If placed in the same vial, these allergens will break each other down. This is the recommendation by the American Academy of Asthma and Immunology as well as many other human dermatologist organizations.

Yes, there is no research that shows a pregnant pet on desensitization will have any complications from the injections. However, if an animal is pregnant and the owner wants to start on the injections we recommend waiting until after weaning. This is more of a “just in case” recommendation. An animal that has been on injections before becoming pregnant is good to continue with injections.

For a newly formulated refill vial, the schedule recommends a smaller dose, given more frequently. This is to introduce the pet to a new batch of allergens, and we call this the loading dose. The loading dose is a safety precaution, and reduces the possibility of an adverse reaction to freshly formulated, more potent allergens.

Yes, in fact we encourage a patient to continue with their normal symptomatic treatment protocol during the first few months of immunotherapy. Generally it takes about 4‐6 months before a patient will start to see benefit from immunotherapy. During that time period your patient may continue to benefit from steroid treatment. However, steroids can mask reactions to immunotherapy so we recommend the lowest dose possible (oral instead of injectable) and close monitoring for an increased need for these drugs as that can be a sign of reaction.

While it has been proven to be safe and effective, immunotherapy is not without risk or side effects. Adverse reactions to treatment can still occur in a small number of patients. About 5% of patients will react to the injections and we will need to make changes in protocol accordingly. If the patient experiences any of the following, contact us for a consultation.

  • Reddening of the skin
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Heightened agitation
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Unusual drowsiness