Allergen Specific ImmunoTherapy (ASIT) for Pets: Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who gives the allergy injections?
A: This is strictly up to you. The vast majority of pet owners are able to administer the injections. If you are uncomfortable with this please discuss the matter with your family veterinarian. You might want to watch the first one being given before deciding. The technicians at ADRC can demonstrate. The injections need to be given correctly, on schedule, and your pet should be observed for at least 60 minutes for potential reactions.
Q: How frequently are they given?
A: Allergen Specific ImmunoTherapy injections are given to pets weekly for the first 8 weeks, then every other week thereafter. After 6 months of immunotherapy the injection schedule may be modified based on the pet’s response to therapy.
Q: What are the potential side effects of Allergen Specific ImmunoTherapy on pets?
A: A pet’s reactions can range from pain, swelling, or intense itching at the injection site to lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea or acute collapse. Please notify us of any side effects so the appropriate course of action can be taken.
Q: What should I do if my pet has a reaction to the injection?
A: Allergen Specific ImmunoTherapy injections should be given so that you can observe your pet for 1-2 hours after the injection. Additionally, you should give the injection during your family veterinarian’s office hours in the unlikely event an adverse reaction occurs. If side effects are severe you should seek veterinary care immediately and inform us of any reactions.
Q: How fast does Allergen Specific ImmunoTherapy work for pets?
A: Approximately one third of patients starting Allergen Specific ImmunoTherapy will respond within 3-6 months, another third within 6-9 months, and the final third by one year. This slow process is the major disadvantage of ASIT.
Q: What if my pet is itchier before or after an injection?
A: This is called an itch trend which will typically respond to modification of the injection schedule.
Q: What can we do for my pet’s discomfort while waiting for Allergen Specific ImmunoTherapy shots to work?
A: See “How to reduce discomfort“