Hyposensitisation - Articles of Interest Common Conditions - Pet Care Information from GreenCross Vets Australia
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Common Conditions - Articles of Interest - Hyposensitisation


What is Hyposensitisation?

Hyposensitisation is a course of allergy “shots” and is recommended when an allergy to pollens, moulds or dust mites has been diagnosed.

The aim of hyposensitisation is to provide an effective alternative to cortisone therapy.  We are trying to stimulate the pet’s own immune system to make blocking antibodies to particles which cause allergy.  In approximately 60-70% of cases we achieve this result.  The remainder of pets fail to respond.  For those pets we can provide shampoos and alternative medical treatment but it is likely they will require cortisone to control their itch.

The initial course consists of 17 injections of gradually increasing amounts of vaccine given initially at three day intervals, and with the last three injections given at 10, 20 and 30 day intervals (see program).

At the end of 17 injections, we have reached the “maintenance” or “treatment” level and switch to injections given every three weeks which are continued for a minimum of two to three years.  To minimise costs we encourage you to administer the injections at home.  At the initial visit we will demonstrate the injection technique and supply you with the vaccine and needles and syringes.

Please arrange the vaccine schedule for a time when either we or your local veterinary clinic is open.  Occasionally, animals may develop an allergic reaction to the vaccine.  After giving the injection watch your pet for 30 minutes.  If any vomiting, salivation, difficulty with breathing or distress occurs, take your pet immediately to the nearest veterinary surgery.  Minor symptoms of hives or an increase in itching within hours of the injections should be reported to the clinic.

Injection Program

Inject subcutaneously (under the skin) on the appointed days according to the following program.  Ensure you give the correct volumes from the vial indicated.

The Future

Continue with 1.0cc of Vial 2 every twenty-one days for at least two years past the time that the symptoms cease.

The improvement with the allergy vaccine is gradual, with the patient taking between two and six months to show a reduction in itching.  In order to ensure your dog is as comfortable as possible during this period, a low dose of cortisone, antihistamines or shampoo may be prescribed.  Please use these as directed, as any increase in frequency or dose of these tablets may adversely affect the allergy vaccine.

After 3-4 months on hyposensitisation, attempts should be made to wean your animal off corticosteroids, or continue at the lowest dose needed. Strict flea control should be maintained at all times as the vaccine will not cure flea allergy.

Please return in 16 weeks for re-evaluation.  You will need to make an appointment.  Do not hesitate to contact the clinic if you have any questions or problems in the interim.

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