Welcome to Immunotherapy: What Is It and What Do I Need to Know?

Pet Health Network | GREER

Congratulations! Together, you and your veterinarian have decided that immunotherapy may be right for your pet. Immunotherapy is the only way to change the long-term course of atopic dermatitis and, unlike many other allergy treatments, it’s been shown to have no long-term side effects.

Immunotherapy works gradually over time. It’s important to monitor how your pet is feeling so you and your vet can work together to continue to manage your pet’s itch. In the meantime, we’ve included information and resources to help you and your pet succeed with treatment:

  • Immunotherapy--Why It Works
  • Understanding Dosage and Scheduling
  • Adverse Reactions And When To Call The Vet
  • Online Resources

Immunotherapy–Why It Works
Over time, immunotherapy builds up your pet’s immunity to specific allergens and strengthens your pet’s natural immunity to reduce flare ups. Unlike other medications, immunotherapy works with your pet’s immune system and has also been shown to have no long term side effects.

Understanding Dosage and Scheduling
Immunotherapy works gradually by first building up your pet’s immunity to the offending allergen (the build-up phase) and then maintaining your pet’s immunity overtime (the maintenance phase).

Successful immunotherapy depends on finding what medication dosage works best for your pet during the build-up phase and sticking to the dose determined by your veterinarian during the maintenance phase. Missed doses can delay or set back effectiveness of the treatment, so PetHealthNetwork.com and our partner, GREER® Allerg-complete®, have worked together to provide you with tools to keep it simple and help you succeed:

Your Veterinarian
Your veterinarian is your best resource as you and your pet begin immunotherapy. Whether you’re feeling confused, have questions or just want to have your vet administer doses. Don’t hesitate to call your veterinarian for help.

Your Dosage Schedule
Your veterinarian can explain the schedule and is your best resource should you ever be confused by it. Keeping an accurate diary will help you and your veterinarian find the perfect maintenance dosage for your pet. Additional copies of the dosage schedule are available online at pethealthnetwork.com/TBD 

Your Personal Mobile Reminder From Petly®
Petly provides a free mobile site to help GREER® Aller-gcomplete® users schedule and remember immunotherapy treatments. It also provides an electronic way to track your pet’s reactions to the medication, if you prefer tracking it digitally. Simply go to URL TBD and sign up for free reminders today.

Monitoring Your Pet
Reactions are generally mild, but should always lead to a discussion with your veterinarian before you give the next dose. If you notice any of the following, make sure to note it on your diary or in the mobile reminder service and call your veterinarian’s office immediately. The most common reactions to immunotherapy include:

  • Inflammation at the site of the injection
  • Increase in itchiness and redness

Extremely rare reactions include the following and require that you contact your pet’s doctor immediately:

  • Collapse
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Facial swelling
  • Hives
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness