Cooper and imunotherapy(continued from Page 1)
(Photos: Pet owner Ted shown here administering the antigen injecton to Cooper. Baths and topical treatment used in conjuction with immunotherapy have made Cooper comfortable and happy.)
Cooper was found to be allergic to a number of items and high on the list? Human dander! So in addition to other allergens (see column, right) Cooper was allergic to people. His custom antigens were formulated to include the other high reaction allergens of certain weeds, trees, grasses, house dust mites and insects.
The success rate for dogs undergoing immunotherapy is about 70%. “We saw improvement rather quickly! He received his first antigen injection on August 11, 2014. We got married on November 2, 2014 and Cooper was our ring bearer. His hair was perfect and he made a great dog model and ring bearer.”
There were no problems in giving or receiving the injections; Ted gives Cooper his injection every two weeks now followed by a Milk Bone treat as a reward (Cooper, not Ted). A year later, Cooper is no longer in discomfort and his coat has been restored.
The Intradermal Allergy Test
(Photo: Cooper, July 2015 one year after beginning immunotherapy.)
The Southern California intradermal allergy test offered at Animal Dermatology Clinic is a panel of 81 allergens which includes molds, weeds, trees, grasses, insects, and certain animal danders.
All clinic locations have a poster identifying the allergens in their geographical area. For instance, citrus pollen is tested in So. Calif. but it is not normally found in great numbers in Indiana, therefore is is not included in that area’s skin test. Note that even though you may not see these allergens in your neighborhood, pollens can become air borne and travel for miles to irritate an allergic pet.
After the patient is injected with each of the allergens, the doctor evaluates the reactions on a scale of 1 to 4, with 4 indicating the highest level of allergic reaction.
The doctor evaluates the skin test reactions within 15 minutes. The patient can then start the allergy injections the next day.
Cooper’s test results showed high reaction to:
Grasses: Bermuda, Orchard, Rye
Trees: Box elder, Olive, Elm
Weeds: Lamb’s quarter, Russian thistle, Dock
His antigen formula contains the very same things that makes him itchy, but by slowly over time introducing the allergen into his body, his immune system begins to develop tolerance to the allergen thus preventing a release of inflammatory mediators which creates the itch sensation. No itch, no scratching.
(Photos of Cooper courtesy of Jenette and Ted Bloemendaal)