Just like with allergies in people, there is no cure. In dogs allergic to pollen etc. a common approach has been to test the dog for allergies and then manufacture ingestions containing minute amount of the allergic material to ‘subdue’ the immune system.
No a study has shown that formulating the allergic agent into oral drops is just as effective:
‘Chief author of the new study, Douglas DeBoer, a professor of dermatology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, sees several benefits emerging from the new study, which treated skin allergies in 217 dogs using allergy drops. About 60 percent of the dogs improved significantly, DeBoer says. The drops were placed under the tongue twice a day, while allergy shots are injected every 14 days or so. Both drops and shots must be performed under a veterinarian’s supervision, and their cost is comparable. Because the drops apparently act through a different mechanism than allergy shots, they even helped dogs who had “failed” allergy shots, DeBoer says.’
Sounds great, but don’t think that these drops will cure your itchy dog tomorrow.
First of all, you still need to test the dog to find out what he is allergic to as only a limited number of agents can be formulated into the drops.
Second, when they say ‘60% of dogs got better’, that doesn’t mean that 60% of dogs are cured. Many of those dogs just don’t need as much of their regular medication. The ‘cured’ number is much lower, possibly as low as 10%.
This way of formulating medication does make it easier to administer as many people baulk at the idea of giving their dog injections.
The message is, this is a great addition to our armoury of treating allergic skin disease, but not a panacea.