Atopy is an allergic disease to airborne allergens including plants, pollens, animal dander, insect scales, moulds, dusts and house mites. There is a tendency for the disease to be inherited and usually requires life long treatment.
Mild cases of allergies may be controllable using fatty acid supplementation, shampoos, moisturisers and antihistamines.
Secondary bacterial and yeast infection are common with allergies and often add to the itch if left untreated.
Desensitising vaccines offer the best alternative to control allergies.
Initially other treatments need to be used WITH the injections while we wait for them to take effect.
-75 % of patients on the injections will gain complete or partial control of their allergies. 25% will not respond.
-Out of those 75%, 25% of the animals are perfect, whilst 50% still require mild intermittent medication.
-5-10% of all animals on desensitising injections are cured such that when they come off the vaccine they do not relapse. But for most cases, the therapy is lifelong.
-The average animal will take 4-10 months before seeing improvement.
-The cost of the vaccine depends on how many allergens are included. It usually ranges from $250 to $500 for 6-8 months.
-Injections are usually given twice weekly for 8 weeks then every 3 weeks.
In resistant cases, a combination of vaccines, corticosteroids and cyclosporin may be required to control signs.
While all of this may sound arduous, most cases that are well managed have a great quality of life for years to come!