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Another allergy question

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#1 CaraM


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Posted 11 June 2012 - 10:01 AM

I have a simultaneous posting here (How to feed a picky eater an elimination diet) - but have ALWAYS been confused by this, and hope someone can explain.

I hear, when a dog has a food allergy, that it is OVEREXPOSURE to an ingredient that causes the allergy. HOW, then, can allergy shots (which are, are they not OVEREXPOSURE to the very thing you are allergic to) "fix" an allergy?? How can overexposure both cause AND cure allergies?

This has always confused me, and is one of the things that makes me skeptical of veterinary dermatology!


#2 OurBoys


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Posted 13 June 2012 - 01:39 PM

Hi Cara,

I canít speak for dogs that get allergy shots, only when humans get allergy shots, but maybe itís the same reason.

When a person is found to be allergic to certain foods, the Allergistís remedy for food allergies is avoidance, not to eat more of it (think peanuts and shellfish) which is why we stop feeding a certain food to our dog(s). Humans get allergy shots for environment allergens; dust, dust mites, dog, cat, grasses, trees, etc. I can only assume dogs are the same way since none of my dogs get allergy shots.

Overexposure is not the reason or goal of allergy shots. When a person starts getting allergy shots (Immunotherapy) they are given very small amounts of what they are allergic too. If they donít show any signs of reaction, they are given a slightly larger amount the next time. (When I started my shots, I had to go twice a week for the 1st few weeks then graduated to once a week for several weeks, then once every 2 weeks, etc.) At any time, if you show a reaction (redness, itching) they take a step back when you go in for your next shot. Only when/if you donít show any reaction of any kind do they increase your dosage. In other words, the reasoning behind allergy shots is to desensitize your body in a somewhat controlled environment.* Hopefully, eventually your white blood cells will stop reacting to what youíre allergic too.

*I say somewhat controlled environment because the Allergist canít control what you do outside their office. When asked if I had dogs and/or cats, I said ďYes, and they arenít going anywhereĒ.

I hope this helps.



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#3 Mark Billadeau

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 02:04 PM

I hear, when a dog has a food allergy, that it is OVEREXPOSURE to an ingredient that causes the allergy.

I'm not sure this is always the case. I know of at least one dog that is allergic to a meat protein and was so from the first exposure (in a food).
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#4 border_collie_crazy


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Posted 14 June 2012 - 11:35 AM

its not always overexposure that causes allergies, Electra(Baby) is allergic to lots of things she had never had before, her shellfish allergy has nothing to do with overexposure, her face and throat swelled the first time a shellfish product ever came near her. I tried quite a few novel protiens in her elimaination diet that she reacted too and had never had previously, things such as Bison, Alpaca, Duck, Rabbit and Kangaroo, as well as she started reacting to things she had had before but not in abundance such as lamb, moose, venison and pork, at the same time she also started reacting to things she HAS had in abundance, every part of a chicken, Beef, Turkey(though this one far milder a reaction then any of the others) etc.. (and thats just the meats she reacts too lol)
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