Posted on Leave a comment

Immunotherapy for Dogs: Symptoms, Diagnoses and Treatment

    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
    Scroll to Top

    What is Immunotherapy for Dogs?

    Immunotherapy is used to treat allergic reactions in dogs. Most symptoms that occur as a result of an allergic reaction can be managed medically. However, the administration of immunotherapy is the only way to treat and address the negative reaction itself. 

    Immunotherapy administers small portions of the allergen to the dog on a regular basis over an extended period of time until the patient overcomes the reaction from the allergen. Doses of the allergen will gradually increase after several months of the treatment. 

    How Does Immunotherapy Work in Dogs?

    Photo Credit:

    Prior to the administration of immunotherapy, the allergens causing the reaction need to be identified through proper testing. These allergens are typically identified through the use of an IDT or PPT test, where common allergens are administered into the dog’s skin. If a reaction occurs following the administration, the allergen has been identified. In some cases, blood testing may be performed to identify the allergens, however, this has been found to be less accurate. 

    Once these allergens have been properly identified, immunotherapy can be prescribed. The allergens are either diluted and placed into vials or tablet form. An injection using a syringe is the most common way to administer immunotherapy. 

    Your veterinarian will demonstrate how to perform the injection, typically with a 27 gauge needle. The skin on the nape of the dog’s neck should be gently raised and folded. This way the needle can be inserted into the neck at a proper angle inserting the allergens into the skin. A new needle is necessary for each application, as well as a new injection site. In the case that your veterinarian prescribes immunotherapy in tablet form, this tablet will likely be placed under your dog’s tongue multiple times throughout the day.

    What Are the Side Effects of Immunotherapy in Dogs?

    It’s important to monitor your dog for an hour or so following the administration of immunotherapy to keep an eye out for negative reactions. A few side effects to consider when immunotherapy is prescribed include: 

    • Injection site becoming swollen or painful
    • In serious cases, anaphylaxis can occur, demonstrated by frequent panting or swallowing; contact your veterinarian right away 
    • Also in serious cases, facial swelling, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, hives or collapse can occur and is considered an emergency (this is also a sign that the dosage likely needs to be adjusted) 

    What is the Cost of Immunotherapy for Dogs?

    Immunotherapy is rather affordable, however, it does require ongoing administration. The cost is dependent upon the size of the dog and their dosage needed. Typically, the amount administered per month ranges from 1-3ml; 1ml can cost anywhere from $5-$10. Additionally, follow up appointments and monitoring from your veterinarian will be necessary as well as syringes. 

    Posted on Leave a comment

    Cryosurgery for Dogs

      Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
      Scroll to Top

      What is Cryosurgery?

      Cryosurgery is a treatment in which extremely cold temperatures are used to kill living tissue on the skin. It is also dubbed cryotherapy due to the fact that it is not in fact a surgery and no cutting is involved. 

      It is not always the first line of treatment depending on the condition but is often reserved for patients whose anesthetic risk is deemed risky, such as elderly dogs or for skin conditions so minor that surgery would be too invasive. The procedure itself is temporarily painful but can be alleviated with a local anesthetic. Cryosurgery used to be more popular than it is now, and it is now available as a treatment option in first opinion clinics.

      What does Cryosurgery Treat?

      Cryosurgery aids in the treatment of tumors in unusual or inconvenient locations, such as areas where pets frequently scratch, pick at, or lick, as well as sensitive areas such as the mouth. It’s often used to treat:

      • ​​Cysts
      • Warts
      • Lesions
      • Masses

      How Does Cryosurgery Work?

      During cryosurgery, liquid nitrogen cooled to -127°F is applied to the affected area and it freezes the area by killing abnormal cells and therefore preventing future growth. A specialty vet will typically use liquid nitrogen or Argon gas, applied with special, ultra-thin cryoneedles, a cryoprobe, or a simple foam or cotton swab. After the liquid nitrogen is applied, the frozen growth then turns red and blisters. A scab then forms and falls off within 2-3 weeks.


      Tissue may liquefy and appear green and gangrenous in moist areas such as the mouth and anus. Typically, all that is required is gentle bathing of the area to remove as much dead and molting tissue as possible. The affected tissues occasionally emit a foul odor.


      Dogs can usually be awake during this procedure, at least with smaller growths. For larger growths, sedation and local anesthetic is required to keep the dog still. The procedure is uncomfortable. Despite how the frozen tissue appears after the procedure, there is no pain due to the anesthetic effect on nerve endings. 

      How Effective is Cryosurgery?

      Cryosurgery is highly effective depending on the growth and location. Certain growths, such as small warts and small skin tumors, can be resolved with one treatment. Because cryotherapy typically does not leave stitches, wounds, or scars, the dogs are less likely to lick, scratch, or bite at wounds and stitches and recover faster.

      How Much Does Cryosurgery Cost?

      The cost of cryosurgery varies depending on the size of the lesion, whether your veterinarian uses anesthesia and whether it is local or general, and the number of treatments your dog requires. Each treatment, including regular office visits, can cost between $100 and $300. The cost of anesthesia will rise depending on the type of anesthesia used and the size of your dog.