Saturday, November 7, 2015

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Allergy Shots vs Drops, Life-Saving Acupressure Point, and more ...

Which is Better: Allergy Shots or Allergy Drops for Pets?
Dr. Jennifer Coates/petMD

Sublingual immuno therapy, or allergy drops are relatively new. The obvious difference between allergy shots and allergy is quite clear. But which is better?

Injections under the skin need to be done every few weeks. Drops have to be given twice a day. If you, or your dog don't like needles, drops seem an obvious choice. Jasmine hated needles of any kind and having a choice I'd avoid them. Are there any other advantages?

Drops had been shown effective in about 50% of dogs who didn't improve with shots. Also, anaphylaxis is possible with shots but highly unlikely with the drops. This is because drops and injections interact with the immune system differently.

Not every dog will respond to allergy drops, just like not every dog will respond to allergy shots. But response rates are comparable between the two, and where the shots didn't work, the drops might.

It's quite obvious which option I'd choose, even though having to administer them twice a day might be cumbersome both for me and my dog.

Life-Saving Acupressure Point You Need to Know
Dr. Doug Knueven/The Holistic Vet

We are not new to acupuncture. We used it for Jasmine and a little bit for Cookie as well. Evidence of how it can be helpful is being found all the time.

DV 26 acupressure point. Photo The Holistic Vet
A life-saving acupressure point? Sounds like a good information to have.
Governing Vessel 26 (GV 26) is located where the “leather” of the nose meets the fur of the upper lip, right where that interface crosses the center groove in the nose and lip. This point is used for resuscitation. GV 26 is used for such things as shock, respiratory arrest, and cardiac arrest.
Find out more about this point in Dr. Doug's article. He suggests stimulating this point with a fingernail.

Review of Seizures/Epilepsy in Animals
Dr. Jean Dodds/Dr. Jean Dodds' Pet Health Resource Blog

Seizures are the most common neurological disorder in dogs. They can be caused factors outside the brain, such as toxins or low blood sugar, factors inside the brain, such as tumors, or they can be idiopathic in origin, which means nobody figured out yet what the cause really is. Dr. Dodds features a full list of causes in her article. She also includes in-depth preventive measures, check it out.

Eight Tips for Coping With Your Dog’s Age-Related Hearing Loss
Dr. Nancy Kay/Spot Speaks

Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) is the most common form of deafness in dogs. Does your dog have selective hearing or are they actually going deaf? As always, my rule of thumb is to rule out physiological reasons for everything, before jumping to a conclusion to a behavioral problem.

At this time, there isn't much that can be done to stop or reverse the hearing loss. Implants were tested but results weren't very exciting and the devices seem to be poorly tolerated.

So what should one do if their dog is losing their hearing? First, have your vet rule out other causes that can cause hearing loss. Teach your dog to respond to hand signals and look into using nontraditional signals such as vibrations, light, scent or a disaster whistle. Avoid startling your dog and be more vigilant watching your dog and keeping them out of trouble.

For full list of detailed tips, check out Dr. Kay's article.


  1. So far so good on allergies and seizures but good to know about the drops and the pressure point. Kilo hates the vet and needles.

    1. Jasmine loved vets but hated needles. Cookie is better but needles are not her favorite thing either.