Allergy Shots

Updated on December 15, 2008
L.H. asks from Milford, NH
9 answers

My daughter (7 year old) has had an allergy test and is allergic to cats (we have 2 in the home) among grass, and trees. The doctors suggest getting rid of the cats and taking allergy shots. My daughter is absolutely against the idea of getting rid of her cat. He does not sleep in her room but cat hair is everywhere.
My concern is introducing on a regular basis any outside substances. The room for error scares me. One can never really be sure what is inside the dose or if it has been cross exposed to something else.
Can anyone who has experienced the allergy shots give me your viewpoint. Did it help? I can get rid of that cat but doesn't solve the grass, and tree exposure. She has already been on Zurtec and Nasonex. They would like to continue her on these as well. Really don't like the idea of being a chronic user of these drugs either.
Please help me in my decision.

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So What Happened?

Thank you all so much for your response. I have been a little worried about doing it since it is a weekly shot for awhile. I am glad to hear from older people who went through it with great results. If it alleviates her daily symptoms I really want to give it a try. I guess a couple of years of a nuisance is better than a lifetime of symptoms and allergy medicines. I do like the idea of a Hepa air filter in her room. She does want to keep her cat.
I am going to call her doctor today. Hopefully start this week.

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answers from Boston on


You can take this advice for whatever you want. I was diagnosed with allergies to dogs, cats, rabbits, dust, horse, ragweed and a few other things at age 12. Sever allergies like my tear ducts swelled shut and my face swelled fill with tears that were created. I got allergy shots for about 5 years thinking that these were temporary and would help to build my immunity to the allergens. I was told it was a forever thing.

I decided this was for the birds and I decided to stop the shots and just grin and bear it. When I asked the allergist, he said that I "would have to continue the shots or get a cat. (Ha-Ha)" So I decided to get a cat, a long haired cat. I went through 3 months of really bad allergies, but I now have 2 long haired cats that I adore and although I have a few bad days a year, I am so glad that I went through it so that I can be around animals and have them in my life. I don't let the cats near my PJs or in the bed (they are on the bed, but not near my face) and I am OK.

good luck


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answers from Providence on

I took allergy shots myself -- started them in high school and took them through early adulthood. I had extremely severe allergies. I have not had one in about 10 years and still have almost no symptoms -- they were a lifesaver for me. They were a nuisance fitting them in sometimes but I would do it again. Rarely did I have a sore spot on my arm -- and that did seem to depend on which nurse gave them to me. If you find a person that does them really well try to stick with that one.

Each allergen is in its own bottle. Every patient has new needles. There really isn't much room for any contamination. The nurse should read your daughter's name and dose out loud and then read it off the bottle -- at least that is how ours did. I could listen and know if she said something wrong (but never needed to, they were very careful). Just be aware of the dose and monitor it and I wouldn't worry -- they are very safe.

Good luck!



answers from Portland on

hey L.,
I have an 8 year old boy and he too has alergies to cats and dogs plus mold and pollin and feathers and few other small things... We have had a dog in our house util last year when our dog moved on because of old age... So we gave my son Tristan different alergy medicines like zurtec but the only one that worked was Singular which is what we give him now and we take him off it for months at a time.... We find that he is okay in summer and oddly singular did not work till he was about 7 years old.... It is as if at that age his body could handle it..... The alergy shots were a nightmare for him and he now fears needles and shots alltogether where he used to deal with them just fine.... So that is why singular is our choice for now.......M.



answers from Springfield on

get a really good air purifier for her bedroom and try to keep the cats out of there as much as possible.



answers from Boston on

Hi L.;

I would get rid of the cats. I am allergic to cats, dogs and horses as well as the environmental allergies. My 5 year old son unfortunately inherited my allergies along with asthma. When he was born we had a cat, I was forced to get rid of him. I did have him tested several times and it's always the same. I refuse to have my son take any long term "medications" as I just don't believe in throwing drugs at any problem with fix it, it only makes whatever it may be "tolerable". My advice and opinion would be to get rid of the cats and give your daughter a shot without medicating her.

Good luck and Happy Holidays!



answers from Boston on

My son had allergies to cats, (we had 4), dogs, pets in general, and the outside. He took allegy shots for 3 years, and had an inhaler because of his asthma. He came through it all fine. His is an adult now, and his allergies seem to have disappeared. I don't know if it is because he moved out and away from his cats and other assorted pets, or if he outgrew it, but he seems to be fine now and doesn't use anything. good luck with your daughter.



answers from Boston on

I had allergy shots 11 years ago and they worked for me. I did them for about 2 years, then I stopped once I had my daughter (did them while pregnant so yes they are safe). My seasonal allergies are way more manageable now than they were before and it's been over 10 years since I stopped. They don't hurt like a vaccination does, and her arms will be a little sore for a day or two. I found that the next day, I had to rub the injection spots because there would be these "knots".. once I rubbed them, they were gone.. other than that, I'd leave it up to her.. my daughter doesn't mind getting shots (regular vaccinations, not allergy-she doesn't need them) so it depends on the kid.. they are time consuming too -once a week for a while, then every two weeks, then it goes up from there.



answers from Boston on

Hi L.!

I am 25 years old, and am just ending a five-year stint of allergy shots myself for a slew of allergies (cat, dog, horse, grass(3 types), trees(7 types), mold, dust). My allergies resulted in asthma, and I have to say getting the shots has been one of the best decisions of my life. I have a cat and had a dog (we had to put her down recently because she was 18 years old and sick). Though my allergist said that the best case scenario would be that I should give away both pets (for faster relief from the allergy), he was realistic in saying that he knew it was unlikely I would do that. Over time, (about 8 to 12 months) even with keeping both pets, I noticed that my allergies were much better and that my asthma symptoms had abated. In the last two years I have not once had an asthma attack, and my allergy symptoms are virtually non-existent. I am off all supplemental allergy and asthma meds and am down to just once-a-month for shots. I will be ending them completely in March. It is incredibly freeing to be without medication and without symptoms!

To be honest, for me at least, the allery regimine started "fast and furious"; had shots weekly, and a slew of supplimental meds (pills) to go along with them. The weekly shots pared down to biweekly at a year, and then went to monthly at 3 years. The supplimental meds were reduced at a year, and reduced steadily to stopping over time.

I never limited my exposure to the allergens (except dust). My philosophy was that I wasn't going to let my allergies cause me to stop living life. And I feel wonderful!

I would say if you do decide to get shots for your daughter, I would try to focus less on the fact that she is on a number of medications and focus more on keeping up with everything as usual (even play time with the kitty). Though it does take time for the shots to "kick in" I feel the benefit greatly outweighs the "living in a medicine bottle" feeling (which is only temporary). Now that I am medicine free, I can look back on what life was like before the shots and say "thank God I did that!"

Good luck on your decision!



answers from Boston on

Hi L.
I can put you in touch with other moms who have put their children on a nutritional supplement Reliv, and have had awesome results with allergies.
No drugs, no side effects, and happy kids (and parents) A no brainer.
J. H

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