In addition to his university affiliation, Dr. DeBoer consults with Heska Corporation. Neither the University of Wisconsin–Madison nor Dr. DeBoer has any financial interest in any SLIT product.
Allergen-specific immunotherapy (ASIT) is a common atopic dermatitis (AD) treatment for dogs and cats. The newest variation of this treatment is sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT).
Although SLIT has been widely used in Europe for treating human allergies, it has only recently become available for treating animals in the United States. Mechanisms for injection ASIT differ slightly from SLIT. SLIT involves absorption of allergens through the oral mucosa with uptake and processing by specialized oromucosal dendritic cells.1 SLIT is formulated differently than the allergy injection mixture; commercial preparations of SLIT typically include proprietary ingredients to stabilize the allergen and promote mucosal absorption. Currently, several SLIT suppliers offer their own formulations with different administration protocols, storage conditions, efficacy, adverse events, and other use-associated factors; because the therapy is new, studies on these factors are still underway. SLIT is administered via a metered pump dispenser that delivers drops of solution onto the mucosa under and around the tongue (Figure 1).