DCA's Allergy Testing Service
Allergy tests for your beloved pet
Allergies in veterinary patients usually cause itching. The offending allergens can be pollens, molds, household allergens, insects, or foods. The key to successfully controlling the itching is to identify and control the underlying allergy. This may require allergy testing (skin or blood), or strict diet trials. The additional use of symptomatic therapy (antihistamines, shampoos/conditioners, essential fatty acids) will help control the itching and are used in most of our allergic patients.
Allergies can cause recurrent bacterial and yeast skin and ear infections. The infections can be very irritating and increase the level of itch, complicating the allergy.
If a food allergy is suspected, a strict diet trial for 8-12 weeks may be recommended with a prescription (novel or hydrolyzed protein) diet, where feeding only the recommended diet (no treats, table food, flavored vitamins or medications) for the duration of the trial. After the diet trial, we would perform a dietary challenge with the old diet to confirm or rule-out a diagnosis. Currently, there are no reliable blood or skin tests to predict and assess food allergies in veterinary medicine.
If an environmental allergy (atopy) is suspected, on site intradermal skin testing and serum (blood) allergy testing can be performed or submitted with mild sedation. If offending allergens are identified, a vaccine (allergy specific therapy) can be formulated in an attempt to decrease the immune system's allergic reactions. The vaccine, demonstration and an administration schedule would be provided at the time of the allergy testing procedure.