Allergy Testing is a method for identifying the allergens to which your pet is allergic. Allergies can be divided into two categories: food and environmental.
Food allergies usually present as chronic ear infections, feet chewing, and itchy rear ends. The gold standard for food allergy testing is a food allergy trial, as there is no reliable blood test for identifying food allergies. During a food allergy trial you will be asked to stop giving your pet all treats, snacks, bones, and people food. Then the diet may be changed based on what ingredients your pet consumes. Allergy testing is not a quick test, and often required a minimum of 8-12 weeks to start to determine your pet’s allergies. Remember, even 1 small bite of people food or a treat is enough to make your pet suffer an allergic flare up for 2 weeks.
Environmental allergies are non food items to which your pet is allergic. These include, but are not limited to: grasses, trees, weeds, molds, dust mites, biting insects, cat dander, and feathers. The gold standard for environmental allergy testing is an Intradermal Skin Test (IDST). During this test your pet is given a light sedative, an area of hair is clipped on the side, and the different allergens are injected under the skin. Pets that are allergic will develop a small hive at the injection site. Within 10 minutes, a veterinarian is able to identify the different allergens.
The overall goal of IDST is to identify your pet’s environmental allergies, so they can be desensitized to them over time. Your pet may always have some itching, but we aim to decrease the amount of itching so your pet needs less medication and is overall more comfortable.
Schedule an appointment today to speak with a doctor about what type of allergies your pet may have, and develop a plan to start your pet’s treatment today.