There’s nothing worse than being itchy, except perhaps being itchy and not knowing what’s causing dermatological distress. Atopic dermatitis, typically caused by inhaling certain allergens like dust, pollen, or mold, can be formally diagnosed with allergy testing. A major boon for itchy pets, allergy testing for dogs can lead to the development of an effective, long-lasting treatment plan.
Allergy testing for dogs generally follows the examination and treatment of a known atopy (as well as the exclusion of other known diseases of the skin). While it is beneficial to design therapies and treatments to decrease symptoms, allergy testing for dogs is not a reliable diagnostic for food allergens. Elimination or hypoallergenic diets can help dogs cope with allergens in their food.
Testing at The Bluffs
We conduct blood (serum) tests for allergies at our hospital. This involves taking a blood sample from a dog for laboratory testing. The tests look for allergen-specific antibodies against a variety of potential environmental allergens known to cause or exacerbate atopic dermatitis. A high number of antibodies suggests that an animal’s body has formed an allergic response to them.
This type of allergy testing for dogs is easy, convenient, and relatively painless. In contrast with other types of testing, it does not require any changes to the diet or medications prior to the test. However, results may uncover numerous possible allergens that are close to impossible to eliminate from a dog’s environment. We can use the information from allergy testing to create highly-customized wellness plans that bolster tolerance and possible immunity to environmental allergens.
An Improvement Scenario
Dogs with allergies don’t have an easy time coping with symptoms, especially if they suffer from severe itching of the skin. Skin conditions are among the most common reasons we see dogs between wellness exams. Once we are able to zero-in on the possible allergens creating allergic reactions, we can customize a treatment plan to soothe itching and pain.
Allergy Testing For Dogs
When should dog owners consider allergy testing?
- When a dog presents severe symptoms for a significant part of a year
- Folowing repeated infections of the skin, ears, or anal glands
- After a restricted or hypoallergenic diet has proved unsuccessful or inconclusive
While we cannot cure allergies, we can use immunotherapy to teach a dog’s body to tolerate allergens instead of launching a full-blown attack.
If you think your dog would benefit from allergy testing and treatment, please give us a call at (651) 388-1103. Our veterinarians and staff members at The Bluffs Pet Clinic are always here for your dog.