Allergy testing and your pet
Allergy testing and your pet.
Like us, pets can also experience allergies. Summer time pollen and moulds, humid temperatures irritating plants, weeds, fleas and other insects, and even food allergies are all common. Atopic dermatitis, that is allergy to airborne pollutants, is the most common seasonal allergy that is seen in dogs. There are ways to test dogs for atopy to see what they may be allergic to.
How is it done?
Once of the ways to test for atopic dermatitis, or atopy for short, is via a specific blood test. The sample is sent to a laboratory where tests will determine the most likely cause of your pet’s atopic allergy. This test can be performed after consultation and discussion with your regular veterinarian. However, there are pros and cons of this testing method and its important other causes of allergy are ruled out before this blood test is performed. Intradermal skin testing is considered the best way to assess for atopy and is generally performed after consultation with a specialist Veterinary Dermatologist. Sometimes both tests are needed to assist with a diagnosis.
How does it help?
The most appropriate or an allergy once identified is to avoid contact or reduce exposure with the offending substance. However, this is not always possible. In many cases, intermittent treatment is necessary. There are many medications available ranging from injections, low allergen foods, steroids, antibiotics, antihistamines, special shampoos and skin barrier treatments and specific supplements just to name a few. Some pets may benefit from desensitising vaccines specially formulated based on allergy testing results. Sometimes allergies cannot be cured and we aim to control your pet’s symptoms whilst minimising the need for additional medications.
How successful is it?
Dogs and cats, like people, are individuals. No two dogs or cats are exactly the same and neither are their allergies. Therefore, some patients will respond better than others. Desensitisation allergy injections are not a quick cure for your pet’s allergies. As treating your pets allergies can be for a significant time, if not life long, it is important to discuss treatment options with your nearest Greencross Vet
Your Greencross Vet will tailor an individual diagnostic and treatment plan. Speak with your local Greencross Vet if you are concerned about allergies in your pet.