As with humans, allergy testing can be performed on your animals to determine if they are having an adverse reaction to something they’ve inhaled or come into contact with in their environment. There are many warning signs that can indicate an allergic reaction in your pet; these can include licking the feet, chewing at an area, and irritated red skin.
There are two standard blood tests to check for allergies in your pet. RAST and ELISA both check for antigen-induced antibodies. If these levels are elevated, this can be indicative of an environmental allergy. Intradermal skin testing involves injecting a small amount of antigen into the skin layer. After a short period of time, the area of injection is observed to determine if a reaction has occurred. Both types of testing are best performed during the season when your pet’s allergies are worst.
Your veterinarian will work with you to determine which type of testing is better for your pet. Allergy testing should be considered for any animal that is suffering from allergies that occur more than four months out of the year, or that do not respond to traditional treatments. Most cases of mild allergies are first treated with antihistamines and intentional avoidance of the cause.
If your pet does not respond to these treatments, allergy tests will be performed and your veterinarian will work with you to determine the best and individualized treatment plan for your animal. As with all medical procedures, please consult with your vet on the right course of action.
Do not attempt to diagnose or treat your pet alone– our vets are highly trained in the best courses to keep your pet happy, healthy, and safe.
If you are unsure if your pet’s symptoms are allergy related, please call us to set up a free 20-minute dermatology consult. Our veterinarian can advise you if the symptoms you are seeing could be related to allergies and require further work up.