Is your dog constantly scratching? Or do you believe your dog's food intolerance is due to ongoing digestive issues? If this is the case, you may be wondering how to determine what your dog is allergic to. In this post, our Diamond Bar vets explain at-home allergy tests for dogs and how they can help.
What types of allergies are tested?
Instead of IgE (Immunoglobulin E) allergies, which are caused by the body's immune system, at-home allergy test kits test for sensitivity or intolerance to food and environmental factors that develop over time. IgE allergic reactions occur within minutes of ingestion or exposure and are diagnosed by veterinarians using a blood test or skin prick test.
However, if you suspect your dog has allergies, these kits are not intended to replace a consultation with your veterinarian. Instead, you should discuss the results of these kits with your veterinarian. These tests can also supplement blood or skin allergy testing performed by your veterinarian.
How do at-home allergy kits for dogs work?
How does a dog allergy test at home work? All you have to do is collect a saliva or hair sample (depending on the company) and send it to the lab. Within a few weeks, you will receive the results via email. You should consult with your veterinarian about your findings to determine the best course of action for your puppy.
How does vet allergy testing for dogs work?
There are two types of allergy diagnostic testing: intradermal allergy testing and serum allergy testing. Your veterinarian will recommend allergy testing based on your pet's symptoms and a variety of other factors.
intradermal Allergy Testing: The gold standard in allergy testing for environmental allergies is intradermal testing. A sedative is administered to relax your pet, a shaved area on the side is performed, and multiple allergens common to the Southeast are injected into the skin. After 20 minutes, the test site is examined again to determine which allergens caused a red, raised reaction.
Serum Allergy Testing: A small sample of your pet's blood is drawn for diagnostic purposes during serum allergy testing for pets. Your dog's serum will be tested for sensitivity to a wide range of potential allergens, including pollen from trees, grasses, weeds, shrubs, fungi, house dust and mites, and a variety of potential food ingredients found in commercial dog food preparations.
What can dogs be allergic to?
Dogs, like humans, can develop allergies to a variety of substances, including food, medications, and pathogens in the environment. The most common food allergens are dairy products, beef, egg, chicken, lamb, wheat, and soy. Environmental triggers include fleas and dust mites, as well as molds and pollens from trees, grasses, weeds, and flowers.
How can I tell if my dog has allergies?
Depending on the cause, allergy symptoms in dogs can vary. A dog in anaphylactic shock, for example, will experience a drop in blood pressure followed by shock, whereas a dog with a skin condition will not.
But In general, some of the most common signs that your dog may have allergies include:
- Swelling of the face, ears, lips, eyelids, or earflaps
- Red, inflamed skin
- Itchy ears
- Chronic ear infections
- Itchy, runny eyes
- Constant licking
Note that some of these symptoms are also symptoms of a lot of other conditions. Make an appointment with your vet for a more accurate diagnosis.