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Pet Allergy Testing in St. Louis

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The procedure of identifying particular allergens that might be triggering an animal’s symptoms is referred to as allergy testing. This is currently the only reliable technique for determining which environmental allergens are causing atopic dermatitis (skin and ear disease associated with reactions to environmental allergies) symptoms.

Atopic dermatitis is identified by a veterinary dermatologist by noting typical age, history, skin/ear abnormalities, and ruling out other possible causes. Intradermal (skin) allergy testing or blood testing may be used to determine the presence of allergies after a diagnosis of atopic dermatitis has been made.

Intradermal allergy testing is a type of immunotherapy where the skin is punctured and allergens are injected into the dermis. During this procedure, either sedation or anesthesia (typically depending on breed), hair clipping along the side of the chest, and multiple allergen injections into the skin are required. After 15 to 30 minutes for reactions to appear, dermatologists note precise allergens that cause a response at these sites.

Depending on the demands of the individual patient, pet dermatologists may do a blood allergy test in addition to or instead of intradermal skin testing.

If you think your pet is suffering from atopic dermatitis, contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Pet Allergy FAQs

How are dogs and cats tested for environmental allergies?

Intradermal allergy testing (skin testing) or a blood test may be used to identify environmental allergies in dogs and cats. Intradermal allergy testing is a technique where small amounts of allergens are injected intradermally into the skin.  A positive reaction at the site of injection indicates the pet is allergic to that allergen.  This is the “gold standard” test in both veterinary and human medicine. Animals are sedated or anesthetized for this procedure (depending on the breed) and a spot on the side is shaved where the injections are performed. Results are recorded 15-30 minutes after the injections.


How are pets tested for food allergies?

The only reliable way to determine if your dog or cat is allergic to food is to complete an elimination diet trial. While there are a number of blood tests and even saliva and hair analysis tests that claim to detect food reactions, none of them have been proved to be accurate, repeatable, or useful in determining if your pet is allergic to anything. Consequently, the best approach is simply to eliminate all substances for which he or she has previously eaten (e.g., has had any reaction). This must be done meticulously, with no snacks, chews, rawhides, or medicated treats, since any of these things might induce symptoms.


What are the most common allergies in dogs?

Flea allergy is the most frequent allergic reaction in dogs – an allergic response to a flea or a small number of fleas, even when no fleas are seen! House dust mites, tree, weed, and grass pollens, insects (including ants and mosquitoes), and molds are all common allergens after flea reactions. Foods may also cause allergies in dogs but are less common than flea allergy and atopic dermatitis.

Veterinary dermatologists are experts in evaluating and treating allergic conditions in dogs. Allergy testing may be required, and it might help your dog’s allergy condition long-term.

What allergy symptoms should I watch out for?

The most typical signs of allergies in dogs and cats include itching, scratching, licking, overgrooming, skin and ear inflammation, and secondary skin and ear infections. These might be seasonal, depending on the trigger. Food allergies can cause gastrointestinal issues, including soft stools, diarrhea, frequent bowel motions, or vomiting in some animals. Coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and watering eyes are all possible symptoms that are less common than skin and ear symptoms.

What can be given to pets to alleviate allergy issues?
Antihistamines, corticosteroids, and a variety of other medicines are used to treat allergic reactions in dogs. Because no two pets are alike, it is vital that you consult your veterinarian about the best way to manage your pet’s problems.