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Pet Food Allergy Testing in St. Louis

Symptoms of food allergy in dogs and cats are usually manifested by itching.

Although food allergies are common in dogs, they are frequently misunderstood. Unfortunately, it is further complicated by marketing and several unsubstantiated claims on the market. Food allergy is simple in concept. Dogs and cats with food allergies have developed an allergic response to one or more of the substances they’ve previously eaten or are currently eating. If the allergenic protein(s) can be removed from the pet’s diet, improvements should appear after 6 to 8 weeks.

The specificity of food allergy identification is limited by the absence of a reliable blood test or skin test. The elimination diet trial is the definitive diagnosis of food allergy, which requires a thorough examination of an animal’s previous meals. All snacks, chews, bones, flavored heartworm, or flea prevention should be eliminated since they may cause allergic reactions.

Secondary infections, such as bacterial or yeast infections, can also complicate dog and cat food allergies. This makes the identification more difficult since these ailments can be itchy and might hide any progress observed while using an elimination diet trial.

Pet Food Allergy FAQs

How will I know if my pet has a food allergy?
Food allergy symptoms in dogs and cats are usually connected with an itchy sensation. This might involve licking, chewing, rubbing, or scooting around various regions of the body, including the face, ears, rear (including scooting), armpits, and other places. The difficulty is that food allergy symptoms are clinically indistinguishable from those caused by environmental allergies. Some dogs with food allergies may also experience gastrointestinal issues such as soft stools, diarrhea, frequent bowel movements, and even vomiting.
How are food allergies diagnosed?
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. As a consequence, 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 food allergies?

Food allergy can affect any food an animal has previously consumed. Studies have shown that pets are most commonly allergic to the protein source in the diet. It’s critical to remember that each pet is unique, so a rigid elimination diet trial for food allergies should be individualized for each animal based on their dietary history. 

What is the difference between food allergies and food intolerance?

Food allergy is a genuine allergic response in which the immune system gains a hypersensitivity to one or more compounds that an individual has previously consumed. Food allergy occurs when a pet has been exposed to a harmful allergen or another substance with cross-reactivity. On the other hand, intolerance is a reaction that does not require prior sensitization and can happen on the first ingestion of the offending food or pill. Gastrointestinal intolerance responses are more common in dogs and cats, mainly vomiting and diarrhea.

Which foods cause the most allergy issues?

Food allergies can occur as a result of any type of food ingredient in pet diets. Proteins are the most common cause of allergic reactions. The protein that causes an adverse response in an individual is determined by what that animal has previously eaten. Because food allergy implies previous contact with a substance, this might happen differently in every pet.