Do Allergy Tests for Dogs Exist?

September 30, 2019
In this interesting article, learn all about allergies in dogs and if allergy tests for dogs exist.

Not only humans suffer from allergies. Actually, more and more animals are suffering from allergies nowadays. This is why experts have invested a lot of time and research into allergy tests for dogs.

Humans have more notable allergy symptoms. Dogs usually manifest them in less obvious ways. Therefore, it’s extremely important for you to be aware of any small changes in your pet’s behavior or appearance.

When your dog shows any physical or temperamental changes, then it’s essential for you to take it to the vet before opting for any kind of treatment.

What’s an allergy?

The immune system’s main function is to fight different microorganisms and preserve the body’s balance. Sometimes, this process generates a reaction that causes quite bothersome symptoms. An allergy is basically that.

A sick dog.

Allergies in pets isn’t a topic a lot of people talk about, although animals also suffer from them. Experts estimate that the number of cases of allergies in dogs is equal to, or greater than, allergies in humans. That’s why it’s important to know about allergy tests for dogs.

What can cause an allergy?

An allergic process occurs when the body comes into contact with an allergen. The body may absorb it through the skin, food, inhalation, or an insect bite.

Multiple substances can cause allergies, and the type of allergy and its characteristics vary according to the allergen.

Common types of allergies and allergy tests for dogs

Food allergies

Many dogs have allergic reactions to certain food components. It’s estimated that the number of undiagnosed cases is twice as high as the number of diagnosed cases.

The most common symptoms are irritation, itchy skin, and digestive disorders such as vomiting or diarrhea.

The treatment consists of adjusting your dog’s diet. The veterinarian will recommend hypo-allergenic foods according to each dog’s size, breed, and specific characteristics.

Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) or flea bite hypersensitivity

Allergies to flea bites show themselves as dermatitis, which is an allergic and inflammatory reaction that affects the skin. It’s a result of the reaction to certain components of the saliva of this external parasite.

The main symptoms are itching and local and gradual hair loss. Although it can affect any body part, it mostly affects dogs’ backs.

Treatment consists of killing the fleas that live on the animal and in its environment. The vet will help you choose the right product and dosage for your dog.

Allergies to environmental substances

Dogs may be allergic to natural environmental components. Pollen is the most common allergen in this regard, followed by dust and mold.

Any dog may develop a hypersensitivity to these substances. Some dog breeds are more vulnerable, such as English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Pug, and Shar-Pei (flat-faced dogs).

The most noticeable symptoms are skin itching and redness. Treatment consists of relieving skin inflammation and avoiding exposure to allergens.

Also, some dogs’ bodily conditions can make them more susceptible to allergies. Immunosuppression, hormonal disorders, and some autoimmune diseases can make the animal more vulnerable.

Allergy tests for dogs

It’s difficult to diagnose allergies. However, allergy tests for dogs can help.

A dog sleeping.

The symptoms may be confused with discomfort at first. In most cases, dogs are diagnosed at the more advanced stages of the allergic process. Therefore, it’s advisable to perform allergy tests for dogs as a preventive measure.

Before any test, the vet should check the animal and rule out other possible origins of the organic alterations. There are three types of allergy tests for dogs:

Elimination diet

This is a basic and very effective test because food allergies are the most common allergies in dogs, as well as the easiest to diagnose.

This test consists of restricting the animal’s diet by offering only hypo-allergenic food.

Intradermal allergy tests

These are the most traditional tests in humans and dogs. They consist of exposing the body to different allergens in a controlled way, with subcutaneous injections. The animal’s reactions are monitored to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.

Blood test

This is a much more convenient and effective method than the injections we mentioned above. It consists of detecting antibodies in the animal’s bloodstream.

Main picture source: kaelin