Allergy and Dermatology Testing in Lake Mary, FL
Skin disease in animals is extremely common and one of the leading causes of veterinary visits in the United States. Many animals who experience dermatological problems do so because they suffer from allergies. Allergies are just as common in pets as humans, and our furry friends can be hypersensitive to exactly the same allergens as us. These tend to be categorized as follows:
Environmental allergens: such as pollen, grass, smoke, dust, and dander.
Food allergens: with dairy, soy, corn, and wheat being some of the most common food allergy triggers.
Contact allergens: these include substances that come into direct contact with your pet’s skin, such as chemicals from cleaning products.
Bite allergens: bite allergies occur when your pet is hypersensitive to the saliva of a parasite like a flea or tick.
Dermatological reactions are some of the most common responses that an animal’s body has to come into contact with an allergen. In most instances, this begins with a persistent itch that sometimes because so severe, it causes your pet to damage their skin. If this happens, your pet could experience recurrent skin infections. Flea allergic dermatitis is one of the most common types of dermatitis that affects our animals, but there are many other allergies that will also trigger a skin-based reaction. This is known as allergic dermatitis.
Symptoms of Allergic Dermatitis in Pets
All allergies present in a slightly different way. For example, many food allergies trigger pets to experience vomiting and/or diarrhea as well as other symptoms. However, allergies that affect the skin (allergic dermatitis) often include:
Your pet will bite, chew and lick their skin to try and alleviate the itch
Your pet may rub themselves against furniture and flooring to try and obtain relief from the itch
Redness of the skin
Skin that is hot to the touch
Obvious infection of the skin
Identifying the cause of your pet’s hypersensitivity is essential if you are to prevent them from suffering from the unpleasant and debilitating symptoms associated with allergic dermatitis. One of the best ways to do this is through allergy testing.
What is Allergy Testing?
Allergy testing refers to specific tests that are used to tell us which allergens your pet is hypersensitive too. We can then use this information to determine what triggers your pet’s allergies and what can be done to control these substances and your pet’s response to them.
Allergy testing involves a skin test, known as an intradermal allergy test/IDAT, or blood allergy test – although sometimes both are recommended to get a completely accurate picture of what is causing your pet’s symptoms. The skin test is very straightforward. Your pet will first be given a light sedative to ensure they are calm and comfortable for the duration of the process. Once sedated, an area of your pet’s fur will be shaved, and they will be given a series of small injections containing common allergens. We will observe if there is any visible response around the injection site both within 15 minutes of the injection and then again a few hours later. This will tell us which allergens, if any, your pet has reacted to and how severe their reaction is. If we are performing blood testing too, the sample will be also be taken whilst your pet is under the effects of the sedative.
If you suspect that your pet may have allergies and would like to schedule an appointment for testing, please contact Lake Emma Animal Hospital in Lake Mary, FL today by calling 407-333-2901.