Dogs, cats and horses, like their human owners, can suffer from allergies to a variety of everyday substances, or allergens, including dust mites, pollen, mould and flea bites. Even though these allergens are common in most environments and harmless to the vast majority of animals, an animal with allergies will have an extreme reaction to them. Allergens can be problematic when inhaled, ingested or come in to contact with a susceptible animal's skin. As their body tries to rid itself of these substances, a variety of skin, digestive and respiratory symptoms may appear. These include:
- Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin
- Persistent scratching
- Itchy, runny eyes
- Itchy back or base of tail (typical of a flea allergy)
- Itchy ears and ear infections
- Snoring (caused by an inflamed throat)
- Paw chewing and/ or swollen paws
- Constant licking
Allergic animals may also suffer from secondary bacterial or yeast skin infections, which may ultimately lead to hair loss and scabs or crusts on the skin.
Rather than subjecting your pet to the potential side effects of prolonged steroid treatments, it is preferable to determine exactly what it is that they are allergic to and then either avoid the causative allergens altogether or initiate treatment to help reduce the severity of the allergic reaction.
The Allercept® IgE test is an extremely sensitive blood test used following a differential diagnosis by your vet confirming atopic dermatitis. Accurate identification of the causative allergens is crucial for effective allergen-specific immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is considered to be the most effective and safest long-term treatment for allergies available, and involves repeated inoculation with a 'vaccine' containing very low levels of the causative allergen. Over time, the animal's sensitivity to the allergen is dramatically reduced such that exposure to the allergen no longer elicits a significant allergic response. Immunotherapy can be arranged via your local vet.
Allercept® Canine, Feline and Equine Allergen Panels use a unique, proprietary technology developed to detect only allergen-specific IgE, an immune substance produced in response to exposure to a particular allergen, resulting in more accurate test results.
Panel tests include:
For further information about allergy testing, please speak to your local vet.