Intradermal skin testing is the gold standard of allergy testing for atopy. The animal is sedated and an area on his side is shaved down to the skin. On this shaved area a small amount of antigen is injected into the dog's skin. This is done in a specific pattern and order so that if the dog shows a small raised reaction the offending antigen can be identified. After a period of time (hours), the shaved area is examined to detect which antigens, if any, created a reaction. Reading the reactions and determining if they are large enough to create an allergic reaction in the dog is somewhat of an art. This is where having a veterinary dermatologist really pays off. Successful identification and treatment of atopic dogs by this method is listed to be as high as 75%. This test works best if performed during the season when the allergies are at their worst and isn't necessarily more expensive than blood testing.
Allergy test in Non-Allergic Dogs | Veterinary Medical Center
Initially your dog will be on a food trial for a period of 8 weeks prior to and then during the testing period. The diet that you will be required to feed your dog is Blue Buffalo Freedom grain-free Chicken dry kibble for adult dogs. The study will take place over a period of 4 hours in one day. The evening prior to the study we ask that you not feed you dog past 10 p.m. the offering of water is fine until presentation. The following day 1-2 teaspoons of blood will be collected from your dog for a serum allergy test. The left side of your dog’s chest will be shaved. A mild sedative will be given and an intradermal skin test with allergens that include molds, grasses, trees, weeds and various house dust and storage mites will be performed. After 15 minutes the reactions will be read by the investigator. On completion an ice pack will be applied at the site of the test for 10 minutes followed by application of a 1% hydrocortisone lotion. The sedation will be reversed and your dog will be able to go home at the end of the day. This test is no different than the routine intradermal test used for regular patients of the veterinary medical center.
Can Dogs Have Allergies: Everything About Dog Allergy Testing
Though blood tests are more common, intradermal skin tests areconsidered the gold standard in allergy testing. A patch of the dog'sskin is shaved so antigens can be inserted into the skin. After a fewhours, the skin patterns are observed to see which antigens caused areaction.
Serum allergy test reliability in dogs | SkinVet