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Thread: Allergy Testing

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    Exclamation Allergy Testing

    My BFF is 7 months old and I am attacking the allergy problems. I have switched his food, etc. I have been reading about how they are allergic to everything SO instead of trying 200 diets to rule them out, I thought why not just have him tested? I heard there are different ways you can test your bully for allergies, blood being one of them. Do any of you recommend this? which do you prefer? How accurate is it? Thank you so much!

    Also when you guys say they are allergic to chicken, etc, what symptom is exactly the allergy? A rash? vomiting? Hives?

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    Default Re: Allergy Testing

    The gold standard of allergy testing is to do a skin test for environmental allergies. I chose to save "a little" money and do the blood test. I should've spent the little extra. I also did food allergy testing but that was a total waste of money. The blood test did not show that chicken was an allergen even though that was proven ear infection after ear infection after consuming anything with chicken in it. Instead the tests showed she was allergic to the proteins she was currently eating which wasn't true at all. You are better off doing a novel diet and slowly introducing diff ingredients to see if there is a reaction just like you would do with children. It's painstaking but it's truly the best method for figuring out food allergies.
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    Default Re: Allergy Testing

    For environmental allergies skin testing is the only accurate route to go. As for food allergy testing.... I agree with @Kevikell that it is a waste and not accurate at all.
    Bulldogs are like potato chips. You just can't stop with one.

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    Rescue Volunteer Become a 4 Paw Member 1Chumly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Allergy Testing

    We did the blood test for Chumly and it was useless. We did the skin test twice, once in the UK and once here. Both times he was on the injections. We should have saved our money on the one in the UK! When we had him tested here in the US the results were vastly different and once on the injections, it changed his life. All his allergies were environmental although I had him on grain free food anyway just in case.

    He used to scratch himself red raw, chew his feet constantly and rub his face on the carpet. When we had him tested here we found out he was allergic to wool and we had wall to wall wool carpeting in the UK. The poor dog didn't stand a chance. We made sure we had no wool here.
    Chumly 2002-2014 A gentle soul and the love of my life.

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    Default Re: Allergy Testing

    awww bless his heart! I'm working on his first hot spot on his ear, looks gross. And wasn't sure if it was from something outside he got into or food… so we will see Thanks for all your replies! -img_5264-jpg-img_5264-jpg

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    Default Re: Allergy Testing

    What a beauty!
    Chumly 2002-2014 A gentle soul and the love of my life.

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    Default Re: Allergy Testing

    They don't recommend doing blood allergy tests until 1.5 - 2 years of age.


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    Default Re: Allergy Testing

    He is one handsome boy!

    We did the blood allergy test at age of 2 and it was spot on. You have to make sure when planning the test that you do not have any steroid in the system for a full 30 days otherwise you will get false negative results.

    Our boy was allergic to rice... he would vomit after each meal, his face and paws were always red, with cysts in the webbing of the paws. Our girl was allergic to chicken and salmon... ear infections, hives, and raw folds. Once we did the test and made those identification, I removed all form their diet and everything cleared up
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    Default Re: Allergy Testing

    @astreaav

    Any reputable dermatologist won't do an allergy test at 7 months, just too young. They need to be closer to two years old.
    They also need to be free of steroids for at least 30 days prior to testing.

    We did the blood test (twice). I was told these days the blood test is just as good as the skin test. But it's all opinion as @Kevikells vet feels differently.

    The first time we had him tested was as our regular vets office. The results came that he wasn't allergic to anything. The lab she used was HESKA. Obviously the results were wrong.
    I think they were wrong because I gave him Claritin less than 48 hours earlier. She said it shouldn't make a difference, but I think it did.

    Second time, we saw a specialist (dermatologist) and tested again.
    She uses a different lab that she claims is more sensitive.
    Anyway, this time it came back showing he's allergic to trees, grass, dust and a few other things.
    This seems much more accurate.

    The food portion of allergy testing does not work. While the labs offer it, they have disclaimers that state something like " the gold standard for adverse reaction to foods is a compliant exclusionary diet trial" (taken directly from one of my reports).
    So don't waste your money on it. You'll get much better results by trial and error.

    After we received the results, we chose sublingual immunotherapy. It took something like 8-9 months before we started seeing results. It can take a year or even longer. This last month has been terrible for allergies though so we added Apoqeul as well.

    There's also a debate as to what's better- shots or oral. The dermatologist that tested him feels they're the same. We then saw another one, someone I was trying to get an appointment with for months, and he said he prefers the shots. His reason being, you can fit more allergens into a shot. When I brought this up to the first dermatologist, she said while this is true, the amount of the antigen is less. So the theory goes something like this- If your dog is allergic to let's say to 20 things.. and you go the oral drops route, they may only fit the top 10 antigens in, but they fit them in at a high dose and your body responds better to less antigens.

    So now, you're desensitizing your dog to half the allergens he's allergic to which in turn, will reduce his allergic response in half. This is really huge.
    With the shot version, they're fitting in all 20 antigens, but at a lower dose. This can work just as effectively, or it may not work at all due to the lower dosage, and/or myriad of antigens.
    These are all theories. There is no definitive answer. In fact, if one method of administration doesn't work, they'll often try the other.

    So if someone asked me would I recommend testing, I would say "absolutely." It can't hurt.. ya know?


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    Default Re: Allergy Testing

    @astreaav where are you located in Cali? When I was living in SoCal we took my frenchie mix to Animal Dermatology Center in Ventura - highly recommend for skin testing. We didn't do blood test so I'm not able to provide an opinion there.


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