FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
See if you can find the answers you need below, otherwise, you’re more than welcome to get in touch with us and we’ll do our best to help you with your inquiry.
Please note, our testing is a valuable piece in your pet’s immunological puzzle. Your veterinarian works with you to connect those pieces. Together you’ll determine what’s best for your pet after reviewing their entire puzzle – beyond the pieces we can see. While we love helping you pinpoint and treat your pet’s allergies, bringing all patient-specific questions to your veterinarian ultimately leads to the most comprehensive (and effective) recovery plan!
What exactly are allergies?
An allergic reaction is one in which an individual reacts to a normal substance in the environment. These substances are called allergens and include pollens, molds, animal hair, house dust, fleas, foods, and many more. Allergens cause reactions through skin contact, inhalation or ingestion. Allergic animals possess IgE antibodies to the specific allergens. These antibodies cause biochemical changes in the body which produce allergy symptoms.
How much does the test cost?
The cost of the test is determined by the clinic ordering the test. If you believe your pet has allergies, we encourage you to find a Spectrum Veterinary clinic and call for exact pricing.
What are the symptoms of allergies?
Dogs and cats, just like humans, can have allergies. More than 30% of all skin irritations in these animals can be attributed to allergies. The right approach (i.e. diagnostic tool and hyposensitization methodology) can set you on the best path towards happy, symptom-free (or greatly reduced) patients and satisfied pet parents. For a comprehensive look at common symptoms please click here.
Why are my pet's symptoms worse some times than other times?
Allergens are cumulative in their effect on animals. The more allergens an animal is exposed to at any one time increases the chance of allergy symptoms, as well as the extent of the reaction. The easiest way to picture this “threshold” phenomenon is to think of drops of water in a bucket, sooner or later the bucket will overflow, much as the immune system “overflows” beyond its threshold. For this reason, time of a symptom’s onset is not necessarily an indication of what the animal is allergic to. An animal with food and pollen allergies may only show symptoms in the summer (when the pollen count is at its highest) because the pollens push it over the threshold.
How do we treat allergies?
The best form of treatment for allergies is avoidance of the offending allergens. In most cases, however, this is not possible. Steroid drugs are often used for short-term relief of symptoms, but prolonged use of steroids can have serious side effects. Hyposensitization (allergy shots or drops) is another alternative. In this case, treatment sets are formulated specifically for your patients based on their allergy test results. We have two different types of treatment and it is important that you consider all aspects when deciding which delivery method you’d prefer. Read more about our treatment options here.
How do we treat food allergies?
Since dogs and cats cannot be hyposensitized to foods, elimination is the only form of treatment. We have been successful in treating food allergies by recommending the avoidance of anything that has a reaction when tested. Should your patient test positive to foods, Spectrum Veterinary will supply a list of commercially available foods, free from the ingredients to which your pet tested positive.
Is this type of treatment dangerous?
Adverse reactions are extremely rare, and any reactions if they do occur, should only be temporary and non-life threatening.