What is Allergy Testing?
There are different types of allergy tests including blood, saliva and intradermal testing. At the Animal Allergy & Ear Clinic the form of allergy tests that we perform is intradermal skin testing, because it provides the most accurate results. Intradermal testing involves shaving a small area of skin, usually on the side of the chest, and then marking the skin in the locations for testing. Then we inject a very small amount of each of the 74 antigens within the surface of the skin. The antigens are specifically chosen from indigenous trees, grasses, weeds, molds, insects and dust mites that are known to be common allergens in the region.
By monitoring and recording the skin’s reactions to each antigen our veterinarians are able to determine exactly what your pet is allergic to, and we have those results for you the same day as
The test results are used to make a serum that is specific to each patient. This serum, also referred to as allergen-specific immunotherapy, is used to retrain the immune system to be tolerant of the allergens. For more information on immunotherapy, please visit our immunotherapy page!
Why Do We Use Intradermal Skin Testing?
What Do Clients Need to Do Before Testing?
There are some steps that we encourage all clients to follow to ensure we are able to get the most accurate results. First, you will need to be sure your pet has not had certain medications just prior to the test. Ideal withdrawal periods (with some exceptions – please call for more patient-specific questions) for an intradermal allergy test are:
- 4 weeks off injectable steroids (some injectable forms take longer)
- 1 – 2 weeks off oral steroids
- 1 – 2 weeks off a topical ear, eye, and skin medications, creams, sprays, and shampoos with steroids
- 1 – 2 weeks off antihistamines (including Histacalm shampoo/spray and Resihist). Some behavior modification medications are antihistamines such as Clomicalm, Doxepin, and Elavil (AKA amitriptyline)
You may bathe your pet up to the day of testing if the shampoo does not contain any steroids or antihistamines. You may also use topical flea products such as Advantage, Frontline Topspot, or Revolution prior to the testing. If you are unsure if your pet’s medications need to be stopped prior to testing, please call our office.
Typically, the test is scheduled in the early afternoon. Your pet will be sedated for his or her comfort, so we ask that you do not feed your pet the morning of the test.
What Happens After Testing?
Visit us at our three convenient locations.
13025 SW Millikan Way Suite 100
Beaverton, OR 97005
M, Tu, Th, Fri: 8am to 6pm
2936 Battleground Avenue, Greensboro NC 27408
One week each month
Tu-Fri: 8 am to 6 pm
719 Gralin St.
Kernersville, NC 27284
One weekend each month
Sat-Sun: 9 am - 6 pm