Due to the global pandemic and our dedication to the individualized and specialty care we offer your pets, please allow us 24-48 business hours to return your phone calls or emails. We strive to respond as soon as possible but ask you to be aware that all responses come from the Oregon office which is open M, Tu, Th, F 8-6pm PST and closed on Wed, Sat, Sun. Thanks for your understanding.

Allergy Testing

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.

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?
We use intradermal skin testing rather than blood or salivary testing, because it provides the most accurate results by reflecting reactions that are actually occurring in the skin. The results of salivary and blood tests are usually not the same, because they are measuring the number of allergen-specific antibodies present in the saliva or in the bloodstream. The skin test is preferred as it allows the dermatologist to see that the patient has a visible reaction to a given allergen injection rather than just the presence of the related antibody.
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?
We will schedule a time for you to pick up your pet, and at that time a technician will meet with you to go over the results, discuss the next steps, and of course review any questions you may have. You will then go home with your pet and a copy of their test, so that you can assess your pet’s environment for the presence of any of the allergens he or she reacted to during the test. Once we have this information it will be given to the doctor, so they can formulate an allergy serum specifically for your pet. We will schedule an appointment with you to show you how to administer your pet’s serum.

Have a question?

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Visit us at our three convenient locations.

Beaverton, OR

13025 SW Millikan Way Suite 100
Beaverton, OR 97005

M, Tu, Th, Fri: 8am - 6pm
Closed Wednesday

Greensboro, NC

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all NC appointments are being seen at the Kernersville, NC location until further notice. Please visit our Kernersville page.

Kernersville, NC

719 Gralin St.
Kernersville, NC 27284

Tues-Friday: 8am - 6pm
Sat-Sun: 9am - 6pm