With just a small blood sample, identify true allergies in your pet to help avoid foods and environments that may cause them problems.
Canine Allergy Panels
The VDI Advantage
Allergy testing should be accessible, easy, and cost-effective for our pets. Detecting true allergies, not sensitivities and intolerances, is a simple process that can have profound results on their long term health. VDI now offers affordable allergy testing to compliment the other wellness and acute care testing already being done through the lab.
• Very Small Sample Volume
• Easy to combine with other VDI tests
Which pets should test?
- ADR pets with undiagnosed GI signs
- Chronic GI distress
- Scratchy, Itchy, Red, or inflamed Skin
- Chronic Ear Infections/ Head shaking
- Excessive Licking
- Hair loss
- Chronic Cough / Sneezing
- Runny Eyes
- Diarrhea or Vomiting with unknown source
- Or as part of general wellness screening
- Minimum: 0.10 mL – 0.25 mL serum. We we ask for more if possible (~1.0mL), especially if running other VDI tests.
- Fasting not required
- Can be added to other routine VDI tests
- No indication that Antihistamine & cyclosporine interfere. Apoquel & glucocorticoid therapy is not shown to interfere.
Meet the Allergens
Food (72 Allergens)
|Red deer||Allergy I|
Vegetable, Fruit, Nut Allergies
|Soy bean||Allergy I|
|Sweet Potato||Allergy I|
|Cheddar / Gouda cheese||Allergy I|
|Sweet chestnut||Allergy II|
|Linseed (Flax seed)||Allergy II|
Insects and Mites (12 Allergens)
Plants (29 Allergens)
|Alder / Birch||Allergy I|
|Maple leaf sycamore||Allergy I|
|Willow / Cottonwood||Allergy I|
|White Pine||Allergy I|
|White Ash||Allergy I|
|Japanese Cedar||Allergy II|
Animal, Mold, and Other (13 Allergens)
|Cat Epithelium*||Allergy I|
|Wool, Sheep||Allergy I|
|Feather Mix||Allergy I|
|Cattle Epithelium||Allergy II|
More About Allergy Testing
Allergy vs Intolerance vs Sensitivity
The primary difference between an allergy, a sensitivity, and an intolerance is that an allergy results in an immune system reaction to a substance, while a sensitivity or intolerance involves no immune response. While the later may result in occasional discomfort for your pet, they are typically not the significant kind of immune response that may occur with allergies. VDI’s Allergy Panels test for true allergies.
Although the word “Allergy” is colloquially used to describe any reaction to a foreign substance, it’s not wholly accurate. A true allergy describes a reaction produced when the body meets a normally harmless substance, which has been “remembered” from a previous exposure and subsequently produces the “IgE” antibody.
In order for an allergy to develop, a pet must be exposed to the substance at least once before the allergy will manifest. The immune system learns to attack this particular substance for an unknown reason, at which point the immune response will go into hyperdrive to attack it – resulting in elevated IgE levels.
A sensitivity is a delayed immune reaction resulting in the production of “IgG” antibody to a foreign substance, typically food. Though they may cause some clinical signs this type of reaction is not an allergic reaction and does not carry the same seriousness as a true allergy.
IgG testing for sensitivity is readily available however it has not been correlated to clinical signs or disease, given that IgG response is the body’s natural response to consuming any foreign substance and is expected. Additional IgG testing has been shown to produce several “positives” which may lead to over-restriction of the diet.
Concerningly, patients with food intolerances acting on the results of IgG panels may see improvements because the large number of foods they must eliminate may remove the culprit from their diet by coincidence. However, over-restriction can have impacts as it may place a patient at risk of nutritional deficiencies.
An intolerance is the body’s inability to breakdown certain foods due missing or reduced enzymes responsible for that metabolism. This can result in clinical signs and discomfort for the pet. An example of an intolerance would be lactose intolerance – the absence of the enzyme lactase to break down dairy products results in GI discomfort. Intolerances do not produce either IgE or IgG antibody responses.
Options for pets with Allergies
The veterinarian is the best resource for discussing options for therapy if a pet has been shown to have allergies. There are a few common options that may suitable including:
- Avoidance of the Allergen (preferred if possible)
- Medications to manage symptoms (steroids, antihistamines, etc) for the short term
- Hyposensitization (desensitization) / Immunotherapy
Hyposensitization (desensitization) & Immunotherapy
Immunotherapy (aka desensitization, hyposensitization, or allergy shots) is a method reducing the body’s sensitivity to the specific allergen causing the reaction. By introducing a specialized extract containing the offending allergen in small quantities over time, the goal is to minimize the pet’s reaction to it, thus eliminating the need for medicines such as steroids which come with side effects.
Although it has been shown effective, immunotherapy does work differently for every pet and may take up to a year of consistent therapy to see noticeable results.