Experience with allergy tests?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

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Theodore aka- Teddy - **CGC**

Big Head. Big- Heart.
Barked: Fri Dec 28, '12 9:53pm PST 
I am considering getting Teddy allergy tested and our vet has both blood and skin patch tests available. I also was informed of NutriScan, a saliva test that is "do-at-home". Does anyone have experience with these different types of tests. I have heard that the skin patch is the most accurate, but it is obviously the most invasive. Any information on these different types of tests would be great.

fyi--I suspect both food and environmental allergies, but I believe the tests only look at food allergies, correct?

Member Since
Barked: Sun Dec 30, '12 11:49am PST 
At one time I investigated the Nutriscan saliva test. Read some reviews and many were not favorable. Since I thought most of our dog's problems were food issues,and hoping to avoid the expensive lab work, I began homecooking for her. Must say, within weeks she was a different dog. No allergy issues and more energy.

I live to dig
Barked: Sun Dec 30, '12 12:52pm PST 
Yeah, allergy tests are not that conclusive. Alot of dogs do better with home cooked meals, there are no preservatives and everything is fresh.


I'm working on- three toys!
Barked: Fri Jan 4, '13 7:38pm PST 
I am considering using "Balance It" along with homecooking, at least for half of Joey's meals. While I don't know if his paw licking is due to food or environmental allergies (or OCD/boredom/low thyroid/something else), I figure anything's better than kibble.

You buy the "Balance It" supplement from the company's web site, and use their free recipes to go along with it. The recipes are pretty simple - you choose a protein, a carb, and occasionally something else. The recipe computes how much "Balance It" you need to complete the nutritional requirements (correct ratio of phosphorus to calcium, vitamins and minerals, etc.)

It's my understanding that the skin (prick) testing is only for environmental allergies, and that serum only works for about 60% of the dogs that it is used on. I only know of one person who has had it done, but it turned out to be accurate and a lifesaver for her dog (bichon frise).

I am also curious about NutriScan, but want to hear if it's actually accurate before I spend any money on it. I hope someone who has used it will reply to your post!

Edited by author Fri Jan 4, '13 7:46pm PST


Miss- Pig!
Barked: Sat Jan 5, '13 1:22pm PST 
My sister recently had her little dog allergy tested via skin testing. I can't think of the correct name of what he had now but it involved shaving a small patch of hair from his side and injecting him with various allergens to see how he reacted. It wasn't cheap but it has been worthwhile in Teddy's case and he has quite a few environmental allergies that were determined through the test. My sister can now choose to proceed with having a special vaccine made up for Teddy each month to gradually expose him to his allergy triggers as part of his treatment process.

It's all about- me.
Barked: Sat Jan 5, '13 1:47pm PST 
Sonja was allergy tested by blood sample. For us, it was the easiest option and I do believe it is the most accurate.

She was put on Science Diet Z/D Ultra...because she was allergic to most everything including chicken and rice (the typical allergy diet). However, I studied her test results and researched other food choices because her coat was so dry. I currently have her on a blend of "Wellness - Whitefish and sweet Potato" and "Organix - Salmon."

Her coat has never looked or felt so good...no itching....no flaking...no sneezing.

I'll just take a- nap until you- pet me.
Barked: Sun Jan 6, '13 11:28am PST 
I personally do not think they are as reliable as they should be, when I asked my vet he admitted to me that they are only about 64% accurate. I considered having Carbon tested but the cost didn't justify the results for me so I switched him to a minimal ingredient food (with ingredients he's never had before, the pet store I buy my food at told me dogs are less likely to react to things they have not been exposed to) and very slowly introduced more ingredients seeing which ones worked and which didn't. It takes a long time to get it narrowed down but it's 100% effective if you do it right big grin

Right now I feed Go! Natural: Salmon and Oatmeal formula, he also can have the Duck and Sweet Potato.

Edited by author Sun Jan 6, '13 11:29am PST


High-flyin' Pup!
Barked: Sun Jan 6, '13 4:25pm PST 
One of my customers recently had her dog allergy tested and discovered a severe allergy to peanuts. As it turned out, removing the peanut butter treats from her dog's diet resolved the skin issues that had been plaguing her for almost a year while she tried an assortment of diets and medications.

Barked: Thu Jan 10, '13 11:23am PST 
The skin test is usually less expensive than the blood test, but it can actually 'prime' your dog to further allergic responses. The blood test is done outside the body so it will not prime your dogs body for future responses and you can avoid those potential allergens. The blood test can also test for the levels of IgE's in your dogs blood which will tell you how prone your dog is to allergies, the more IgE's the more prone your dog will be. We went with the blood test and found it to be very beneficial and have since been able to avoid any allergic outbreak in our pupsmile

Hope that helps!!!
Theodore aka- Teddy - **CGC**

Big Head. Big- Heart.
Barked: Thu Jan 10, '13 9:22pm PST 
Thanks everyone!

We are still about a month away from even being able to get tested (waiting period for antihistamines to be fully out of his system), so this helps. I started him on an elimination diet a few weeks ago (all raw, rabbit only) and he seems to be doing much better. We are going to do this for 8 weeks and then I will try to introduce other proteins. Hopefully I can figure it out that way, but if not, I will still go forward with an allergy test. This information helps a lot!
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