|$ $ Allergy Blood Tests: $200 - $300||$ $ $ Allergy Skin Tests: $275 - $350|
An allergy is a reaction of the immune system to a substance that’s perceived as dangerous to the body.
But not only humans can suffer from allergies: this also happens to our beloved pets.
Dogs and cats can develop different types of allergies that affect their health and general well-being.
If you have noticed that your pet has a certain reaction but you’re not sure about what it means or why is it happening, there are tests specially designed to know if your dog or cat has an allergy.
Let’s review some of the most common allergies in pets, the available tests, and how much they cost.
Table of Contents
Common Causes of Allergies in Pets
Allergies can come from diverse sources, and usually, a pet that has a sensitive immune system will likely be susceptible to various substances or allergens throughout its life.
The most common causes of allergies in pets are flea bites, the sting of an insect, tree pollens, dust, mold, grass, certain medications or shampoos, cigarette smoke, cleaning products, and some types of food.
However, in some cases, the pet can present symptoms that seem to be of an allergy to food when it’s actually an intolerance that has been developed.
That’s also why it’s important to go to the veterinarian and tell them about the symptoms and circumstances, so they can suggest what tests are recommended in that specific case.
Some of the most common symptoms of allergies in pets are: coughing, sneezing, runny nose or eyes, recurring ear or paw infections, itchiness, constant licking, irritated skin, hair loss, vomiting, diarrhea, swelling of the face or part of it, and in the most extreme and life-threatening cases, difficulty breathing.
Allergy Tests for Pets
In order to determine what’s causing your pet to have an allergic reaction, there are mainly three types of tests, blood test, intradermal or skin test, and food elimination diet.
In this case, a blood sample is extracted from your pet at the vet’s and sent to a laboratory that will perform the necessary analysis.
It usually takes two or three weeks to have the final results.
Allergy blood tests tend to cost from $200 to $300.
An intradermal test is the most popular test used to determine if your pet has any allergies.
After sedating the pet, a portion of hair or fur is clipped or shaved, and a set of injections are applied to the area.
If a reaction occurs, then it will show in the specific area where one or several of the injections were given, therefore providing the results of what substances or allergens are affecting that animal.
Since it’s a more invasive and specialized test, and the pet has to be sedated to stay quiet for a certain time, skin tests are more expensive than blood tests.
They can cost from $275 to $350.
Food Elimination Diet
Although home test kits claim that they can tell you if your pet has any food allergies, this is rarely the case.
Most of these are not reliable and only a food elimination diet will give you the most accurate results, according to veterinarians.
In this case, the pet is given a particular type of food for some days or weeks, and this will help to determine what’s causing a negative reaction in your pet’s organism.
You won’t get immediate results with this test but it’s the recommended one if you suspect your pet is allergic to a type of food.
The cost of the test will depend on the food you’re giving to your pet, but specialized diets tend to be more expensive than regular food for animals.
Diagnosing Pet Allergies
In some cases, even after combining tests, it’s just not possible to determine what substance or allergen is affecting the pet.
Allergy tests are not 100% accurate and they won’t always provide a result.