Skin problem is a very commonly seen in pets in Singapore. Our veterinarians may perform a few tests and recommend some diagnostic steps such as anti-ectoparasite and hypoallergenic diet trials to facilitate diagnosis of the underlying cause of the skin disease. However, depending on the clinical findings and results of the initial tests and trials, allergy testing may be recommended when atopic dermatitis (allergic skin problem) is suspected.
Blood tests are now available to identify the environmental allergen(s) your dog/cat may be suffering from. This is especially suitable for pets which cannot have prolonged corticosteroid, antibiotic and antifungal treatments, due to age or health reasons. Allergy testing can point the way to immunotherapy, which usually follows the diagnosis. This is a process that involves desensitizing your pet to the known aggravating allergen(s).
Some of the allergens the test is able to identify includes:
- House dust mites
- Insects (3 types)
- Fungi (15 types)
- Grass pollens (9 types)
- Weed pollens (10 types)
- Tree pollens (12 types)
- Indoor substances (8 types)
Example of Allergy Test conducted
Once the test identifies the offending agent, it is given a series of highly diluted concentrations of allergens to reduce the body’s reactions to it. Over time, the body may get used to it and stops mounting an allergic reaction to the allergen.
If your pet has been living with red itchy skin and chronic ear problems, allergy testing may benefit them.