Animal Allergy & Dermatology Center of Central TX

2207 Lake Austin Boulevard
Austin, TX 78703

(512)477-4824

www.aadcaustin.com

Should My Pet Have an Allergy Test?

If your pet has any of the following symptoms, an intradermal allergy test should be considered to identify enivironmental/insect allergies:

  • Excessive itching and scratching
  • Licking/chewing of patch of skin, hair, tail, paw
  • Discoloration (redness) of the skin
  • Recurring skin infections
  • Recurring ear infections
  • Unpleasant odor from skin, hair, or ears
  • Recurring rashes
  • Hair loss
  • Face rubbing

What are the Benefits of Allergy Testing?

Intradermal Allegy Testing (IDAT) identifies the exact environmental and insect allergens to which your pet is allergic, thus allowing treatment to focus on stopping symptoms at their origin.  This approach allows you to break the frustrating cycle of reactions, infections, and treatments which provide only temporary relief and cost you time and money.

After testing, Allegy Specific Immunotherapy (ASIT) is utilized to desensitize your pet to their allergy triggers.  ASIT is a disease-modifying therapy in which small amounts of the substances your pet is allergic to are introduced into their system on a regular basis in order to retrain their immune system. Your pet should start responding to treatments in 3-12 months, greatly reducing the frequency and duration of symptoms. 

As ASIT uses only substances found in nature to teach your pet's body to not overreact to allergens, it is much safer and easier than constantly treating allergic reactions with costly medications which may have harmful side effects.

What is the Process?

While your pet comfortably snoozes with the help of light sedation, Dr. Nichols shaves a rectangle of hair from their side and introduces small amounts of local allergens into the skin.  He then utilizes his over twenty years of experience administering allergy tests to interpret the inflammatory response of each allergen.  

At the time of intradermal skin testing, we also obtain a blood sample which we send to a specialized dermopathological laboratory for serology allergy testing.  Dr. Nichols then cross references the blood testing results with the skin testing results to formulate an antigen personalized to your pet's test results. This antigen will be used to desensitize your pet's immune system to their specific allergies.

How Do I Prepare?

  • A dermatological examination must be performed by Dr. Nichols in order to diagnose and treat infectious causes of skin disease.
  • On the day of testing, do not feed your pet breakfast; water is fine.
  • Topical medications, including shampoos and sprays, that contain steroids and antihistamines should be discontinued 2 weeks prior to testing.
  • Oral antihistamines should be discontinued 1 week prior to testing.
  • Oral and injectable steroids should be avoided for 6 weeks prior to testing.
  • There are alternatives to steroid and antihistamine products that we can use in order to lessen itching during the time leading up to the allergy testing.

What Happens After Testing?

AADC will custom-make your pet's ASIT antigen which you will administer at home through either sublingual (under the tongue) drops or subcutaneous (under the skin) injections. Drops are given twice daily, while injections are given once weekly after the initial month. The chosen method is determined by the number of allergens your pet is allergic to as well as your preference.  AADC will give you a free demonstration appointment to learn the simple process.  Your pet is then on the path to a healthier, happier life!