An allergic reaction is one in which an individual reacts to a normal substance in the environment. These substances are called allergens and include pollens, molds, animal hair, house dust, fleas, foods and many more. Allergens cause reactions through skin contact, inhalation or ingestion. Allergic animals possess IgE antibodies to the specific allergens. These antibodies cause biochemical changes in the body which produce allergy symptoms.
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Dogs and cats, just like humans, can have allergies. More than 30% of all skin irritations in these animals can be attributed to allergies. The right approach (i.e. diagnostic tool and hyposensitization methodology) can set you on the best path towards happy, symptom-free (or greatly reduced) patients and satisfied pet parents.
Allergens are cumulative in their effect on animals. The more allergens an animal is exposed to at any one time increases the chance of allergy symptoms, as well as the extent of the reaction. The easiest way to picture this “threshold” phenomenon is to think of drops of water in a bucket, sooner or later the bucket will overflow, much as the immune system “overflows” beyond it’s threshold. For this reason, time of a symptom’s onset is not necessarily an indication of what the animal is allergic to. An animal with food and pollen allergies may only show symptoms in the summer (pollen count at its highest) because the pollens push it over the threshold.
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. This packet will provide you with all the supplies and tools you will need to determine if this is the best option for your client. If you still have questions or would like for one of our friendly staff to assist you writing up or reviewing your first few orders, you can contact us at (800) 553-1391
Do you want to provide a resource for your pet parents general allergy questions? We have pet parent portion of our website www.vetallergy.com/pet-parent
, feel free to link to us or refer your pet parents over.
Simply draw a small sample of blood, spin down, pour off the required 3-5mls of serum in the plastic tubes provided by Spectrum and submit with the necessary order and history forms. If you utilize our pre-paid FedEx labels the samples will arrive within 2 business days. We will then test your patient for sensitivity to inhalants such as pollens from trees, grasses, weeds and shrubs, fungi, house dust and mites, as well as for a host of food types used as ingredients in commercial dog and cat food preparations or based on the panel you select. Check out our free retesting program
The best form of treatment for allergies is avoidance of the offending allergens. In most cases, however, this is not possible. Steroid drugs are often used for short-term relief of symptoms, but prolonged use of steroids can have serious side effects. Hyposensitization (allergy shots) is another alternative. In this case, treatment sets are formulated specifically for your patients based on their allergy test results. The treatments (injections) are given in increasing concentrations. This builds up tolerance of the animal to the offending allergens so it can live more comfortably in its environment, without the worry of side effects.
Some allergy symptoms dissipate with time and treatment. In other cases animals may require continued “allergy shots” to maintain tolerance to the allergens in question. With adherence to the treatment schedule, one can expect an excellent chance of elimination of or reduced dependence on steroid drugs. Improvement in most cases is seen after 3-5 months of treatment, at which stage shots are given monthly.
Since dogs and cats cannot be hyposensitized to foods, elimination is the only form of treatment in the case of food allergies. We have been successful in treating food allergies by recommending the avoidance of anything that has a reaction when tested. Should your patient test positive to foods, Spectrum Labs will supply you with a list of commercially available foods free from the ingredients to which your pet tested positive.
Adverse reactions are extremely rare, and any reactions if they do occur, should only be temporary and non-life threatening.