Questions and Answers about Dog Allergy Testing | EasyDNA South Africa

How can allergies be treated?

Allergies can be managed by avoiding the allergens which trigger the allergy. It is also possible to manage the allergies through the use of medication or medicated shampoos – however, many times such treatments only mask a problem without finding the root cause. Importantly, allergies cannot actually be treated but rather managed – if a dog has an allergy, there are no actual cures that will make that allergy disappear.

Do different dog breeds suffer from different allergies?

Yes, different dog breeds may be more susceptible to specific allergies.

The following are some breeds that are sensitive to issues with food and/or airborne allergies: Maltese terrier, Pekingese, German Shepherd, Bull Terriers, Bichon Frise, English Cocker Spaniel, Brussels Griffon, American Hairless Terrier, Bohemian Terrier, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, American Pit Bull Terrier, Wire-Haired Fox Terrier, Chinese Crested/Powderpuff, Poodle, Irish Setter, English Bulldog, Pugs.

What are the most common symptoms that are exhibited in dogs with allergies?

  • Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin
  • Increased scratching
  • Itchy, runny eyes
  • Itchy ears and ear infections
  • Sneezing
  • Diarrhea
  • Snoring
  • Constant licking

What are the most typical allergens?

  • Mold spores
  • Dust and house dust mites
  • Medications
  • Insecticidal shampoo
  • Rubber and plastic

What is the difference between blood, skin and allergy testing?

Blood tests measure the IgG and IgE antibodies against an allergen. These antibodies can only be detected by blood fractionation (the process of separating blood into its various components), which is considered as both labour-intensive and expensive. In addition, since blood antibodies have a delayed immune response, food sensitivities cannot be accurately detected.

Skin prick tests are somewhat similar to blood tests as they also detect IgE antibodies against an allergen. However, the results are obtained faster. It is important to note that both blood and skin testing identify true allergies (anaphylactic responses) whereas DNA testing measures sensitivities and not just severe or life-threatening allergies.

DNA tests (saliva-based) measure IgA and IgM antibodies that are produced by the dog’s mucous membrane in response to allergens which they are sensitive to. Hence, these antibodies are measured in order to identify your dog’s sensitivities. Apart from the fact that saliva-based testing is painless, it is also accurate and affordable.

What does the Dog Allergy test check for?

EasyDNA’s Dog Allergy test measures your dog’s intolerances and sensitivities using igA and igM measurements. This is recognized by many as the most accurate method to measure your pet’s sensitivities. These proteins are present in the dog's saliva.

How old should my dog be before I test?

The Dog Allergy test can identify sensitivities at any age. However, puppies tend to experience quick changes in their physiology and the sensitivities they have under 6 months of age may completely change as they grow. It is therefore suggested that the dog being tested is over 6 months of age in order to identify specific allergens that may affect them as they grow older.

Can the dog eat before I collect the sample?

No, the dog being tested should not be fed before the sample is collected as this may negatively affect the test results. We therefore recommend that the sample is collected first thing in the morning before they eat. In case this is not possible, we suggest that you wait for the longest possible period between meals before collecting the sample.

Can my dog be on medication when I collect the sample?

There are a number of different drugs and medications that can affect your test results and these include antihistamines and steroids. If the dog being tested is taking any of these, please do not collect the sample until they have been off them for at least 48 hours.

Why is the red dot not appearing on the collection device?

If you collected the saliva sample as we instructed but you cannot see the red dot on the collection device you can try to push through the saliva you collected in the extra collection tube. If you see that some saliva comes through, there should be enough there for us to be able to get you an accurate test result.

I am having a difficult time collecting a sample from my small dog

The collection device we provide you with can be quite challenging for smaller dogs. This means that you might not get the sample on the first attempt and you should keep trying. Please make sure to check if any saliva comes through when you put the dog’s sample in the collection tube. Giving your dog water to drink can increase your chances of collecting the sample.

Please note that if you have a small dog you should have selected the option to have a kit sent for a smaller dog upon ordering.

 

 Read more about our Dog Allergy test. You can also check out other Dog DNA tests we offer.

DNA My Dog Breed Test
Dog Parentage Test
Dog Inherited Disease & Trait Test
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