Dog Allergy Blood Test

by tessa

KazakhstanSo it has been another 5 weeks since I started the amended elimination diet with Maddie.

Today the vet and I had our call to evaluate the progress.

Note that I called her today for a few very specific reasons:

  1. Venison roast at $10.99 a pound is not sustainable for this family’s budget
  2. I have boiled and chopped enough potatoes to feed the National Army of Kazakhstan (pretty flag, no?)
  3. Last night, for the 5th (or was it 50th) night in a row Maddie has awakened me licking and scratching her vulva and accompanying regions

The conversation went something like this:

Doc: How’s the scratching?

Me: On the margins somewhat better but she still wakes me up scratching.

Doc: Next step would be an allergy test.

Now at this point I am waiting for her to describe the scratch test. You know the one where they inject small amounts of the allergen and monitor the bumps that form.

But noooooooo……

Me: So the scratch test right?

Doc: No, they now have a blood test that looks at 40 different allergens and it is specific to Southern California (grasses, plants, etc.)

Me: How long have they had that test?

Doc: About 15 years.

What? Wait. WAIT! I have been doing the whole elimination diet thing as a way to try to figure out what is causing Maddie (and me) to be miserable and to save the $1800 plus dollars for allergy testing.

Me: So how much is the blood test?

Doc: $231.00


Maddie went for her $231 allergy blood test today.

The results are back in two weeks.

My money on still on the fact she is allergic to the cat.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather March 4, 2010 at 8:45 AM

We are having very similar experiences. My dog has both environmental allergies and horrible food allergies. While my situation is very much still a work in progress, I’ve had some recent success. I understand the frustration and helplessness so I wanted to share. I highly recommend reading a book called: Dr. Pitcairn’s New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats – there’s a great section on allergies. I also highly recommend Bravo pet food. They have a variety of unique proteins to chose from – so much easier/cheaper than cooking. It’s raw food which some traditional vets scoff at but the changes in my dog have been significant so far. Good luck!!!

Roxanne March 19, 2010 at 7:12 AM

I too have been cooking my dog’s food for several months now. Berkley eats canned Kale, baked Sweet Potatoes, and canned Mackarel. He also gets supplements from the vet because these foods alone are not balanced for him. This has been very expensive and time-consuming. At first, he showed signs of improvement, but now, we’re back near the beginning with his itching.
I’m going to the vet tomorrow to talk about allergy testing by bloodwork. Then, I guess I’ll start with the allergy shots.
I saw the Bravo food in our local pet store. They also had Primal, which seemed to have included some of the supplements you’d have to use with Bravo.
I also found this food called EVO by Natura. It’s a kibble food, which I’d really like to get back to.
Once I find out what Berkley’s allergic to, I hope to be able to go to a more reasonable food.
If not, Berkley will have to get a job to help support all this!! 🙂
Good luck to you all!

Rob March 19, 2010 at 10:05 AM

@Heather and @Roxanne
The results of the blood work came back and the number one thing that Maddie is allergic to is…ME! Yes, human dander is her number one allergen. I’ll be writing about it soon!

A. Hammes August 10, 2010 at 6:45 PM

I too am going thru allergy issues with my Great Dane Oliver. Started when he was 8 months old (4 months ago). After spending $1400 in one month on anti-histimines;steroids,and antibiotics to clear up all the secondary infections (yeast,staph) and his ridiculiously priced hypo-allergenic food, it’s time to stop the vicious cycle and get a real clue as to what is itchin my Oli!! Appt for the 20th hoping for some answers! I got a giggle when I read Rob’s post that his dog is allergic to human dander because I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what my boy is allergic too! time to hire a housekeeper!!! Good luck and would love to hear more on what’s happened with everyones allergy issues!

Rob August 10, 2010 at 6:49 PM

Good luck! Trying to find the right combination of food and medication to address Maddie’s issues is a full time job.

TPrice March 7, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Finding a local Animal Dermatologist would answer all of your questions considering that they study and deal with Allergies everyday. They would be able to explain to you the difference in Food and Pollen allergy AND save you money! Lastly,Blood tests are as accurate as skin testing. So before you spend that money check into it. Ask you regular vet about the closest Dermatologist. Skin testing can be the same cost as that blood test. BUT get better results.
TRUST ME! been there, done that! I work in this field!

Jan June 5, 2011 at 1:03 PM

We have a golden retriever , Presley, that is 8 months old. Severe allergies for the past 4 months and continuing to get worse. The snesitive skin shampoo and conditioner didn’t help. Benadryl doesn’t work and now she is on Royal Canin Venision and potato both dry and canned but can’t see any change. How do you go about getting this blood test? Poor Presely

tessa June 5, 2011 at 2:32 PM

I am assuming the blood test is readily available at your vet.

FYI my kids have been on Royal Canin limited ingredient diet (duck, venison wet / duck, venison, rabbit, fish dry) for over a year.

Linda September 5, 2011 at 6:27 AM

My last furbaby developed a nasty skin condition the last 7 yrs of her 11 yrs. I tried everything to help her, unsuccessfully. It almost always reared it’s ugly head each Aug. ripping her apart for about 4 mos. Most of the time leaving the 100# babygirl 90% bald & reeking from infection. I honestly believe I covered all my bases from putting her on BARF to NEVER allowing her to set any of her paws on grass. I swore up & down if she ever crossed over to Rainbow Bridge I’d never go through that again w/another furbaby. Well, she crossed RB a couple of yrs ago:(. About 3 mos. ago I became owed by my new puppy @ 10 wks old. He appeared to be totally healthy for about 2 wks. Lo & behold! My new baby also suffers w/that incredibly rotten allergy skin ailment. Again I’m @ my wits end trying everything under the sun to help him, with no prevail. I just don’t get it.

Ann February 8, 2012 at 8:04 PM

did the blood allergy test— my pooch tested positve for about 10 things! No exaggeration. One item includes an area of vague grasses….was it helpful or not?

Cynthia February 16, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Scratch test is best. I am in the “human side of the business” but allergy testing on animals is close. Some vets do the scratch test but it’s hard to find them. You will just have to google your area away. Many vets will admit the blood test is NOT reliable. Also, sublingual therapy which is drops under the dogs tongues once a day can be done too. It’s close…..
Blood testing for pets…Booooooo

Bonny March 27, 2012 at 1:07 PM

My Nibbles also had that allergy test – his results surprised me as he’s apparently allergic to many things (wheat, potatos, chicken, etc) We tried a bunch of allergy-specific foods too but it was hard at first to find something without potatos. Last week we tried this brand new Natural Balance dry dog food formula called Legume & Duck Meal and so far so good! He likes it and has not had a break-out.

Carol March 15, 2014 at 8:42 PM

My dog is suffering from allergies I have had him to the vet a million times I have an allergy test in 10 days for him can I give him Benadryl while waiting to have blood test done

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