Diagnosing Dog's Allergies to Fleas with Serologic Allergy Testing

A dog's allergies can influence his overall life in many different ways. You may find that your pet suffers from allergies to ingredients in his food, to particles in the air around him, to chemicals that may be around the house or even to parasites like fleas. Your dog's allergic reaction may be mild or severe. Regardless, it's important to determine exactly what the cause of the reaction is. Once you've isolated the offending allergen that prompts your pet to have his negative reaction, you can then move to alter your pet's diet, environment or other issues in order to remove the allergen from his system. Serologic testing is a good way to do that, although the procedure is relatively new.

Serologic Allergy Testing Overview

Serologic allergy testing is a means of testing whether an animal is allergic to certain things through a blood sample. In traditional means of allergy testing, there were two primary methods of isolating the offending allergen. The first was an experiment in which multiple compounds were injected in minute amounts into the dog's body in order to determine which ones gave some sort of a reaction. In a second method, certain ingredients or other potential allergens are introduced into a dog's food or environment one at a time in a sort of elimination procedure. While both of these methods still exist and can be used with success to determine a dog's allergies, serologic testing is faster and easier.

Serologic testing samples a small portion of your dog's blood. In the laboratory, technicians mix the blood with various compounds which are derived from common offending allergens. The reaction with the blood can show a sensitivity or an allergy to the potential problem without having to bother the pet further at all.

Flea Allergy Testing

Fleas and other parasites can be included in allergy testing of this type as well. It's noninvasive and is very quick and easy. Your vet will simply draw a small sample of your dog's blood in order to give it to the lab for testing. The same procedure will be executed in the lab in order to determine whether your pet suffers from an allergy to fleas or some other parasite.

Once you've confirmed that your pet does have a flea allergy, or if you've disproved the idea that he has an allergy of this type, you and your vet can consult to determine what the next steps will be. This typically either involves eliminating the flea presence in your home in order to rid your pet of fleas and his allergic reaction, or of continuing to search for the offending allergen through additional testing. Because of the wide ranging potential of serologic allergy testing, your pet's blood can also be used to test for other things as well, even at the same time.