Does Insurance Cover Allergy Testing
The answer depends on when you signed up for pet insurance. The allergies in your pet are considered pre-existing if they appeared before you purchased a pet insurance policy. Nonetheless, if your dog begins showing symptoms of allergies after the policys effective date and after all waiting periods have passed, allergies may be covered.
If your prescribes allergy testing and your dogs allergies arent a pre-existing condition, your dog will be eligible for coverage by your pet insurance provider.
Determining Which Type Of Allergies Your Dog Is Experiencing
There are several primary types of dog allergies, including:
- Atopy: Allergen is inhaled or could be airborne and affect the skin upon contact .
- Contact allergy: Allergen contacts the skin. Major causes include skin reactions to a flea collar, plants, fabrics, chemicals, creams, and many other materials. Definitely check with your vet to better understand the cause.
- Insect bite: If your dog is allergic to fleas, bees, wasps, or arachnids like spiders, an allergic reaction can occur after your pup is bitten by one of these pests. Symptoms often include swelling, itchiness, skin irritation and redness, and, in severe cases, trouble breathing.
- Respiratory allergies: Similar to common human seasonal allergies, respiratory allergies are caused when a dog breathes in an airborne allergen such as pollen, dust, smoke, or a household spray or cleaning agent. Common symptoms to watch for might be coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and trouble breathing .
- Food allergies: Allergen is ingested and causes issues such as skin irritation, vomiting, upset stomach, and/or diarrhea.
Testing your dog to determine which type of allergies she’s suffering from will help you treat and prevent future allergic reactions.
When Should I Get My Dog Tested For Allergies
If your dog got a little bit pink that 1 time a few months ago, you probably dont need to worry about allergy testing, yet. Its when you start to notice a more consistent problem lasting more than a day or two. Then it is time to think about getting it looked at.
When allergies present themselves, it is most commonly in itching of the skin. Its very similar to a human allergic reaction, in that sense. Hives, pinkness, swelling, and scratching. In some cases, it also will cause diarrhea and vomiting. The stress level of the dog should be your indicator. If they are stressed out, take them in.
Don’t Miss: Wal Phed D Sinus And Allergy
What Are The Costs Of Allergy Testing
The total cost of allergy testing is usually in the range of $500-775 plus the cost of the exam and any other necessary treatment or medication. Allergen specific immunotherapy if indicated by the allergy test is an additional cost and will be discussed when we contact you to go over results, but typically ranges about $450-850 a year.
Testing For Environmental Allergies
Environmental allergens are a common culprit behind atopy and sneezing in dogs. A number of environmental factors can cause allergies, including dust mites and pollen.
As we mentioned, many of these allergens are unavoidable, so testing for environmental allergies is usually only worth your time and energy if you plan on pursuing immunotherapy to treat your dog’s allergies.
All of the tests for environmental allergies require a veterinarian or laboratory for analysis. Here are the options for environmental allergy testing.
At-Home Test Kits
Because they don’t require a vet appointment, at-home allergy testing is becoming more popular with pet owners. At-home test kits typically cost between $100$300. To perform the test, you’ll use a swab to collect a saliva sample from inside your dog’s cheek. You’ll package the sample and send it back to the test manufacturer.
The manufacturer will run saliva tests, looking for specific allergen antibodies in your dog’s saliva. Manufacturers of at-home allergen and intolerance tests claim their kits can detect everything from severe allergies to mild intolerances.
In addition to environmental allergens, these tests look for food sensitivities. However, according to the Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University, saliva tests don’t produce accurate test results for food sensitivities, and they can lead to a lot of false positives. You’ll get much more accurate results using an elimination diet to diagnose food sensitivities.
Recommended Reading: Can My Cat Have Allergies
Does Pet Insurance Cover Allergy Testing
Most pet insurance covers some level of allergy testing and medication if symptoms develop after you sign your pet up for insurance. Many insurance companies dont provide coverage for pre-existing conditions, so if you wait until after your dog has symptoms before getting insurance its possible that your coverage will be denied. Even if your insurance doesnt cover allergy testing, it might cover prescription medications including allergy meds. Its important to read your contract carefully to learn what your insurance covers in regards to allergies. Pet insurance doesnt usually cover home allergy tests.
When Should I Consider Getting My Dog Tested For Allergies
Pups with food allergies or intolerances can exhibit any of these symptoms, but environmental factors typically dont cause gastrointestinal problems.
- Itchy, red, moist, or scabby skin
- Constant scratching or licking
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
If these symptoms are severe and ongoing, its in your and your dogs best interest to test your pup for allergies especially if youve tried and failed to determine the cause on your own. We recommend you schedule an initial consultation with your vet to discuss your pups symptoms, their frequency, and when they occur. For example, if your dog only has symptoms during warmer months, then outdoor seasonal allergens are likely to blame.
Your vet may have some suspects in mind once you share all of this information and can determine if testing is worth it based on your pups symptoms and your financial situation. Another course of action is for you to come to your vet visit armed with results from an at-home dog test. Well discuss these in more detail below and whether theyre worth considering.
Don’t Miss: How Do People Get Allergies
Best Dog Allergy Testing Kits Of 2022
So, what is the best dog allergy testing at home? Our top selections of dog allergy testing are based on various factors, including prices, customer reviews, proven substances, results, and more.
We review the three best allergy tests for dogs to help you choose the right one for your beloved puppy.
Special Offers And Discounts
The price of the Dog Allergy test is $104.
A second or third Dog Allergy test for your other dog or maybe for a relative or a friend can be purchased at $94 . You can also benefit from a $14 discount if you decide to order a Dog Breed Test with your Dog Allergy test. In addition, we are offering our clients the opportunity to purchase a premium package priced at $195 including 3 Dog tests, the Dog Genetic Age test, Breed test and Allergy test. Make use of our discounted prices to understand even better your beloved pet!
Recommended Reading: Allergy And Asthma Associates Of Northern California
Dog Breeds That Need Allergy Testing The Most
If you own a breed predisposed to allergies, you should monitor your dog for any adverse allergic reactions and consider testing your dog for allergies.
According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, these are the dog breeds most predisposed to developing allergies include:
- Chinese Shar-Pei
- West Highland White Terriers
Other breeds include pugs, Maltese terrier, Pekingese, Bichon Frise, German Shepherd, Pitbulls, Yorkies, and Poodle. However, any dog breed can be allergic.
The age of allergy onset for dogs is generally between 6 months and 3 years. Signs are usually seasonal but may be seen all year.
What Allergy Tests Are Available For Dogs
There are two main types of allergy testing for dogs used by veterinarians to identify environmental allergens that may be causing a reaction in animals. These are intradermal skin and serum-based tests. Both can be useful, but they work in different ways and have different strengths and weaknesses.
Read Also: Natural Remedies For Dogs With Allergies
Strands Pet Food & Environmental Intolerance Test
- Tests for over 275 food allergens
- Tests for over 100 environmental allergens
- Easy hair collection
The 5Strands Pet Food & Environmental Intolerance Test has become a trendy product and has a lot of positive customer reviews. This test scans 10-15 strands of your pets hair using bioresonance technology, which is often used in holistic medicine. Bioresonance measures electromagnetic waves emitted from your dogs hair. It does not test for IgE or other antibodies.
As 5Strands explains bioresonance on their website, All particles of matter share the characteristics of both waves and particles and emit electromagnetic waves. Each person, microbe, food substance, or toxin has its own unique wavelength or frequency with individual characteristics. This includes all the cells in the body as well as substances such as pollens, toxins, viruses, bacteria, food, etc.
This 5Strands kit tests for nearly 380 food and environmental substances that could be causing your dogs body to be out of balance, i.e., items that could be causing sensitivity or intolerance. Results are color-coded: red for a severe intolerance, yellow for moderate, green for mild, and gray for no response. The report is a lot to take in, only because they include all 380 substances, and its not as detailed as EasyDNAs report.
Why Diagnosing A Food Allergy In Pets Isnt Always Simple
The difficulty with diagnosing food allergies is that they share symptoms with a lot of other skin conditions. Many, many things cause itchy-scratchy pets, including fleas and skin disease. Allergies to dust and pollen look an awful lot like allergies to food. And, while diarrhea can be a tip-off that something in your pets tummy isnt right, it can also be caused by everything from parasites to bacterial infections to stress.
Thats where veterinary know-how can help. Your veterinary team can run recommended testing, provide tips on elimination diets, and provide guidelines on how to introduce new foods. We can also advise on which quality pet foods and formulations are designed to help your uncomfortable pet.
Read Also: How Much Omega 3 For Dogs With Allergies
Dog Food Allergy Tests: Do They Work And Are They Worth It
There are several types of dog food allergy tests, but a food trial is your best option
If you read any dog magazines or participate in any dog owners social media groups, you have probably seen information about a number of new dog food allergy tests. Conventionally, allergy testing was performed only by a veterinarian. Now, however, there are an increasing number of companies claiming to offer home allergy tests that can diagnose your dogs allergies with just a small fur or saliva sample.
Despite these apparent new advances, the ideal method of diagnosing canine food allergies continues to be the food trial. Intradermal testing and blood allergy tests can be beneficial in the case of other allergies, but are typically not helpful in the case of food allergies. At-home allergy tests are largely regarded as unreliable. If you are feeding your pup the best dog food for allergies and your dog continues to have skin issues, a conversation with your veterinarian can help you determine the next steps for your dog.
What Is The Best Medicine For Dog Food Allergies
Food allergies can wreak havoc on a dogs body if not addressed. If your pup is currently struggling with food allergies, youre likely wondering what you can give Fido for relief. Our experts show you the safest and most effective allergy treatments to help your dog in our best allergy medicine for dogs article.
Don’t Miss: Stuffy Nose Allergies Or Cold
Dog Food Intolerance Vs Dog Allergies: The Difference & How These Tests Can Help
A food intolerance response occurs in the digestive system. It occurs when your dog cant properly break down certain foods. This could be due to enzyme deficiencies, sensitivity to food additives, or reactions to naturally occurring chemicals in foods.
In contrast, a dog food allergic reaction involves the immune system. For instance, if your dog is allergic to any ingredient in the diet , your dogs immune system identifies that ingredient as a threat. It reacts by producing antibodies called Immunoglobulin E . These antibodies travel to cells that release chemicals, causing an allergic reaction.
Factors Affecting Dog Allergy Test Cost
Here is a list of items that can cause the price of your test to go up or down
- Depending on where in the country you live, testing can be a bit more or less expensive
- Testing multiple dogs for allergies
- Inconclusive test results will require follow-ups which can ring up the cost
- Testing for specific allergens
- Pre or post-test procedures such as sedation for skin allergy testing and exam fees
Read Also: Can Allergies Cause Chest Pain
Why Should You Submit Your Dog On Allergy Testing
Allergy testing is a way to get a positive diagnosis for food allergies, contact allergies, or atopy allergies. Symptoms like scratching, licking the feet, chewing, and red, irritated skin are all clear signs of atopy in the dog or cat. Next to the flea bite, atopy is by far the most common cause of allergies in dogs.
This is where quick home kits for dog allergy testing come in handy. When an allergy to a specific substance is identified, the dog can receive immunotherapy in the form of hyposensitisation injections.
How Can Dog Food Intolerances Tests Help Deal With Dog Allergies
Because food intolerances can cause some of the same signs and symptoms as food allergies, dog owners often confuse the two.
Dogs that foods that trigger intolerances can leave them feeling miserable. However, if they have a true food allergy, their bodys reaction to this food could be life-threatening. Testing your pup for food intolerances can help you clarify whether they have an allergy or intolerance. This can help your vet determine the proper treatment and make any necessary dietary adjustments.
Testing your dog for allergies and intolerances is useful because food intolerances and food allergies can occur in dogs of any breed and at any age. The longer your dog is exposed to a particular food or brand, the more likely a dog is to develop food allergies or intolerances.3This is the number one reason why feeding your dog the same thing for many months and years is not advised.
Knowing what foods your dog cant tolerate can help you buy a safe formula and remove those ingredients from his diet that could otherwise cause more severe problems down the road or even turn into allergies.
Read Also: Can Seasonal Allergies Cause Upset Stomach
What Medications Do I Need To Avoid Before My Pet Is Allergy Tested
Steroid tablets such as prednisone, Temaril-P, Vetalog, or Medrol should be stopped 2 to 4 weeks prior to allergy testing. The waiting period may be considerably longer if injectable steroids have been used. Consult your veterinarian before stopping a steroid as a gradual withdrawal period may be recommended. Steroid-containing eye and ear drops should also be stopped 7-10 days prior to the test, if possible. Atopica and antihistamines such as Benadryl, hydroxyzine, Zyrtec, and chlorpheniramine must be stopped at least 7 days prior to allergy testing. Apoquel® and Cytopoint® are okay to continue as they will not affect test results.
Certain sedatives/tranquilizers and other behavior medications can also interfere with certain types of allergy testing. Please check with us prior to testing, but do not stop any medications unless directed to do so.
What Causes Dog Food Allergies
Just like humans, dogs develop allergies to certain food over time.
Dogs food allergies are predominantly caused by proteins, especially dairy products, beef, lamb, chicken, chicken eggs, soy, or gluten . While proteins are the most common source of allergens, virtually any food ingredient can produce an allergy. Substances like additives, colorants, and preservatives can also be responsible.
There is ongoing research to identify what makes the immune system more likely to express that trait during early puppyhood. Puppies treated with antibiotics can be more susceptible to health problems like allergies later in life because antibiotics change the environment inside the gut, which is the largest immune organ in a dogs body.
Susan Wynn, an internationally known expert on holistic pet care and former president of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, recommends that young puppies be on canine probiotics up to six months to one year of age and give them a diet thats fairly high in variety.4
Don’t Miss: Where To Apply Essential Oils For Allergies
Allergy Tests Without A Doctors Exam Usually Are Not Reliable
Many drugstores and supermarkets offer free screenings. And you can even buy kits to test for allergies yourself at home. But the results of these tests may be misleading.
- The tests may say you have an allergy when you do not. This is called a false positive.
- These free tests and home tests for food allergies are not always reliable.
Types Of Allergy Testing For Dogs
There are two main types of allergy testing for dogs: blood allergy testing and intradermal allergy testing. Every type of canine allergy test is given differently and has advantages and disadvantages.
However, the following points contain both types of dog allergy tests:
A veterinarian can also order a hypoallergenic 12-week dogs diet to exclude food allergies. Food allergies are difficult to detect with the help of both allergy test methods and therefore determined via diet manipulation. Once all these options are excluded, the vet orders blood allergy testing or skin allergy testing to determine the presence of dog allergies.
Recommended Reading: Allergy Test Cost Without Insurance