Do animals (other than humans) have allergies? If so, can they be tested to determine what triggers the allergies?
Dogs and cats can definitely have allergies just like people! They can have food allergies as well as environmental/seasonal allergies. Many animals have mild allergies that can be controlled with antihistamines or food; however, some animals have severe allergies that require year round medications, many of which have significant side effects. In these severe cases there are several options for owners to discuss with their veterinarian. There are veterinarians who specialize in dermatology and many times we recommend consultation with one prior to allergy testing to help determine what would be the most appropriate type of test. There are serum allergy blood tests that can be done to help determine what triggers an allergy. The gold standard allergy test is an intradermal skin test, which is also performed in humans, to help determine allergic triggers. An intradermal skin test is typically done through a dermatologist. Based on those results, the goal is to implement a desensitization protocol to help decrease allergic symptoms. Your veterinarian can help you determine what would be the best route for you and your pet.
Kelly McCarty, DVM