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Are hair analysis, cytotoxic, electrodermal, and genetic tests suitable for allergy and food intolerance diagnosis?

Allergy is a prevalent and potentially harmful health issue that can significantly impact the well-being of your pets throughout their lifespan if left untreated. The immune system's hypersensitivity to specific substances, known as allergens, triggers inflammation, resulting in symptoms such as swelling, redness, and itching in pets (source: Pet Preferred DX). These symptoms can make the lives of both pets and their owners extremely challenging and sometimes miserable. Therefore, it is crucial to address this condition promptly, aiming to restore normalcy to the lives of pets and their owners. The initial step in treating pet allergies involves an accurate diagnosis.

Upon suspecting an allergy in your pet, a veterinarian may recommend tests to identify harmful allergens. Various allergy tests for dogs and cats are available, including skin tests, blood tests, and a food-elimination diet. It's worth noting that the World Allergy Organization recognizes and approves skin and blood tests as valid diagnostic tools (World Allergy Organization Journal, Vol.13, No 2, February 2020).

However, it's essential to be cautious about alternative tests, such as hair analysis, cytotoxic tests, and electrodermal tests, which are deemed unacceptable by both veterinarians and human doctors. Additionally, genetic tests are predictive and lack correlation with clinical symptoms.

The primary purpose of testing for specific allergens that trigger severe immune reactions and harmful symptoms is to formulate immunotherapy to treat pets effectively. Companies offering immunotherapy must have a prescription signed by a veterinarian. It is crucial to emphasize that prescriptions for immunotherapy should be based solely on skin or serological test results. Veterinarians do not endorse the results of hair analysis, cytotoxic tests, or electrodermal tests, despite their availability online at a lower cost. These unapproved tests should not be relied upon for diagnosis or immunotherapy prescription.

When selecting an allergy test for your pet, exercise caution and consult your veterinarian if your pet is exhibiting symptoms. The recommended approach is to consider skin or serological testing for a more accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.



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