"Atopic dermatitis" (environmental allergy) is one of the most common skin conditions in dogs and cats and in many cases, symptomatic treatment can be challenging, frustrating and limited outcome or diverse adverse reactions might be observed. In addition to a symptomatic medical treatment, there is a possibility of allergen specific immunotherapy (also called hyposensitization) as the only etiological therapeutic intervention.
In order to achieve a successful hyposensitization, the initial correct choice of allergens for the immunotherapy solution is absolutely crucial. The identification of those allergens is either based on a blood or a skin test. Even if - according to several studies - these tests are relatively comparable in their reliability, the past has shown that some dogs do not develop a specific serum "IgE" and thus, their blood results will result either wrong or even completely negative. Furthermore, for some dogs a standard serum allergy test might not offer enough relevant allergens for a proper testing. Some authors even doubt in the reproducability of serum allergy tests (so they expect different results if the tests are repeated). A reliable alternative can be found in an intradermal allergy test.
The Department for Dermatology and Allergology of the Veterinary Specialist Hospital Stuttgart Plieningen is glad to offer you and your beloved four-legged friend a skin allergy test (intradermal test with 50 environmental allergens, similar to the "Prick Test" in human medicine). In most patients, we recommend a light sedation for the test to make it more comfortable for the patient and the specialist, but in very relaxed animals, the test can also be performed completely awake. The procedure will take about 1 hour time and you can choose to either attend the test or leave your pet for a few hours in hospital with us and pick it up after the test is completed. Afterwards we will discuss the test results and print them out for you. Of course, we will also send the results to your private veterinarian, if requested.
Finally, an immunotherapy solution can be produced based on the highly-positive test results (in case of logical relevance), which will then be applied in a patient-specific time interval and route of application. If not otherwise desired, we will make the decision on the required allergens, order the solution and perform the first (updosing) injections in form of a rushimmunotherapy, so the further treatment can easily be conducted by your private veterinarian. Therefore, after the first injections, you will get the desensitization solution from us to take it either home or to your private veterinarian (whatever you prefer) where it should be stored in the refridgerator. After the test, we will gladly continue to assist you in therapy and dosing questions in our hospital, via phone or email.