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Posted on 06-17-2015

This morning we submitted a serum sample for Idexx Laboratories’ new allergy test.  This was for a cat named Bambi, who has had chronic recurrences of eosinophilic plaques/granulomas.  These are raised, inflamed areas that show up around the lips and mouth.  Sometimes they will show up as red, plaque-like skin lesions elsewhere on the body, too.

The allergy test is a blood test.  This measures IgE antibodies.  These are the antibodies that drive the body’s allergic response.  Elevated levels to specific allergens indicate the capability of having an allergic reaction to those allergens.  The Idexx allergy test will screen for about 50 different allergens, including some specific to Southern California.

Once we find out which allergens Bambi reacts to, we can try to eliminate her exposures to those allergens.  Examples could include household molds or mites, for which environmental control is appropriate.  Sometimes the allergens are out of our control, like airborne pollens, for example.  In this situation we will go to desensitization therapy that involves injections (usually weekly) or, alternatively, oral medication given daily.

Either way—desensitization or elimination—it is better therapy than a dose of Depo-Medrol (injectable methyl-prednisolone every couple of months.  It’s healthy!

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