Pet Preferred Diagnostics: Serving the Veterinary Community with the latest scientific technologies
We are celebrating the second anniversary of Pet Preferred Diagnostics, the company that uses the latest commercially developed technologies to test for allergy, food intolerance and more. New immunoblot technologies have allowed us to have the most sensitive and specific test (the IgE test), as well as a 24-hour turnaround time for the results.
Our laboratory has the largest 100-allergen panel for canine, feline and equine tests and we also offer the most competitive pricing. Furthermore, it is very important to note that our technologies only require 1 ml of serum for the largest allergy panels and only 0.5 ml of serum for the other tests. This allows some spare volume in case the laboratory needs to rerun a test for any reason. The low volume of serum that is required has already helped pets that are hard to collect blood from, inclusive of small dog breeds and cats.
Every allergy test performed by our laboratory is monitored with the cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants (CCD) marker, responsible for the phenomenon of cross-reactivity. In the case of cross-reactivity detection, anti-CCD absorbent is used to eliminate anti-CCD IgE antibodies and enhance the diagnostic sensitivity.
The serological food intolerance test (the IgG test) is only offered by Pet Preferred Diagnostics and is rapidly gaining popularity. Food intolerance and food allergy are abnormal physiological responses (also called an adverse food reaction) to some foods, food ingredients, or food additives. The majority of signs and symptoms of food allergy and food intolerance in dogs, cats and horses are similar or even overlap, and are mostly categorized by skin and gastrointestinal problems.
However, the pathophysiological mechanisms of these two adverse reactions to food (allergy, and food intolerance) are different. Food allergy is an involved IgE-mediated immune response, while food intolerance is non-immunological and covers a large group of adverse food reactions, mostly involving the digestive system. This includes problems such as absence of particular enzymes required for some food digestion or the ability to absorb nutrients.
Food intolerance occurs at the primary exposure to some foods, while food allergy requires several exposures before signs become visible. A food allergy often occurs unexpectedly after your pet has been eating the same food for a long time with no problems. In the modern world, food intolerance can be even more common in dogs and cats than food allergies.
The reliability of serological IgE or IgG tests for food allergy and intolerance is still a subject of discussion. However, it has been demonstrated that atopic dogs with suspected food allergy had more food allergen-specific IgE and this would be consistent with a Th(2) humoral response to food antigens (Vet Immunol Immunopathol . 2003 May 12;92(3-4):113-24. doi: 10.1016/s0165-2427(03)00033-3).
At present, along with intradermal skin testing, serological diagnostics of food allergies and food intolerance are still wildly used. A dietary elimination trial is the best approach to avoid food allergies but is extremely time-consuming for the owner. Therefore, the blood allergy test is more convenient for both patients and parents, it is easily performed, free of restrictions, and gives helpful clues for an elimination diet trial.
However, the results of diagnostic tests cannot be considered in isolation and should be reviewed based on a patient’s clinical history. As mentioned on the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website, after taking the patient history, the allergist orders skin tests and or blood tests, which measure the amount of IgE antibody to the specific food(s) being tested (https://acaai.org/allergies/types/food-allergy).The in vitro IgE tests are becoming increasingly used, even clinically, and are especially useful when direct skin testing is impossible due to extensive dermatitis, marked dermatographism, or in children younger than four years of age (LCD ID L34597 Original ICD-9 LCD ID L30471 LCD Title Allergy Testing and Allergy Immunotherapy).
Pet Preferred Diagnostics allergy and food intolerance tests already helped hundreds of veterinarians and their patients, by giving them direction on what food to exclude first during their elimination trials.
Allergic diseases, which are considered chronic and progressive, require a lifetime strategy of continuous symptom control. Using steroids and other medications may reduce the allergy symptoms but can also cause serious side effects that may decrease the quality and length of a pet’s life. During the past few decades, allergen-specific immunotherapy (ASIT) has been the preferred veterinary medical treatment for allergies that helps to avoid complications.
This treatment is based on building up a resistance to the specific offending allergens by exposing patients to increasing amounts of these allergens. Therefore, the formulation of ASIT depends on the identification of the offending allergen through serological or skin allergy testing. ASIT helps modify and boost the immune system by improving clinical signs, at times even halting the progression of the disease, better than traditional pharmaceutical treatments.
ASIT is available as subcutaneous injections or sublingual drops. The drops may be preferable to owners who are less comfortable using needles. Pet Preferred Diagnostics offers subcutaneous and sublingual allergen-specific immunotherapy as a powerful tool that can significantly improve the lives of allergic pets. Each patient’s immunotherapy is formulated based on their specific allergy test results.
Our goal is to help veterinarians offer services that their pet patients need with the modern technologies, research, quality, speed, pricing and easy-to-understand reports that pet parents deserve. We want our tests to become a routine practice for veterinary clinics as well as affordable and available for all pet owners.
CEO of Pet Preferred Diagnostics