In the US pet allergies are common. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 15 to 30% of Americans are affected. Allergies to cats are about twice as common, but allergic reactions to dogs tend to be more severe. And in the US detectable levels of pet dander are found in every home. People who are allergic to dogs may have watery eyes, rash, or hives when they are exposed to dog saliva or dog dander. In most cases, symptoms of a dog allergy are mild. And he/she may still be able to live with a dog when they can manage their symptoms. And even some home remedies can reduce symptoms. But, the only truly effective way to eliminate dog allergies is to avoid exposure to dogs.
This article covers all the significant topics related to dog allergy tests such as dog allergy test cost, symptoms, and how to get tested for a dog allergy test.
- Causes of dog allergies
- Symptoms of dog allergies
- Dog allergy test
- When to see a doctor?
- Treatment for dog allergy
- Natural remedies
- Other condition
- Provider locations
For the readers who are interested to know the dog allergy test cost beforehand, we begin with that section.
How much does the dog allergy test cost?
Dog allergy test cost ranges around $58 in different labs and facilities across the U.S. No prior appointment is required. You can compare the price and order tests online, or visit the nearest lab during lab business hours. You will get the results in your email in 2-3 business days after completing the procedure. Doctor consultation is available for any kind of medical advice or further treatment.
The following table shows the dog allergy test providers and their prices. You can know more and book the test now by clicking on the “Book Now” button. All the labs are CLIA-certified and offer a network across the US.
Name of our Partner Labs
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Dog allergy test cost with insurance
Many insurance companies in the U.S. cover all the vital blood tests like a dog allergy test. However, the coverage provided by private health insurance companies and national health insurance programs like Medicare varies widely. Most of the health insurance policies cover dog allergy test costs only once or twice a year and when your physician orders more than twice in a year, you should pay the test cost out of pocket. So, we recommend you check if your health insurance policy covers the dog allergy test cost.
Our dog allergy testing providers do not accept any kind of health insurance policy. Still, they can provide you an itemized receipt containing all the details viz the name of the test, code of the test, and CPT code which is necessary for insurance reimbursement purposes.
Causes of dog allergies
Dogs produce a variety of proteins that cause allergies in a few people. The dog saliva has the highest concentrations of proteins and lower amounts are found in dander and urine. Usually, a dog’s hair carries a large number of allergens. The allergic reaction happens when a sensitive person’s immune system reacts abnormally to the usually harmless proteins. As different breeds can produce different dander, it is possible to be more allergic to some dogs than others. The dog’s hair itself is not an allergen, but it can hold dander and dust. As dander remains airborne for long periods it can find its way into the eyes or lungs.
It is important to note that, two dogs of the same breed give off very different levels of allergen. The dog’s hair or fur is not the real problem rather, people are allergic to the dander flakes of dead skin and the saliva and urine. People who have allergies have oversensitive immune systems. So, their bodies overreact to substances that are harmless like dog dander. And attack them as they would bacteria and viruses. Sneezing and watery eyes are the side effects of the body’s attempt to destroy the allergen.
Symptoms of dog allergies
Symptoms may vary from mild to severe. People with severe allergic reactions to dogs may experience signs or symptoms soon after exposure. And those with minor allergies may take longer to develop symptoms. Symptoms may include:
- Nasal congestion
- A runny nose
- Itchy, red, and watering eyes
- Tightness in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Redness of the skin after being licked by dog
- Wheezing or coughing (within 15 to 30 minutes after exposure)
- Rash on the face, neck, or chest
- Severe asthma attacks
Additionally, children with dog allergies will often develop eczema. Several studies have found that exposing a baby to a pet will not increase the risk of developing allergies or asthma.
Dog allergy test
When you notice symptoms during or after exposure to a dog, consult a healthcare provider or an allergist. An allergist will use a skin-prick test to diagnose dog allergies. During this test, an allergist will put a droplet containing a tiny amount of dog proteins on the skin. A small prick is made in the skin, which allows the mixture to enter the body. People who are allergic to that mixture will have a response within 15 – 30 minutes.
Doctors can do a blood test that will detect allergen-specific IgE or Immunoglobulin E to find out if a person has dog allergies. Sometimes people who assume that they have dog allergies, don’t have it. Rather, they can be allergic to the pollen or mold that the dog is carries on its coat from outside.
Although allergy tests are helpful, they’re not always conclusive. When you own a dog, the doctor may want you to try living without it for a while to see how you do. To get a good sense of the symptoms, it might take some extended time apart. Usually, it takes many months for the level of dog dander to drop down to a level similar to that of a house without a dog.
When to see a doctor?
Few symptoms of pet allergy (like runny nose, sneezing) are similar to those of the common cold. So, it can be difficult to know whether you have a cold or an allergy. When symptoms persist for more than two weeks, it may indicate an allergy. And when symptoms are severe with nasal passages, feeling completely blocked, difficulty sleeping, or wheezing consult your doctor. Seek emergency care when shortness of breath and wheezing rapidly worsen or when you are short of breath with minimal activity.
Treatment for dog allergy
The sure-fire way to get rid of allergies is to remove the pet from the home. But there are ways to lessen the symptoms and minimize exposure to allergens. Based on the severity of the allergy, one can make a few adjustments to prevent and reduce the symptoms. Some procedures that can help prevent symptoms include keeping your dog clean, vacuuming dog hair, and making sure that there is no dog urine and feces inside your home. But these can be impractical, for instance, if you need to bathe your dog every day, this can be excessive for both you and your dog.
The treatment for dog allergies may include:
- Antihistamine blocks histamine, a compound that helps initiate local immune responses and cause allergy symptoms. These are over-the-counter medications such as Benadryl, Zyrtec, Claritin, Allegra, and Clarinex can help relieve itching, sneezing, and runny nose.
- Cromolyn sodium is a nasal spray that may help reduce symptoms, particularly if it’s used before, they develop.
- Decongestants reduce swelling in the nose and make it easier to breathe. For example, Sudafed and Allegra-D.
- Nasal steroids are sprays that relieve allergy symptoms by reducing inflammation. Fluticasone (Flonase), budesonide (Rhinocort Allergy), and triamcinolone (Nasacort Allergy 24HR) sprays are available over-the-counter. And others are available by prescription.
- Allergy shots expose a person to the animal protein, that is causing the reaction and help the body become less sensitive, reducing symptoms. These shots are given by an allergist, which is used in more severe cases for long-term treatment.
- Leukotriene modifiers are prescription medications that may be recommended when you can’t tolerate nasal antihistamines or corticosteroids. Because of the risk of severe behavioral changes, montelukast will be used if there aren’t any suitable alternatives.
The only sure way to get rid of dog allergies is by avoiding contact with dogs. But, if a person spends time with dogs, certain home remedies may help to manage symptoms:
- Saline sinus rinse – You may rinse the nostrils by using a mixture made of 3 teaspoons of salt that is iodine-free, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 8 ounces of warm water. An ear dropper can be used to put the solution into the nostril or you can also use a sinus rinsing device.
- Taking plant supplements – Plant supplements containing rosmarinic acid may reduce allergy symptoms.
There are many other health issues that you can develop due to dog exposure. The management of dog allergies differs from the management of these health issues. Conditions that a person can get from dogs include:
- Gastrointestinal (GI) infections – There are many GI infections that a person can catch from coming into contact with a dog’s feces. When the infectious microorganism gets into your mouth, it can make you sick. These infections may lead to vomiting, fever, stomach aches, diarrhea, and muscle aches. Giardia, salmonella, and cryptosporidium are the infections you can catch from a dog.
- Poison ivy – The rash is caused by a hypersensitive reaction to the poison ivy plant. This rash is triggered by coming into contact with oil from the surface of the plant or by touching the plant. This causes a red, itchy, blistery rash and it can develop anywhere on the body even in the eyes. It is rare for dogs to react to poison ivy, one can get this rash by coming in contact with the plant’s oils on the dog’s skin or coat.
- Fleas – Fleas are tiny insects that can bite the skin, especially under the hair, and can cause itching and red spots on the skin. Dogs may transmit fleas to humans.
There are many things dog owners can do around the home to reduce allergens. They include:
- Setting up dog-free zones (keeping dogs out of the bedroom and off furniture)
- Bath the dog weekly using a pet-friendly shampoo (done by a non-allergic person)
- Removing the curtains, upholstered furniture, carpeting, and other items that may attract dander
- Using high-efficiency particulate air purifiers can reduce airborne allergens in the home
- Looking into hypoallergenic dog breeds
- You can consider keeping the dog outside depending on the climate and surroundings
- Avoid touching face and eyes after contact with dogs
- Wash hands with soap after touching dogs
- Avoid close contact with dogs, like hugging or kissing them
- Clean the house and wash the bedding weekly (more often during winter months)
- Use a dust mask and gloves while cleaning or in areas with dogs
- Brushing or cleaning dogs outdoors
Dog allergy tests can be done in any of the following locations by visiting the lab near you. Refer to the first section of this article to know the dog allergy test cost.
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Frequently Asked Questions
Will insurance cover my testing cost?
No, insurance will not be covered in the billing. However, they will provide you with a receipt for insurance reimbursement purposes.
How should I book my appointment?
You can choose the most suitable provider from above and make an appointment by following the instructions mentioned by them.
Can I cancel my lab test order?
Yes, you can cancel your lab test order any time before your testing. A refund will be initiated after deducting the cancellation fee. However, cancellation is at the discretion of the provider.
Do the providers offer result interpretations?
Yes, a few providers may provide doctor consultation who will take you through the results and provide clarification if needed.
How do I receive my report?
To ensure your privacy, the test report will be mailed to you by the provider.
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