How are pet allergies diagnosed?

Doctors diagnose pet allergies with a simple skin or blood test. In some cases, doctors use self-reported evidence as proof of pet allergies. For example, your doctor may diagnose pet allergies if you get hives after being around a certain type of animal.

During skin testing, a doctor:

  1. Uses a very small needle to prick your skin
  2. Puts small amounts of different allergens into your skin
  3. Adds a neutral agent as a comparison
  4. Watches for skin reactions, such as redness, swelling (bumps) or itching

Your skin reacts only to the specific allergens that affect your body. Skin reactions to allergens usually occur within 15 minutes of exposure.

Your doctor may recommend a blood test if you are taking certain medications or if a skin prick test would be unsafe.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/25/2018.

References

  • American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Pet Allergies. Accessed 2/14/2018.
  • American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Allergies. Accessed 2/14/2018.
  • American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Allergic Reactions. Accessed 2/14/2018.
  • American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Pet Allergy. Accessed 2/14/2018.
  • National Institutes of Health. Pets & Animals. Accessed 2/14/2018
  • Mylan. What is Epinephrine? Accessed 2/14/2018

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