A proper allergy diagnosis requires a thorough physical examination including a complete clinical history. All other known causes of itching must be ruled out before atopy can be diagnosed. When other triggers of the symptoms can be ruled out, allergy testing should be the next step.
The anamnesis should also include an understanding of the sleeping area (floor covering, pillows, blankets, etc.), the food (food allergy), the presence of other animals (atopy based on animal epithelium) and the vegetation in the patient’s indoor and outdoor environment. The effect of previously prescribed treatments may also generate valuable information.
Identifying the cause of allergies
Allergy tests will help to identify allergic triggers and put in place a successful allergy treatment for the patient. Our Artuvetrin tests – Artuvetrin Serum Test and Artuvetrin Skin Test – are at the forefront with respect to sensitivity and specificity.
- Fast, specific and reliable results
- Industry leading turnaround time for serum test – results available within 2 business days after arrival to our laboratory
- Suitable for dogs, cats and horses
- 100% accuracy between screening test and detailed allergy panel results
- Panels designed for specific regions including malassezia
- Easy-to-read and interpret test results
- Recommendation for custom-made allergen-specific immunotherapy treatment
- Free, world-class support with our veterinary allergy experts
Artuvetrin Serum Test
The Artuvetrin Serum Test identifies a wide range of indoor and outdoor allergens. The specific European panels (North-Western and Southern European panel) contain allergens that are clinically relevant and characteristic to these areas, including Malassezia. Both the North-Western and Southern European panels were composed in close collaboration with veterinary dermatologists.
We offer the Artuvetrin Serum Test Screening and Artuvetrin Serum Test Detailed Allergy Panel. The screening test determines if allergen-specific IgE antibodies are present, without specifying the individual outcome for each of the allergens tested. Based on the result, a breakdown of the individual allergens can be requested – Artuvetrin Serum Test Detailed Allergy Panel.
The Artuvetrin Serum Test Detailed Allergy Panel specifies the individual outcome for each one of the allergens being tested. These results are easily interpretable, together with clear advice and support. Only after executing this detailed panel, it is possible to prepare an allergen-specific immunotherapy.
Artuvetrin Serum Test Detailed Allergy Panel offers an industry leading turnaround time. Results are available within two business once the test has arrived at our laboratory.
Latest technology in allergy testing
The Artuvetrin Serum Test uses highly specific monoclonal antibodies generated from recombinant dog and horse IgE (rIgE). This rIgE was used to produce and clone selected hybridomas, which enabled the development of new monoclonal antibodies specifically against the Fc part of IgE. Each of these monoclonal antibodies recognizes different and specific IgE epitopes. Thanks to this progress, we now have a more specific and sensitive allergy test for dogs, cats and horses.
Dogs and cats:
- 3 monoclonal antibodies (OLYGO.3mAb) for higher specificity and sensitivity
- 100% reliable screening test, including separate Artuvetrin Serum Test FLEA
- Panels composed especially for Europe (North-West and South panel) including Malassezia
- Horse-specific antibody for higher specificity and sensitivity
- 100% reliable screening test
- Specially composed horse panel including insects
Artuvetrin Skin Test
The Artuvetrin Skin Test determines to which substances a dog is allergic, by injecting small amounts of different allergens in the pet’s skin. Subsequently, it is possible to evaluate whether or not a local reaction develops at the site of the injection.
Based on the clinical history of the patient, it is possible to perform a skin test with the most relevant allergens. We have about 80 different allergens available for skin testing.
Before carrying out the skin test, any medication that could affect the allergy and itching – including prednisone, cyclosporine and antihistamine – must be suspended for typically 2 – 6 weeks. The skin test is carried out on the lateral thorax of the patient after carefully shaving a patch.
A small quantity (0.05 ml) of the allergen and control solutions (positive and negative control) is injected into the skin at different places. After 15-20 minutes, all the injection sites are assessed on skin swelling (wheal formation). If a pet is allergic to a certain substance, an inflammation reaction will appear in the skin, expressed in swelling. The extent of swelling is compared with the extent of swelling of the positive and negative control. This way, it is possible to determine the substances to which the pet is allergic. Naturally, an animal may be allergic to many substances.
Basic skin test set
- Negative control
- Positive control
- Grass pollen mixture
- Tree pollen mixture 1
- Tree pollen mixture 2
- Weed pollen mixture
- Copra mite
- Farinae mite
- Hay mite
- House dust mite
- Grain mite
- Cat epithelium
- Fungal mixture
Performing the skin test
Before performing the Artuvetrin Skin Test, you need to make sure that your patient is not taking any medication that can interfere with the test results. Treatments with immunosuppressants like steroids, antihistamines and tranquilizers must be stopped at least 2-6 weeks prior to the test depending on the medication. The test is to be conducted on the lateral thorax wall after carefully shaving the skin in that respective area, which must be, and remain, smooth and unbroken.
The key steps are as follows:
- Carefully shave the dog’s lateral thorax wall. The test must be administered on intact skin.
- Number the injection sites on the dog’s skin with a marker or pen at intervals of 2.5 cm.
- Fill the syringes with the different allergen and control solutions.
- Administer 0.05 ml of each allergen and control solution intracutaneously (a bubble will appear after injection) with the number on the holder corresponding to the number written on the skin.
- Read the skin reaction after 15-20 minutes by labelling the increase in the wheal with a marker or pen.
Interpretation of the skin test
The reactions are measured after 15 minutes but no later than 20 minutes. The increased wheal is marked with the skin marker or a highlight marker. In order to evaluate the results, you can use a ruler.
The response to the negative control is generally 0 mm.
The allergen with a wheal diameter of more than half the wheal caused by the positive control (or half the diameter of the “positive” wheal minus that of the “negative” wheal) is to be considered as positive.
When evaluating positive reactions, the size and configuration of the wheals are important, but it is just as essential to check whether or not the concerning allergen is relevant.
Also, when interpreting positive reactions, it is important to recognize that indirect contact (for example, clothing after horse-riding lessons) may lead to relevant, specific reactions.
Frequently Asked Questions
About Artuvetrin Serum Test
What are the advantages of a serum test compared with a skin test?
- The result of the Artuvetrin Serum Test is easy to interpret, also for the pet parent
- Short term symptomatic allergy treatment, such as corticosteroids, cyclosporine and oclacitinib, does not need to be suspended before sending in serum for the Artuvetrin Serum Test
- The Artuvetrin Serum Test is more cost efficient for small practices
- The Artuvetrin Serum Test examines individual allergens that are most relevant for the animal
- The patients’ skin does not need to be shaved before performing the Artuvetrin Serum Test
Which drugs can be administered without affecting the results of the Artuvetrin Serum Test?
The following medications can be administered without affecting the Artuvetrin Serum Test results:
- Anti-fungal drugs
- Heartworm drugs
- Anti-flea agents
- Thyroid medication
- Heart medication
Can I send full blood/plasma rather than serum for the Artuvetrin Serum Test?
Serum is preferable. However, sending plasma or full blood will not negatively affect the test result.
Is it a problem to use a serum tube other than the ones supplied by Artuvet for collecting serum?
Using a different serum tube is not a problem.
Frequently Asked Questions
About Artuvetrin Skin Test
What is the expiration date of the Artuvetrin Skin Test after breaching the vial?
The expiration is determined by the stability of the allergens. After breaching the vial, the expiration date as mentioned on the label will still be valid.
How long should I wait to perform the Artuvetrin Skin Test when using steroids, cyclosporine or antihistamine?
Certain veterinary drugs may interfere with the skin test. At least two weeks prior to the allergy test (6 weeks for depot preparations), any medication with corticosteroids, tranquillizers, immunosuppressants and antihistamines must be suspended.
Which types of sedation may be used for the Artuvetrin Skin Test and which cannot be used?
As the skin test is not painful, analgesics are not needed. Sedation will suffice.
Anaesthetics and sedatives that do not affect the results of skin tests include:
- Xylazinehydrochloride (including Sedazine)
- Medetomidine (including Domitor)
- Tiletamine hydrochloride/zolazepam hydrochloride (including Zoletil)
Anaesthetics and sedatives that affect the results of skin tests include:
- Xylazinehydrochloride/Ketamine hydrochloride
- Ketamine hydrochloride
- Acepromaxinemaleate (Neurotranq)
Which drugs can be administered without affecting the results of the Artuvetrin Skin Test?
The following medications can be administered without affecting the results:
- Anti-fungal agents
- Heartworm drugs
- Anti-flea agents
- Thyroid medication
- Heart medication
How should I interpret the Artuvetrin Skin Test when the negative control is not 0 mm?
If a negative control is not 0 mm, it must be compensated.
The following formula can be used:
(Negative control + positive control) / 2
Consider the following example:
Negative control 6 mm, positive control 14 mm
(6 mm + 14 mm) / 2 = 10 mm
All results equal or above 10 mm are positive.
What are the advantages of the Artuvetrin Skin Test compared with the Artuvetrin Serum Test?
The advantages of the Artuvetrin Skin Test are the following:
- It offers the possibility to compose your own individual test set based on the allergen relevance to the animal’s environment
- The skin test is performed directly on the skin (local reaction) providing an immediate result