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Pet Allergy: Testing, Diagnosis, and Treatment for Your Patients

About Pet Allergies

Over 49 Million Americans are sensitized to dog and/or cat allergens.1,2

Do you have patients with the following symptoms after dog, cat, or horse exposure?3

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Facial pain (from nasal congestion)
  • Coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and wheezing
  • Watery, red, or itchy eyes
  • Skin rash or hives


10% to 20% of the population worldwide

Pet allergies from dogs and cats affect 10 to 20 percent of the population worldwide.4

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Rehoming pets isn't necessarily the best or only option when patients have animal allergies.

When patients are sensitized to whole allergens for cat, dog, and/or horse, their allergies are often more complex than they may seem.5,6

According to an evidence-based consensus recommendation on dog and cat allergy, molecular allergy diagnosis is strongly recommended to distinguish between simultaneous sensitization and cross-reactivity (Category B Evidence).7

ImmunoCAPTM Specific IgE blood testing for pet allergen components can help you diagnose and manage cat, dog, and horse allergies.

How can pet allergen component blood testing help provide value for you and your patients?

Improve diagnosis of pet allergies1,7

60 to 70 percent of pet-sensitized patients are sensitized to multiple pet extracts.6 Blood component testing is an integral part of diagnosis.7


Clinical history


Whole allergen testing


Component testing


Personalized management

Species-specific or cross-reactive?

Cross-reactivity is known to occur among cats, dogs, and horses.6 So, is it species-specific or cross-reactive sensitization?

Expanded molecular diagnosis of component dog allergens will improve diagnosis and treatment of patients. It is critically important to define the exact molecular allergens that each individual is susceptible to, since there are dramatic implications in the development of allergic disease and treatments.4


Select a pet allergen component protein below for more information


Animal allergies are a major risk factor for the development of asthma and rhinitis.1,9


What is component testing?

When a patient asks, “Am I allergic to my pet?,” it’s tempting to give a “yes” or “no” answer and leave it at that. But what if there was a way to uncover even more information about an allergic sensitization, such as the specific protein that’s triggering your patient’s symptoms?

Instead of just answering their question of “Am I allergic to animals?,” you can know exactly which protein from which animal may trigger symptoms or contribute to cross-reactivity.

By detecting sensitization with ImmunoCAP Specific IgE blood testing for pet allergen components, you can create a personalized management plan that can help provide answers for questions such as:

"Can I keep my pet cat?"

"Will dogs trigger my symptoms?"

"Can I be allergic to a male dog, but not a female dog?"


Component blood testing helps healthcare providers eliminate the guesswork.7

ImmunoCAP pet allergen component blood testing can help in two easy steps when case history is unclear:

Step 1:

Help identify the pet(s) that are contributing to allergy symptoms

Step 2:

Help differentiate between species-specific pet allergy and cross-reactive allergy

Imagine this example:

  • A patient exposed to cats, dogs, and horses has respiratory symptoms.
  • They are positive to all three whole allergens.
  • Is this true co-sensitization—in other words, are all three animals responsible for the symptoms? Or is one animal the primary driver of sensitization, while the others are cross-reactive?
  • This information could influence a patient’s or a family’s decision to get or keep a pet or help initiate effective immunotherapy.1,6,10


Assess and predict asthma for animal allergy patients1,7,10,14

The risk and severity of asthma increases with the number of pet allergen components that patient is sensitized to.1,7,10,14

Risk: The higher the specific IgE levels of certain cat or dog components the higher the risk for asthma.5

Predict: Sensitization to some cat and dog components can help predict disease development.7,10,14

Polysensitization to some cat and dog components at age four predicts risk for rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and asthma at age 16.11

Decide on patient management8

Along with patient medical history, you can use furry animal component blood testing to help improve diagnosis, assess and predict asthma, and decide on patient management.1,8,11,12

A comprehensive sensitization profile can help you decide how to manage a patient:

Targeted exposure reduction strategies8,9,13

It is necessary to identify the primary species for allergic sensitization before giving advice on pet selection or avoidance.7,9

Using component blood testing to inform your diagnosis can help you develop a personalized allergy action plan, including exposure reduction advice for all confirmed triggers.

Identify allergens for improved immunotherapy outcomes8,10,13

You must identify the primary species for allergic sensitization before deciding whether immunotherapy targeted at a specific species would be of clinical benefit.7,9

Successful allergy immunotherapy is more likely when treatment is matched with specific sensitization.13,14

Could ImmunoCAP pet allergen component blood testing help improve your patients' quality of life?

Without the specific knowledge gained from component blood testing, patients may:

  • Rehome or avoid animals unnecessarily
  • Feel overwhelmed from trying to avoid all possible triggers
  • Potentially waste healthcare and personal resources

With component blood testing, your patients have the help they need to improve their quality of life.

Practice Parameters

Practice parameters, guidelines, and testing interpretation

  1. Konradsen W, et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015;135:616-625.
  2. Salo, M. et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014; 134: 350-359.
  3. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. https://acaai.org/allergies/types/pet-allergy [Accessed March 2019]
  4. Chan SK, Leung DYM. Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2018;10(2):97-105.
  5. Bjerg A et al. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2015;26:557–63.
  6. Borres MP, et al. Ped Allergy Immunol. 2011;22:454–461.
  7. Davila I, et al. Allergy. 2018 Jun;73(6):1206-1222.
  8. Matricardi P.M et al. EAACI Molecular Allergology User’s Guide P. M. et al PAI 2016;27(suppl23): 1-250.
  9. Perzanowski M et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2016;138:1582-90.
  10. Patelis A, et al. Clin Exp Allergy. 2016;46:730–740. 
  11. Canonica GW, et al. World Allergy Organization Journal. 2013;6(1):17.
  12. Asero R. Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012;44(5):183–187.
  13. Nordlund B, et al. Allergy. 2012;67(5):661-669.
  14. Asarnoj A, et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2016;137:813–821.