Many skin allergies can actually be food allergies.

Hello and happy new year to everyone! It has been a crazy few years for all of us, and I hope everyone has weathered the storm without too many setbacks.

I’m sure you all have felt the pressures of increased caseloads and other challenges, so in order to facilitate the best care and most efficient service to our patients (and hopefully reduce the pressures on both our schedules), I want to make sure we take one easy first step before referral or unnecessary medications.

I estimate at least 80% of our allergy cases require a food trial before moving forward, and almost one-third of these pets turn out to have food allergies. Any pet suspected of allergic skin disease without a clear “seasonality,” must be checked for food allergy.

We can send you a copy of our food trial instructions for clients, but more importantly, we ask that you make sure the owner understands how exclusive we need to be. I like to use the analogy of a child with nut allergies (the whole world is covered with peanut oil besides what’s in this food, etc.)

Additional Requirements

After six weeks of complete exclusivity, we reintroduce all regular treats and food at once and look for a reaction (it’s almost always a meat protein). If the pet needs medications like steroids or Apoquel, then reduce to minimal dose and maintain throughout the food trial at the same dose (a lot of these pets have both food allergy and atopy).

If there is a reaction, we then try single proteins until we find it. That’s it. You can do it (and you will be their superhero if you find it!). A reliable food trial can save lots of waiting and help the owners and medical team move forward with confidence about referral or chronic medications.

Thank you all again for the referrals and the opportunity to meet some great pets and people. I hope you all have a tremendous new year, and I look forward to seeing you out there in person soon!