Food allergy diagnosis
Let’s talk food allergy
Currently the definitive diagnosis of food allergy is only possible through a food elimination trial, followed by a food challenge test. A complete or partial improvement of pruritus during a trial is the main criteria for suspected food allergy.
Food elimination trials
The diagnosis is confirmed by the recurrence of clinical signs when the food that was given previously is reintroduced to the diet.
If the patient’s symptoms improve during the elimination trial, the next step is to “provoke” the patient with the type of food it received previously (the original food).
If the symptoms reappear, the patient should return to the elimination diet. To decide which specific ingredients are causing he allergy, one new ingredient should be introduced at a time. As animals may be multi-sensitive, it may be necessary to restrict the diet more than once.
During an elimination trial, the patient must not receive any other food, treats, leftovers, medications, vitamins, or supplements that contain protein other than the one chosen for the trial. The recommended length of a trial is at least 6 weeks.
Elimination trials can be carried out with homemade food, commercial diets containing hydrolysed protein or with proteins that are unusual for the patient, or mono-protein diets.Read more
Food allergy management
When the presence of a food allergy is established, strict avoidance of the responsible allergen is the gold-standard approach.
The taxonomic relationship between different protein sources should also be considered to avoid cross-reactivity.Read more