Pre-Test Support

It is essential to identify any secondary factors that may influence the primary allergic disease – parasites, bacterial and fungal infections – and control them to ensure any allergy therapies work optimally.

dog-on-white-bgSENSITEST tests are available to assist in these assessments:

SENSITEST Staphylococcus Test

Dogs with recurrent pyoderma have higher levels staphylococcus than healthy dogs. Hence it is useful to include this test to measure antibody levels in dogs where allergic disease is suspected to identify dogs that require treatment even in absence of clinical infection.

SENSITEST Malasezzia Test

Malassezia is a common yeast organism found on canine skin that normally causes no problems, however, certain factors can cause the malassezia to multiply resulting in severe dermatitis, pruritus and otitis. Diagnosis is usually made by demonstration of the organism by cytology, culture, histopathology and serology. The SENSITEST Malassezia test includes both IgE and IgG malassezia-specific antibodies.

SENSITEST Sarcoptes Test

Scabies (sarcoptic acariasis) is a common transmissible skin disease of dogs. These parasites, even when numbers are small, may induce severe allergic reactions. These mites are almost invisible to the naked eye. In addition, mange is only one of several conditions resulting in similar symptoms. Skin scrapings viewed under a microscope may detect the sarcoptes mite, its eggs or faeces in less than 50% of cases that have scabies, whereas the serological test is very reliable (sensitivity 92% ,specificity 96%) and can assist in confirmation of the disease.

Full information on the pre-test procedures please refer to these Work Up Charts

For animals with skin problems we recommend a Complete test – food and environmental, and for gastro-intestinal problems we recommend the Food test only.


Animals should be fed a varied diet at 3 least weeks prior to the blood sample being taken. If an animal is on a very restricted diet then the incidence of false negatives is increased as these food allergens may no longer be circulating in the bloodstream.


Certain drugs (long acting/high dose corticosteroids) may suppress the immune response and therefore interfere with the test results, so these should be withdrawn for a minimum of 2 weeks if possible. Our research shows no affect from low dose, short acting corticosteroids e.g every other day prednisolone. Antihistamines and cyclosporine do not affect the test.

A complete list of medications is available here

Sample Storage Service

Here at Avacta Animal Health it is essential we always test samples at the optimum time i.e when the animal is symptomatic and prior to any intervention. Therefore, if a client is reluctant to go ahead with allergy testing at first, or you would like to try certain treatment/s initially then please make use of our storage facility. Send it to us with the submission form clearly marked “for storage” and we will store it free of charge for up to 3 months. Then if you would like to proceed with testing at any point simply call us to upgrade your sample.