How do you explain food allergies in dogs?
Food allergies in dogs could be very serious, and one of the culprits that pet parents often overlook. However, true allergies are very rare, and often confused for food intolerance or sensitivities. True food allergies involve an adverse immune response, which causes cells in the body to release histamines or compounds that lead to many allergic signs. True food allergies involve the immune system attacking a food protein. Anything the body perceives as xenobiotic (meaning foreign), it will try to expel. Food intolerance, however, does not involve an immune response – but the signs can look pretty similar.
THAT Bag of Chicken Flavored McKibble …
Chicken often takes the wrap for so-called allergies. Just do some research via Uncle Google or Cousin Bing, and you will find this protein source often top the charts. Which is very unfortunate, as “THAT Bag of Chicken” FLAVOURED McKibble hardly contains any chicken, a fact MOST often ignored by most writings.
THAT Bag of Chicken FLAVOURED McKibble is undoubtedly the most famous of all of them bags. It has led to that bag of “allergen-free dog food”, that bag of “limited ingredients diets” dog food, and THAT bag of “hypoallergenic dog food”.
Guilt by Association
One of the most frustrating efforts with food “allergies”, is that there is not an easy or infallible test. While many tests – using blood, saliva, and even hair – that can be performed by a veterinarian or purchased online – advertise that they can diagnose food allergies or “sensitivities”, there is no proof that they actually work.
None of the currently available tests have been shown to be accurate or infallible, by doing so, that non-allergic dogs test negative and allergic dogs, and only allergic dogs, test positive.
In fact, multiple studies, including “Measurement of allergen-specific IgG in serum is of limited value for the management of dogs diagnosed with cutaneous adverse food reactions“1, have shown that these kinds of tests are not very helpful in diagnosing food allergies or “intolerance”, despite their widespread use for this purpose.
Food sensitivities are much more common than allergies.
Research and References
- 1.Hagen-Plantinga EA, Leistra MHG, Sinke JD, Vroom MW, Savelkoul HFJ, Hendriks WH. Measurement of allergen-specific IgG in serum is of limited value for the management of dogs diagnosed with cutaneous adverse food reactions. The Veterinary Journal. Published online February 2017:111-116. doi:10.1016/j.tvjl.2017.01.009