Thursday, September 18, 2014

Immunity Response Testing for #PetAllergies at Home With ImmuneIQ

Many cats and dogs are plagued by allergies. In pets, allergy symptoms are typically manifested as itchy skin but they can also cause other symptoms like runny eyes, sneezing, and even intestinal problems. Just like humans, pets can be allergic to all kinds of things that are present in their environment.


I've always suspected that Shiner must be allergic to something in her environment. She likes to lick her paws and other parts of her body. She also has frequent ear infections and scratches her skin a lot. Figuring out what a dog or cat is allergic to is a lot of trial and error. Sometimes, it requires pet owners to try new foods with different ingredients. Without expensive allergy testing, it can take a lot of time and patience.

How ImmuneIQ Test for Pets Works


I was recently invited to try the new ImmuneIQ - an affordable at-home immunity response test for both cats and dogs made by VetDVM. The test covers 125 pet food ingredients and common environmental allergens and irritants.

This test is meant to help pet owners determine what their pets' are allergic to so that they can avoid these things. The test also includes a list of alternative ingredients that would be safe to try for your pet. I received Shiner's ImmuneIQ test results just a few days ago and am very excited to share what I found out here.


The testing process was simple. ImmuneIQ sent me an envelope with the testing materials inside. All I needed to do was collect a little bit of Shiner's fur and saliva. I collected my samples and placed them inside of the little baggies, sealed my envelope, and placed it in my mailbox to be sent out. The envelope comes ready to be mailed, so you don't need to pay for postage. Just seal it up and send it out.

I was promised Shiner's test results in 2 weeks. The test results came in my email inbox in PDF form along with a helpful PDF document that explains pet allergies to anyone who may not completely understand them.

While I am used to reading laboratory test results like these already, I believe ImmuneIQ makes these test results very easy for anyone to understand. They place each allergen tested into one of 3 colored categories as shown on the screenshot from my test below.


Our ImmuneIQ test included results from proteins, carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, fatty acids, nutritional supplements, and environmental things.

What Our ImmuneIQ Test Results Say 

Shiner's test results are ImmuneIQ's recommendation of ingredients and irritants that I should try removing from her environment and diet. I was so excited to receive my results after waiting patiently for 2 weeks. Here are a few interesting results from Shiner's test. 

As far as Shiner's diet is concerned, I should try to avoid feeding her dairy, soy, whey, tuna, shrimp, yogurt, bread, corn, oats, white rice, wheat... the list is a little bit longer than this, and I don't want to make this post too long. But these are some common pet food ingredients ImmuneIQ recommends removing from her diet. 

No fruits or vegetables were present in Shiner's "red zone" test results, so she can eat lots of them!

They also include recommendations for other food ingredients I should try. Some of these ingredients include things like beef, chicken, duck, salmon, rabbit, brown rice, sweet potato, apple, blueberry, green beans, kale, pumpkin, parsley, salmon oil... again, this list here is much shorter than the actual test results I received. But it gives you an idea about Shiner's results. 

In Shiner's environment, there were no items listed in the green zone. There were a few things like grass, insect, human dander, and pollen listed in the neutral zone and I was happy to see this. There are 4 allergens in the red zone that ImmuneIQ recommends I remove from her environment and those things are heavy metals, petrochemical, plastic / nylon, and rubber / latex. 

I've yet to determine where these allergens are coming from within in her environment right now, but hopefully I can get that figured out soon. 

Overall, I'm very glad that we had the opportunity to try out ImmuneIQ. It has given me some good insight about Shiner's allergies and hopefully I am able to help her more in the future. 

If you're interested in learning more about ImmuneIQ and ordering a test for your dog or cat, please visit their website here

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free and compensation for my time in this review using Tomoson.com. Regardless, Pawsitively Pets only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. 

37 comments:

  1. The big thing to keep in mind with these kinds of tests is that you can take even the most healthy pet with no history of any kind of allergy, and they will get "positive" test results. We know with food allergy testing like this especially that we get a lot of false positives and false negatives. Some pets seem to do better if we take these things into account, but many more don't. Fun and maybe helpful, but worth taking with a grain of salt.

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    1. Yes, I agree. The results are a nice guideline for helping determine what a pet could be allergic to. A lot of the test's recommendations for things I avoid in my dog's environment are probably things she doesn't need anyways, so removing them shouldn't do any harm.

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  2. Thanks so much for sharing this. I never knew this existed. We have yet to determine the cause of Cody's allergies (used to think they were food related but they aren't)....thanks so much, this is super interesting.

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    1. Thanks Caren! I was in the same position with Shiner. Glad his aren't food related...

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  3. Interesting! I am not really sure if any of my pets have allergies, I don't think so, but this seems great!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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    1. Well, I hope not Jenna! They are no fun. But, pets can become allergic later in their life. We had many pets move to Austin who suddenly became allergic to environmental things. Austin is not only the live music capital of the world, but I think it could also be dubbed allergy capital of the world...

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  4. Well, considering I am a walking allergy bomb, this test sounds very interesting. I am going to pop over to their website and see about possibly ordering. Thanks for sharing the results, Miss Ann.
    Oz

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    1. Sure Oz. I'd be happy to share some more if you like too. Shiner is an allergy bomb too like you.

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  5. Such an informative post this morning. I've never really thought about allergies with Harley. Oh, he sneezes occasionally and will scratch once or twice a day, but I would love to try this just to read the results. Will visit their site for more info on ordering my own kit. I will share this also!

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    1. Thanks guys! I think in Harley's case, he'd probably be OK. But dogs who aren't allergic at a young age certainly could acquire allergies later on in life.

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  6. That is so interesting and we will sure go check it out!

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  7. thanks for a great review, it's great that they make it possible to find it out what your dog/cat shouldn't eat. Easy is allergic to grass mites (I always thought it was a food thingy, but it's a contact allergy).

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  8. If I ever suspect Laika has allergies I wouldn't hesitate to give this a try. I'm wondering if I should test her even without; though I'm scared of the results. If hers have challenging results like Shiner's like corn, wheat, plastic, and yogurt it would be nice to know. They're so common. I'm sure it's no walk in the park trying to figure out her allergies; this test took so much of the guess work out.

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    1. It will still be guess work with the test, but the guessing is simplified. The results are not a definite "yes, you're pet is definitely allergic to corn". They just mean that it likely that she is allergic to corn.

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  9. Very interesting ! Mum would maybe not try it "for a try", but she certainly would use it if she figures we had allergies as a first step before going to the vet. Purrs

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  10. Neat! Sophie is the only one in our house who has had trouble with allergies. Through diet changes, we were able to figure out she has a grain allergy, so she has to eat grain-free food (which she should be anyway!). I'll tuck this away in case anyone starts developing any sort of allergy! And I'm going to share it with my mom - her dog Maggie has a lot of trouble with allergies. Thanks for the informative post!

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    1. Well, sorry to hear that Sophie :( But I'm glad to hear that grain-free diets work well for her.

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  11. Great post, Ann. Shiner already knows what's good for him..and us :D Pawkiss :)

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  12. shiner...thanx for sharin de linx, we R gonna look in two this....boomer haz had summer time allergeez for 14 yeerz N we haz never figured out de ...why....cept de minit de furst frost hits.......they bee gone

    we bee off line til monday sew heerz two a redmouth whalefish kinda week oh end !! ♥

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    1. Aw sorry to hear that Boomer! Some dogs and cats just have those seasonal allergies. I hope you have a fun weekend!

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  13. That is pretty cool. Mom has had bad allergies in her life but has gotten them under control for the most part with injections for years, and now takes Vitamin D. She has never had a pet with allergy problems, thankfully. She figures she has had enough for the entire household. As a kid she missed tons of school because she was always sick.

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    1. Wow that sounds awful. Tell her to never move to Austin! I am super lucky to not have allergies. Seems like everyone else in this city does though.

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  14. you always have such informative articles!
    We learn so much every time we visit...

    Please come by; www.herecomesnoodle.blogspot.com and vote for me!
    All you have to do is click on the link...

    Thanks,

    Noodle

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  15. I am definitively going to check into this. Bentley is allergic to something and I cannot figure out what it is. It's not bad enough to pay for expensive testing, but this looks like reasonable alternative! Thanks.

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    1. Hope you're able to figure it out Melissa!

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  16. Thanks for the info; I bookmarked the link.

    Last year I had one of my cats allergy tested at the vet. I was feeding him a limited ingredient diet that included green peas; he was allergic to green peas. His symptoms were excessive licking (he was bald in many spots) and horrible ear-itching (ears stayed dirty inside); they stopped after I changed his diet.

    Prior to this, my local vet had me clean his ears with a solution that ended up being toxic to cats! When he started losing weight he had a bad liver, according to tests. My holistic vet was able to get his liver back to where it needed to be, but he continued to decline.

    I spent thousands of dollars on him in a little over a year, but he finally died of cancer in May. It's highly likely that the ear wash killed him (I'd been using it for about a year prior to my holistic vet telling me to stop). Had I had him allergy tested earlier, I could have eliminated the licking/itching and avoided the ear wash; he might still be alive today. (My holistic vet is a 2-3 hour drive each way, which is why I was using a regular vet that was local to me).

    I have two cats who desperately need to be allergy tested and have been wondering when I'd get it done. One has asthma and almost died earlier this year; I finally found a food that he can tolerate (doesn't make him vomit or give him breathing problems), but the other cat is getting itchy sores around his neck from eating it. My number one concern is the asthmatic one, but I want to find a food that they can both handle. I'm going to seriously consider ImmuneIQ, because it's so much more affordable.

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    1. Wow, I've never heard of such a harsh ear solution before. Now I'm curious about what it was. Interesting about the pea allergy as well, but that happens more than you might think. I once knew a dog who was put on a fish oil supplement and diet for his skin. He was finally tested and it turned out that he was allergic to fish, go figure. Allergies are definitely a pain to deal with. I'm sure you know this already, but itching around the neck could be from a collar. I think if you can afford the definitive allergy tests, it would be great. But I know that's not always an option for everyone, which is why this test seems nice. Thanks for sharing your story with us and I'm glad you found this useful.

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  17. Whoa uper inneresting—until I read the first comment. TW would LOVE to know what I’m alergic to although we don’t think a swatch of fur and bit of saliva would tell the whole story. Even though I get combed and don’t go out, I scratch a lot and sneeze sometimes. TW has decided I’m allergic to something in my Taste of the Wild because I always sneeze when I eat that. She’d also like to know what I’m allergic outside that gives me asthma attacks cos she’s tired of having the windows shut all year around so she may try this if’n it isn’t too expensive.

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    1. Well CK, this test is not going to give you a "yes, you are allergic to X" answer. Only those expensive fancy ones can do that. BUT it does give you some ideas on things that you could be allergic to so that you can try removing them from your environment. It takes some of the guess work out of it dealing with allergies. The price is pretty good considering the alternative.

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  18. This sounds like a great alternative to trial-and-error. I have a friend whose dog, Clover, could have really benefited from this test. She still might. Mom has found out most things Clover is allergic to, but it would help if she knew them all.

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  19. This sounds like a really cool product! Very helpful information. I might have to look into this because I have wondered whether or not my Cinco has environmental allergies.

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  20. We've been lucky so far in not having to deal much with allergies. But what a great thing this is if we ever do! I love that they also tell you alternatives to try....that has to make it so much easier.

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  21. This would be SO helpful, I will look into getting one for Bain. Allergies with him for the last year have just been terrible for him.

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  22. Yoda and I nominated your blog for an award! You may have received it in the past since your blog is so popular but come check it out anyhow at http://yodathepitbull.blogspot.ca/2014/09/yodas-mom-versatile.html and come say hi! :))

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  23. This sounds like those $2.99/minute psychic hotline deals. All the "general" information, which you can get from googling typical pet allergies, and many on the list are redundant (cottage cheese, yogurt and whey are all dairy!). Another post mentioned toxic ear cleaner, and I wanted to mention pyrethrin as the possible culprit. It's a pesticide derived from Chrysanthemums, and I think is ok for environmental use, but should not be used on/in cats. It is in many ear mite treatment products.

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    1. Hmmm I see what you're saying, and yes you could easily find those answers for typical pet allergies by searching online. This test tells you exactly WHAT is in your pet's body at high levels so that you can try removing it to see if it helps with allergies.

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    2. Yes but how do you know it really works? The company discloses nothing about how it works - absolutely nothing. They do not provide any independent testing, no peer reviewed studies, zilch.

      Available literature on allergies does not show that hair or saliva can indicate allergies. So if the did come up with a new assay to detect allergic reactions it would be pretty big no? They should at least explain the core science. The fact that they do not (also coupled with user reviews that show very similar results for different animals) makes it very suspect.

      It's founded by some guy in Vegas who has no science background, the sample collection kit it hokey.

      I just have a feeling that the results are basically created by what essentially is a random number generator.

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