Artuvetrin® Skin Test
The Artuvetrin® Skin Test is a series of injections to determine to which substances a dog is allergic. Based on his/her experience and on the clinical history of the patient a veterinarian will prepare a skin test consisting of the most relevant allergens. A skin test can only be carried out in a veterinary clinic.
Before carrying out the skin test, any medication that could affect the allergy and itching (including prednisone, cyclosporine, and antihistamine) must be suspended for a number of weeks. The skin test is carried out on the chest after carefully shaving a patch.
A very small quantity (0.05 ml) of the allergen and control solutions (positive and negative controls) is injected into the skin at different places. After 15-20 minutes, all the injection places are assessed on skin swelling (wheal formation). If a dog is allergic to a certain substance, an inflammation reaction will appear in the skin, expressed in swelling. The extent of swelling is compared with the extent of swelling of the positive and negative control. This way it is possible to determine the substances to which the dog is allergic. Naturally, an animal may be allergic to many substances.
The specially developed Artuvetrin® Skin Test can be used to determine to which substances the dog is allergic. Over 80 different allergens are available for this test. The skin test set can be configured to suit your needs including 2 control solutions. You can create your own special test set.
A suggested basic skin test set:
1. Negative control
2. Positive control
3. Grass pollen mix
4. Tree pollen mix 1
5. Tree pollen mix 2
6. Weed pollen mix
7. Copra mite
8. Farinae mite
9. Hay mite
10. House dust mite
11. Grain mite
12. Cat epithelium
13. Fungal mix
Before conducting the Artuvetrin® Skin Test, please make sure that no other veterinary drugs do affect the animal. Treatments with immuno-suppressants like steroids, antihistamines, and tranquillisers must be stopped at least 2 weeks prior to the test; after a one-off injection of a depot-cortico-steroid, a waiting period of even 6 weeks applies. The test is to be conducted on the lateral thorax wall after carefully shaving the skin in that respective area, which must be, and remain, smooth and unbroken.
The reactions are measured after 15 minutes but no later than 20 minutes, and the increased wheal is marked with the skin marker or a highlight marker. In order to evaluate the results you can use a wheal gauge.
The response to the negative control is generally 0mm.
The allergen with a wheal diameter of more than half the wheal caused by the positive (histamine) control (or half the diameter of the ‘positive’ wheal minus that of the ‘negative’ (phosphate) wheal is to be considered as positive.
When evaluating positive reactions, the size and configuration of the wheals are naturally important, but it is just as essential to check whether or not the concerning allergen is relevant. In particular in animal epithelium, irrelevant reactions have been known to occur frequently.
Also when interpreting positive reactions, it is important to realise that indirect contact (for example, clothing after horse-riding lessons) may lead to relevant, specific reactions.
1 Efficacy of hyposensitisation in feline allergic diseases based upon the results of in vitro testing for allergen-specific immunoglobulin E Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, Vol. 33, Issue 3, 282-288
Olivery, et al. Evidence-based guidelines for anti-allergic drug withdrawal times before allergen-specific intradermal and IgE serological tests in dogs Vet derm. 24 (2013) 225-232
1 The ACVD Task Force on Canine Atopic Dermatitis (xvII): intradermal testing vet Immunology and Immunopathology 81 (2001) 289-304
|Anaesthetics and sedatives that do not affect
the results of intracutaneous tests
|Anaesthetics and sedatives that affect the results
of intracutaneous tests
|Xylazinehydrochloride (including Sedazine®)||Xylazinehydrochloride/Ketamine hydrochloride|
|Medetomidine (including Domitor®)||Ketamine hydrochloride(including keta-ject®)|
|Tiletamine hydrochloride/zolazepam hydrochloride (including Zoletil®)||Diazepam|
– Anti-fungal agents
– Heartworm drugs
– Flea agents and devices
– Thyroid medication
– Heart medication
– Painkillers (NSAIDs).
This means that the use of the above medication can be continued as normal.
The following formula can be used:
Negative control + positive control =
Negative check 6 mm
Positive check 14mm
6mm + 14mm = > 10mm
All results above 10mm are positive.
The disadvantages of the skin test compared with the blood test are: