Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Jasmine's Allergy Blood Test Results: More Questions Than Answers

It took two weeks to get the results back from the lab in Texas! Finally we got them.


The test results bring more questions than answers.

Granted, the reason the lab (and the only place that will provide the SLIT treatment for Canada) insisted on getting a new test was that these things change over time. Ok, I can see that. It was actually my own thinking, that we should run a new test before treating.

How much, though, can things change?

I can see how Jasmine might had not been allergic to something in 2008 and be allergic to it now. But how about the other way around?

Could she had been strongly allergic to something then and not allergic to it at all now?

To me, that is a mind bender. To our vet also. So what now?

On the other hand, this new test would be more in line with what we've observed and believed, such as that Jasmine does not have a problem with grasses. For example, previously she tested positive for allergy to Timothy grass, which also happens to be her favorite grass to nibble on. Perhaps this new test is right after all. I'm sure Jasmine would know better than seek something that doesn't agree with her.

Comparing those results begs some questions:
  1. was there a mix up in a lab in either case?
  2. is one of the tests less accurate and if so which one?
  3. which ones in the trees, grasses and weeds section would have to have seasonal symptoms only?
If we can confirm there was no mix up, somehow we have to decide which test we trust.

And if we do trust the new test, we need to figure out what kind of exposure there can be. For example, there are plenty of ash trees and poplars around; I don't think, however, I've ever seen a walnut or black willow anywhere. Which begs another question, how could be Jasmine allergic to something her body never saw?

More questions that answers, as usually, isn't it?

Related articles:
OK, I Am A Sucker: We're Going Through With The SLIT 
Jasmine's Episodes: Back To The Allergies Dilemma 
This Is What Jasmine's Episode Looks Like
Gotta Try Everything Once (Or Twice): On The Quest To Figure Out Jasmine's Episodes 
Thundershirt vs. Jasmine's Episodes
Jasmine's Mysterious Swelling And Another Experience With VetLiveThe Diagnosis Is In: Jasmine Has An Interdigital Cyst
Jasmine's Mysterious Swelling And Interdigital Cyst Update  
Is Crawling Under Things Some Kind Of Secret Physical Therapy?  
Is There No Place Safe? Jasmine's Acupuncture Session
Senior Sensory Systems Function: Zero Defects  
It Looks Like A Keeper: Jasmine's New Integrative Vet 
Jasmine's Acute Lameness
Jasmine Doesn't Like "Doing Time"
Our Of Jail Free Pass
When It's Looks Too Good To Be True … The Lameness Returns
The Day Of The Treatment
First Time For Everything: A Healing Crisis(?)  
From Zero To Sixty In Four Days: Stem Cells At Work
The Calm After The Storm 
If It Was Easy, It Wouldn't Be Jasmine
Practicing What I Preach: Jasmine's Semi Annual Wellness Exam  
No Skimping On Oral Care   

***
Meet Jasmine
I'm Still Standing! (Happy Birthday, Jasmine)
How Dogs Think (Well, Jasmine Anyway)
How The Oddysey Started: Jasmine's ACL Injury
Jasmine is Vet-Stem's poster child!
Rant About Quality Of Life Versus Quantity, And Differential Diagnoses
Jasmine Is Headed For Her Next Stem Cell Treatment
Jasmine's Stem Cells Are In
Arthritis? What Arthritis? 
Guess Who Is An Ever-Ready Bunny And Really Liking The Bit Of Snow We Got? 
Don't Knock It Until You Tried It: Animal Chiropractic 
Jasmine's Fur Analysis
Back At Chiropractic Care

16 comments

  1. Talk about frustrating! We've, thankfully, not gone through this with a canine, but have similar experience with human :-(

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    Replies
    1. You never had a dog with allergies? Wow, you're so lucky.

      Well, gonna have to figure out SOMETHING based on this, or just forget the whole idea, as we never felt that allergies are the real problem for Jasmine anyway ...

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  2. Huh. I know so little about allergies as it's not something I or any of my pets have ever had issues with. If that ever changes I'll have to get educated very quickly. I know they can develop over time and can get worse the more a person is exposed to something but to have an allergy suddenly disappear? Maybe the testing has just gotten better over the years so it is more accurate now? Hopefully you can work out a good treatment plan regardless!

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    Replies
    1. Well, first we have to work out whether or not we trust the test *sigh. Then go from there. Considering that we never believed that allergies are behind Jasmine's problems in the first place, this is quite challenging.

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  3. I can understand your concern. So many differences ... something must be wrong. Maybe these tests can not be trusted?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah ... maybe they cannot [be trusted]; that's certainly one possibility. Might also account for the 70% only success rate ...?

      Waiting to see what the lab has to say about that.

      Delete
  4. Allergy testing can be so darn unreliable! I know Felix's blood tests were different both times we did them (2 years apart.)

    I do know that with Human Allergies, mine come and go all the time. It seems to have something to do with frequency and amount of exposure (ie. If I have an ice cream cone once in a blue moon, my milk allergy is under control and barely tests, when I eat it frequently, it's through the roof.) I've also had a few allergies that were TERRIBLE anaphylactic episodes that have since completely disappeared. The body is a mysterious thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, it would certainly seem so. Either that or the immune response does change a lot.

      I can see how level of exposure could be involved. Would that mean I was able to rid the house of house dust? LOL

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  5. Oh no,

    So sorry you didn't get simple answers and a simple solution to help.

    Good luck with figuring it out,

    Wags to all

    Your pal Snoopy :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Snoopy! Well, by now we're used to it LOL

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  6. I think her repeated Stem Cell treatments may have some effect. Allergies are basically your immune system kind of running amuk when introduced to a certain protein. We know that the stem cells can work to "calm" th eimmune system which is how it helps with things like IBD and Atopic Dermatitis, so maybe it is working the same with some of her allergic responses.
    As far as th eepisodes she is having, my first thought is she is experiencing pain but I assume that you would be able to tell if she was hurting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kristi! :-)

      Yes, that's one of the things we think could be behind the difference. The lab also talks about decreased exposure, but given the allergens in question, that doesn't make sense.

      So yes, the stem cell treatments might have modulated her immune system. Which would be pretty cool.

      Regarding the episodes, pain was one of the first things on the table, excluded a number of times. Also, it didn't respond to various pain pills.

      Delete
    2. Have you thought about possible anxiety/canine cognitive dysfuntion. Sh eis a little young, but as we know, Dogs don't read the books of when it is age appropriate to suffer from something. There is a collar that a company called CEVA makes that releases the same pheramone a lactating female does to her puppies that tell sthem everything is ok. It has worked wonders in some anxiety filled dogs that I know. It's not a drug and so no worries on side effects to her system. Just a thought for a very non-invasive way to try and help her. Just my two cents. Here is a link to some information about it.
      http://www.petsathome.com/shop/adaptil-dog-appeasing-pheromone-collar-by-ceva-23151

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    3. Hi Kristi, yes, considered those things also. I can tell you her mind is as sharp as a tack.

      We don't believe it's anxiety either (example reason - rapid breathing will continue when asleep also). We did try ThunderShirt with no effect. Thinking about trying the DAP, simply because it cannot hurt anything. I think she does exhibit some anxiety during these, but I do believe it's an effect, rather than a cause, though.

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    4. So not on this topic, but how are her feet. Wasn't she having an issue with pododermatitis a while back? And by the way the picture of her at the top of this post is stunning, she is quite beautiful, not that I need to tell you that.

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    5. Hi Kristi,

      yes, she did. She does get issues with her feet every now and then; usually simple bacterial infection, last time it was a bit more complicated than that.

      Her feet are doing fine again, for the time being.

      Yeah, you don't need to tell me she's beautiful, but I always like to hear it :-)

      Btw, according to the lab, the reasons for differences could be

      a) change in burden levels - that doesn't make sense, unless I managed to render our house dust-free (which is simply impossible, even with religious vacuuming); unless Jasmine was no longer exposed to grass; well, there is still grass on the ground, and she nibbles on plenty and munches plenty of horse poop ...

      b) as you said, possibly result of the IV stem cells; I could see that, though on the other hand there are still plenty of positives in the molds and tree sections ...?

      c) some allergy-mitigation as response to probiotics; I could see that too but same as above

      So I don't know. VERY mixed feelings.

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