Pets are just like us. They eat, they sleep, they love, and unfortunately, they sometimes have allergic reactions to irritants. It’s sad to see your pet sneezing or itching, and it’s even worse not to know why. But alas, your pet can’t give you the rundown of everything they’ve eaten or come in contact with.
Just like with human medicine, veterinary medicine has a solution. Your vet can perform allergy tests to figure out what’s ailing your pet. As you probably know, however, animal medical care can get pricey. That’s why many more pet owners are purchasing pet insurance policies. Will and allergy test be covered under your policy, though? Read on for more about pet allergy testing and how pet insurance can help you pay for it.
The cost of allergy testing
If your pet is exhibiting a common reaction, your vet may be able to determine the allergen without a lengthy investigation. Some testing will probably be involved, however. Here’s what you can expect, along with the likely cost of treatment:
- Skin test – Also known as an intradermal test, a skin test consists of the vet shaving off a patch of your pet’s fur and then injecting it with about 60 allergens. If the pet is allergic to one of the inputs, a hive will form on the injection site. While this test is very invasive, it is also accurate and easy to interpret. Skin testing also helps the vet develop a very specific treatment plan. According to the University of Wisconsin Veterinary Care, the cost of a skin test can approach $350.
- Blood test – The vet takes a blood sample of your pet and sends it to a lab for analysis. Some pet specialists argue that this method of testing is less accurate than skin testing and requires a vet with enough experience to carefully interpret the results. However, it is cheaper than a skin test and can be less distressing to your pet. According to the UW Veterinary Care, the cost of a blood test is typically under $300.
- Exam fees – You will still have to pay the regular exam fee that you would normally pay for a visit to the vet. If you are a new client at an office, this fee could be above $200 because they may need to perform preliminary tests and exams.
- Sedation – As you can imagine, most dogs and cats are not going to willingly submit to being shaved and poked with a needle 60 times. Pets need to be sedated for allergy tests. The cost of a sedative ranges between $50 and $100, depending on the animal’s size.
While many pets will need either a skin or blood test, some vets suggest that you do both. With that said, an allergy testing visit to the vet could exceed $1000.
Will allergy testing be included in my policy?
According to an analysis by the Veterinary Pet Insurance Company, the most common claims in 2017 were allergy related. This suggests that many pet owners find pet insurance useful in relation to allergy diagnosis and treatment. If you are worried about the cost of allergy treatment, that reason alone may justify purchasing a pet insurance policy.
Whether or not your pet insurance policy will cover allergy testing will depend on the specifics of your agreement. Some basic plans only cover accidents and sudden illnesses, and allergy treatment may not be included. When shopping for pet insurance plans, you may want to purchase additional coverage that includes preventative screenings and assistance with chronic conditions.