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The Nutriscan saliva-based test is novel and patented worldwide for dogs, cats and horses, and does not test for food allergies, but rather tests for food sensitivities and intolerance. Food allergy, a more immediate reaction, is mediated by production of IgE and IgG antibodies, typically measured in serum. Food sensitivity and intolerance, by contrast, measures a more delayed body response to offending foods by measuring production of IgA and IgM antibodies primarily in mucosal secretions from the bowel. Antibodies to IgA measure the immune response to certain foods in secretions like saliva that have occurred over the last 2 years. Antibodies to IgM measure the body’s primary immune response to a recent exposure of certain foods within the last 6 months.

We have tested more than 10,000 canine samples by the summer of 2015, and since starting cats at the end of September, 2013, we have tested over 450. 

Chronic food-related health issues in animals, such as an itchy skin and “leaky” gut are also known as intestinal dysbiosis. However, many affected dogs do not have diarrhea or weight loss, but instead commonly exhibit “hot spots”, chewing on the coat, and licking the feet or anus. Other signs and symptoms include vague abdominal pain, acid reflux, nausea, abdominal bloating, flatulence, chronic fatigue, constipation, pancreatitis, and even seizures. Sometimes, serum liver enzyme levels are elevated; in other cases they are asymptomatic, and are diagnosed only after endoscopic intestinal biopsy.

Food sensitivity testing for common offending allergens and peptides in dogs (and cats) has been available for some time and tests for the grains most often associated with IBD and other symptoms of adverse food reactions – such as, but not limited to wheat and other glutens, like barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and oats (unless labelled as gluten-free), as well as corn (often a GMO product now) and soy (a phytoestrogen). These grain types are among the major constituents (top five ingredients) that make up the bulk of standard commercial kibble fed to most dogs.  Other common allergens in pet foods or animal food compositions are poultry and venison, and the testing and screening is also directed to but not limited to other meats, fish, dairy, eggs, other grains, botanicals, oils from seeds or fish, botanicals, vegetables, nuts, or fruit.     

For example, wheat-sensitive enteropathy is a heritable trait in Irish Setters. Gluten foods cause immunological reactions which lead to atrophy of the intestinal villi of the inflamed small intestine. This, in turn, results in diarrhea and weight loss due to malabsorption of fluid, electrolytes, and dietary nutrients.  Even though chronic or intermittent diarrhea and intermittent vomiting are the most common symptoms of this food sensitivity, there have been few studies of the prevalence of this condition in animals being presented to veterinarians with chronic diarrhea or vomiting or other common bowel symptoms. The result was often either no diagnosis or a missed diagnosis of an immunologic food sensitivity or intolerance. 

Food reactivities also can be seen to foods or supplements that the animal ate before it became a meat source, so that reactions to grains, milk proteins and legumes can be seen. Recent studies  published in North America and Europe showed that nearly all of the premium and prescription foods tested contain undeclared sources of animal origin (meat, poultry or fish), and soy proteins.  Further, the body’s metabolism and food reactivities can change at any time with ongoing environmental exposures and pollution after being rather steady for years, and, food sensitivity is cumulative. 

Testing Protocol

Testing protocols are included for 24 food antigens. You only need one kit and 2ml of sample saliva.

Beef Corn Wheat Soy
Turkey Chicken Lamb Milk (cow)
Pork Duck Barley Venison
Oatmeal Millet Egg (hen) Peanut (peanut butter)
Salmon Rabbit Rice White Fish
Quinoa Potato Lentil Sweet Potato

View Sample Report