One of the major cell counts looked for in an allergic dog is the eosinophil count. This is because the eosinophil is a White blood cell that is very important part of your dogs body’s immune system. The eosinophil are important for protecting a dog from invading bacteria or parasites, but also are elevated as a reaction to an allergy. A dog and a human’s body has five types of white blood cells, all made in the bone marrow.
white blood cell count, specifically the eosinophil count is used to confirm a diagnosis rather than make a diagnosis.
eosinophils are involved in immune responses to infections caused by parasites and allergic reactions . First, they destroy invading germs like viruses, bacteria, or parasites such as Giardia and pin-worm. Eosinophils also create an inflammatory response in the dogs body hence if a interdermal test or rast test has indicated that a dogs body is likely to have an allergic reaction, the elevated eosinophil count found in the routine blood test panel confirms the suspicions.
internal or hormonal problems masquerading as skin allergy issues
Your vet is most likely testing a blood panel as part of a way to identify skin allergy issues, but it can also uncover internal (organ) or hormonal problems that might appear to be skin conditions (allergies) but are not. A few of the well documented diseases that dogs have that can be misdiagnosed as skin allergies are hypothyroidism and Cushing’s Disease.
hypothyroidism affects up to 10% of the female human population. It is more common than hyper (overly active thyroid gland, and has the opposite effect on a body. Rather than accelerate things it slows a dog down, dogs show lethargy, depression, lower heart rate etc. dry, coarse skin and hair loss with a dog scratching site are the symptoms that mimic dog allergy symptoms.
Cushing’s disease is an increase in cortisone due to a benign tumor of the pituitary gland. The endocrine system is the collective system of organs that control hormones in the body When a disorder of the body causes an excess of cortisone hormone levels in the bloodstream, the metabolic process is hampered, leading to gastrointestinal disorders and hypertension.
Cushings disease usually has a number of obvious symptoms, but the ones related to skin that can be mis-diagnosed as a dog allergy are: loss of dog hair, darkening of the skin, blackened skin, thin skin bruising and white scaly patches on the skin. ALL of these changes can be very itchy causing secondary infections. Cushings disease often is suspected from blood work that reveals elevated alkaline phosphatase levels.