Ferret Epithelium Allergy IgE Blood Test
The ferret epithelium allergy test measures the amount of allergen-specific IgE antibodies in the blood in order to detect an allergy to proteins found in ferret saliva, fur, skin, or feces.
The ferret, mustela putorius furo, is the third most common furry pet in the United States after dogs and cats. Allergy to ferrets, in much the same way as dog and cat allergy, is very widespread. Proteins from ferrets that cause allergies can be found in the bedding, saliva, hair, urine, and feces. Male urine seems to contain the most concentrated amount of allergen.
Among the numerous proteins that can cause a ferret allergy, albumin, a blood protein, appears to be an important one. Albumin, although mainly found in the blood, can also be in the saliva, hair, urine, and feces.
Like every allergy, a ferret allergy causes a reaction in the immune system. When contact is made with the allergen, the body views it as toxic and becomes sensitized, producing IgE antibodies against these contaminants. These antibodies trigger the release of histamines, which will cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Allergy symptoms vary from one individual to the next ranging from mild to severe reactions. Some commons signs of an allergy can include:
- Sore throat
- Redness of the skin
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Itchy watery eyes
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