BACKGROUND: Allergen-specific IgE serology is used for the determination of sensitization status in dogs with atopic dermatitis; the influence of the female reproductive cycle on the results of such methods has not been studied in dogs.
OBJECTIVES: To compare the total and allergen-specific IgE of healthy bitches during anestrous, estrous and pregnancy.
ANIMALS: Eight privately owned, healthy bitches.
METHODS: Total and allergen-specific IgE levels were determined in eight bitches at three different time-points of their reproductive cycle: anestrous, estrous and pregnancy.
RESULTS: Total IgE was significantly decreased (median: 74%) in female dogs during pregnancy when compared to anestrous. In 14 of 216 (6%), allergen-specific IgE test results were variably positive and negative at different stages of the reproductive cycle. This variation, however, was not related to changes in total serum IgE levels.
CONCLUSIONS: Total IgE serum levels are reduced during pregnancy in female dogs. However, results of one allergen-specific IgE test did not appear to be markedly altered by the reproductive cycle in healthy bitches.