Intolerance Testing by Affordable Pet Test + GIVEAWAY

So, I’m not sure if y’all know this, but Henry is a delicate flower. Shocking, I know. If you so much as look at him wrong he’ll end up with a bald spot or a swollen bump. Summer (or should I qualify that as “Texas Summer”, which is like mid April to mid October) is an especially hard time of year for him. He has a harder time breathing in the heat and humidity, and various plants or things in the air seem to set him off fairly regularly. He never has any kind of extreme reactions, just a more mild persistence with the occasional extra flair. Skin funk, hair falling out, major itchiness, goopy eyes, some random bumps or raised skin, etc. I’ve always kind of been curious about what all could be bothering him, but none of his reactions have ever seemed severe enough to pursue the more invasive intradermal testing. When I saw Affordable Pet Testing, though… I was intrigued.

Image result for affordable pet test

APT uses bioresonance testing on hair samples from your animal. They’ve been doing cats, dogs, and humans for a while but this year expanded to offer testing for horses as well. Basically you yank out a little chunk of hair, send it in, and they test it for intolerances to 63 different food items, 28 environmental items, 31 nutritional deficiencies, and 8 heavy metals. Full list here.

Notice that I said “intolerances” and not allergies. They’re pretty clear about this in all of their disclaimers, saying:

As a reminder, 5 Strands® Affordable Pet Testing only tests for non-IgE mediated reactions or “intolerances.” This type of reaction may have a delayed onset with symptoms appearing several hours or days after ingestion or exposure and lasting a longer period of time.

IgE (Immunoglobulin E) allergies, which are caused by the body’s immune system, are NOT measured by 5 Strands® Affordable Pet Testing. These reactions occur within minutes of ingestion or exposure and are diagnosed through a blood test or skin prick test by veterinarians.

wants to know if “dressage” and “mom’s bullshit” count as official intolerances

I’m not totally sold on the validity of this kind of thing, but figured “why the heck not” and sent Henry’s sample in. They emailed me when they received it, and then I had the results back in my inbox 4 days later. All told it was about a week from when I put in the mailbox to when I had the results.

The first attached document was the “How to Interpret the Results” page. It explained the three different levels that show up on the various results pages:

Level 3 (Stop)
Level 3 intolerances are considered items that the body registered an imbalance to and may be very likely to cause noticeable symptoms. Reactions may show up as inflammation, digestive issues, skin problems, fatigue, etc. Level 3 items should be eliminated from the diet. Your main focus should be on level 3 items first.
Level 2 (Slow down)
Level 2 intolerances are items that the body has registered an imbalance to that may result in reactions such as itchy skin, runny nose, watery eyes, etc. Level 2 items should be avoided or reduced at least for a short period of time.
Level 1 (Be aware)
Level 1 intolerances are items that the body registered a low level imbalance. While there may be no noticeable symptoms, they may potentially cause issues with ingestion or exposure over time.

First up, the heavy metals test.


I’ll be honest, I’m not really sure what to make of this. Seems like everyone is intolerant of Uranium, right??? I kinda wish they explained this one in more detail, because I really don’t know what to do with this information.

After that was the deficiencies.


I’ve been pretty meticulous and intentional with Henry’s diet, although I can see his lysine being a bit low due to the type of forage we have here. The rest… I dunno. I’ll have to look at it more closely.

Next up was the food intolerances, which literally made me laugh out loud when I opened the document. Out of 63 food items, he had some level of intolerance to 22 of them. Honestly, that sounds about right. HairTestFoodIntolerances

Granted, most of this is stuff he would never eat anyway… not really sure how they decided on some of these things on the test, they seem a bit random. Except, ya know… SUGAR… and MOLASSES… and CORN… and BERMUDA GRASS. He’s on a low-sugar, no-corn feed, but  pretty much all we have in Texas is coastal bermuda hay. That’s what his pasture is, too. Not much I can do about that. He does get alfalfa as well, but clearly I’m not going to feed him only alfalfa. He hates apples, so that one isn’t an issue at least.

Last up was the environmental factors, which is the part I was most interested in. Out of 28 possibilities, he tested with an intolerance to 7 of them. Honestly I kind of expected more.


Mosquitoes and mold are easy to believe, I’ve seen those reactions in him before. But… leather? Rubber? Whaaaaa? Clearly the horse has leather on him daily, and I have to say I’ve never noticed any specific issues. Granted… I don’t know how I would necessarily tell, unless he had some kind of extreme reaction, which intolerances don’t generally create.

The test results are definitely interesting, although I’m still kind of left wondering what to do with this information. How valid is it? How much of an impact would any of it have on him? How would I really change any of this? I don’t know. I’m still thinking about it and talking to my vet about it. If I lived in an area where I had easy access to another type of hay, I’d be tempted to change him over for a couple months and see if I noticed any change. That’s pretty much impossible though, so… again… not totally sure what to do with all of this. I can’t really put the horse in a mold, bermuda, and mosquito free environment… welcome to Texas!

Horse, I just don’t know what to think of you sometimes.

But, while I’m sitting over here stewing over Henry’s results, Affordable Pet Testing has been kind enough to offer a free test to one of my readers – a $189 value! To enter here, leave a comment on this post (be sure that you leave a link or an email so I have some way to contact you if you win). I’ll also be running the giveaway on Instagram, so check out my post there for more ways to enter! Winner will be chosen on 9/24.


39 thoughts on “Intolerance Testing by Affordable Pet Test + GIVEAWAY

  1. I would love to test my TB, he is a bit heavy and suffers from year round allergies. For my vet to test him is out of budget for a glorified pasture pet. That said if I could reduce his summer reactions, he may be able to go back to dressage, which would be my favorite thing.


  2. This is super fascinating! Charmer doesn’t handle summer well, and often gets weird skin funk, and I would be curious to see if he had some specific intolerances. Thanks for sharing – I’m excited to look into this more!


  3. I, too, have a delicate doily for a bay thoroughbred gelding (coincidentally sharing a distaste for all things apple). It would be interesting to see what his results would be. Thanks for sharing!


  4. This is both hilarious and wild. Do you switch to biothane strap goods? Also, gotta love a thoroughbred that’s allergic to KY Bluegrass. It would be interesting to compare his results to a horse like May, who (knock on wood) has never seemed to have much of a reaction to anything.


  5. I saw your results on Insta, and immediately wondered how the heck you would get around a leather intolerance on a horse? Especially if he’s also intolerant to rubber…. I guess Henny just gets to go naked! But for real, sounds like an interesting experiment, but you’ve already got most of the stuff you can control taken care of.


  6. I’m a bit skeptical but I wouldn’t mind trying it. My 1/2 TB has lots of allergy issues also. My last horse was on timothy hay and a dry lot which was hard to do here in Texas.


  7. Do they just do horses? Or other animals as well? Pretty interesting. It was like my allergy test last year that was good for nothing except to tell me I am mildly allergic to shellfish (never stopped me from eating it) all grasses and trees (Umm okay??) and oranges and tomatoes (WHICH I STILL EAT) HA!

    Would love to see what one of my guys was intolerant of. Wonder if riding and work is on that chart if so Remus says sign him up 🙂 HA

    and Henry is such a delicate hot house flower 🙂 We knew that before….HA


  8. With a TB, I of course am interested in this type of stuff! I’ve done a FeedXL nutrition graph for him but I would be interested to see what comes up for deficiencies. How cool! Theory_of_flight on Instagram, I entered there too 🙂


  9. After my experience having my intolerances checked, I’m very skeptical about this type of test. For my results, it listed me as intolerant to a huge number of foods, so if I decided to cut out everything it told me I was intolerant too there would be very little that I could eat. And yet, food items I know cause issues for me were marked as not being intolerant.


  10. Bacon likes to conjure up all kinds of weird crap. It would be totally interesting to see what may be causing some intolerance. With my luck though, it would be EVERYTHING.


  11. I would love to test my little paint mare. She’s from Texas and now lives in Illinois and oh gosh, warm weather is awful for her. It’s been a learning experience for sure.


  12. My gelding has definite GI issues that could be allergy related. My vet has mentioned doing allergy testing on him. We’ve seemed to have found the issue and he’s doing pretty good but it would be interesting to see what the test said. My mom’s old dog had it done and she was allergic to so much that she had custom allergy shots made she had to get every other week.


  13. Ohh I’d love to test Bella, she gets goopy eyes and hives in the summer, giving her nettle has helped tremendously, I ran out about a month ago and didn’t get more because I thought summer was over but it wasn’t and she’s got eye goopies again 😔


  14. That’s all pretty confusing, but I do know that my intolerance is the reason I live with an Epipen in my purse, so while different from allergies, can be as debilitating for some. My intolerance is obviously different from Henry’s as I can have iceberg lettuce, but not peaches 🙂


  15. I haven’t done this type of testing, but we did a serum test on Badger for allergens. He was allergic to Timothy hay, which was fine when he was in FL, but pretty much all of the hay up here has Timothy in it! Also was allergic to some random bugs and a bunch of trees. It would be interesting to test Rio though. He gets loose manure a lot, but we can’t seem to figure out a pattern. Might be an intolerance to something.


  16. Given that Annie is seemingly allergic to the universe given her quarterly balding I am curious what her results would be. Don’t go giving your horse metal poisoning now 😛


  17. This is pretty interesting. I have one of those sensitive TBs, who has managed to survive to the ripe old age of 19 on my care, so far, and I would love to try this with him. We need him to make it to 50 so every little thing helps right?


  18. I wonder how closely this relates to the testing Uckele provides that’s using hair? Of course they do it as a way to then sell you supplements themselves. I had that done with Stampede at one point when we couldn’t find anything physically wrong yet (the pre kissing spines diagnosis era) but I knew something was not right. It basically ended with me not being willing to buy a billion supplements and Stampede having a couple seizures because he got too much Selenium despite me giving him less than they wanted me to give him because he’s the pickest eater.
    Anyways, I would have to look but I think their test just looked at minerals and metals. Allergens would be much more interesting!
    I would be interested to see what the test showed for Maestro since he does get runny eyes sometimes. Although Stampede might be interesting for comparison purposes to years ago.


  19. This is very interesting! I also LOLed at some of Henry’s results and kind of scratched my head at others. Definitely makes me curious to see what Rio’s would say- as he doesn’t seem particularly sensitive to much that I can tell!


  20. My TB and I have been having a real rough year. This would be very interesting to see if it might be due to something I can change. Thanks for doing this!


  21. I want to test Stormie…I noticed Red Bull’s and alcohol were not on the list so we are golden 👍
    Seriously though I would love to see if there is something going on with her that we haven’t figured out. I feel like we’ve done everything else 🤦‍♀️


  22. Henry is intolerant of mosquitos?! Join the club, buddy.

    Thanks, Chance, and Afforable Pet Testing for the giveaway! I want to have one of my dogs tested.


  23. Interesting! I had to actually LOL at the Uranium test… because well yea, it’s URANIUM. I’d be interested to see what my guy comes up with! Listerine seems to take care of 99% of his skin issues, but I’m intrigued by deficiencies since I also did the FeedXL program. I wonder if a horse with cushings would test appropriately?


  24. This would be pretty cool to see in my mare who after living in Florida for a few months has now decided she is intolerant to just about everything!


  25. Pretty sure my boy is intolerant to my bullshit and most everything that is involved with summer as well. I’d love to see what the official results are though!


  26. Oh Henry, you’re special. My mare had the blood allergy testing done due to her GI issues a few years ago where we discovered she’s off the charts allergic to bermuda, timothy, bluegrass, corn, apples, mold and dust, among other things. You know, basically allergic to being a horse. She actually does eat straight alfalfa which she thinks is awesome and amazing, but also finally cleared up (at that point) 3 years of GI issues. It’s why I call her the EpiPony. She’d definitely be the kid who has to sit at the peanut-free table…

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Hey! Long time reader of your blog, I have loved Henny and Presto from the start. Hopefully not too spooky that have been along for the spectacular ride.

    Hm, I would be curious to know what I am intolerant of… But this is fascinating. Can’t do much about leather, although I have always been curious if there will be a true “vegan movement” in horseback riding or if we are all too traditionalist for that.


  28. Very interesting. I’d be more inclined to test my problem-child dog than my horses at this point. Kenai has had so many issues over the years I’d love to see if it’s partially the environment around him causing it!


  29. I also have the “allergic to everything type” lol. On top of his seasonal allergies, he also has inflammatory airway disease, which the allergies obviously don’t help with. We (and by that I mean me and the vet team at Virginia tech😂) figured out how to manage his symptoms with 20 pills of Zyrtec per day from early spring through early fall and the occasional doses of steroid and albuterol inhalers when he’s having some trouble breathing. I’m not kidding when I say he’s a different horse when the weather is cooler! Oh the joys of horses… Here’s my email if I get lucky:


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