Why Dogs Get Hives

Urticaria, often known as hives, are small, localized spots of red, swollen, and typically itchy skin. They frequently emerge and vanish in an instant. In dogs, hives are not very prevalent. Insect bites or stings, shampoos, and medications are the most common causes. Contact with hazardous plants or chemicals is one of the other causes. Exercise, stress, sunlight, heat, friction, and genetic anomalies can all cause or aggravate the rash. Allergens can cause hives when inhaled or consumed. Dogs in estrus (often known as “in heat”) or puppies with intestinal parasites may have hives (“worms”).

Within a few minutes or hours of exposure to the causal chemical, the wheals (eruptions) start to emerge. In severe cases, fever, a lack of appetite, or dullness precede the skin eruptions. Although they can appear anywhere on the body, they typically affect the back, flanks, neck, eyelids, and legs. They may be discovered on the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, lining of the eyes, rectum, and vagina in more severe cases.

Hives frequently go away as quickly as they form, generally in a matter of hours. There might be no need for treatment. However, if exposure to the cause is not completely stopped, they could come back quickly. Additionally, consult your veterinarian right away if your dog experiences hives following a vaccination or medicine to determine whether treatment is necessary. Rapid-acting corticosteroids may be used in treatment. Environmental or food allergens should be taken into account as probable reasons if hives are persistent. The most common cause of death is anaphylaxis. Anaphylactic Reaction Disorders (Type I Reactions, Atopy) in Dogs An animal that has previously been exposed to an antigen and is having a Type I reaction makes an excessive amount of antibodies. If this antigen is found in the blood, the response may be either systemic (such as a severe allergic reaction) or involve edema of the respiratory tract.

Are dog hives serious?

In dogs, hives are frequently an indication of an allergic reaction. Hives are typically not life-threatening, but they can also indicate more serious allergic reactions or toxins.

What foods make dogs hives?

One of the most prevalent allergies or hypersensitivities that can affect dogs is a food allergy. An allergic pet’s immune system overreacts and makes antibodies to substances that it normally would not. In a food allergy, antibodies are made against a specific food component, typically a protein or complex carbohydrate. Since an allergy must produce antibodies in order to develop, food allergies typically show up after repeated exposure to a single brand, kind, or form of food.

What are the clinical signs of food allergies in dogs?

The symptoms of a food allergy in a dog are typically hives on the skin, paws, or ears, as well as stomach issues like vomiting or diarrhea. There may also be other, more subtle changes, such as hyperactivity, weight loss, fatigue, and even hostility.

Are some ingredients more likely to cause allergies than others?

Proteins, particularly those derived from dairy, beef, chicken, chicken eggs, soy, or wheat gluten, are the most typical food allergies in dogs. When a pet consumes food containing these ingredients, the antibodies interact with the antigens and cause symptoms. But almost any food element has the potential to cause an allergy. The most frequent offenders are proteins, but other elements and additives may also be at fault.

How is a food allergy diagnosed?

A food trial known as an elimination trial, which is fed for eight to twelve weeks, is the best and most accurate way to diagnose a food allergy. This particular diet cannot contain any items that your dog has consumed in the past if you want it to be a true elimination trial for it. Additionally, it mandates that no additional foods, treats, or supplements—including flavored vitamins and specific parasite preventives—be fed throughout the trial time.

Performing a food challenge by reintroducing your dog’s old food is the next step if your dog’s allergy symptoms disappear while they are being treated with the food trial. If your dog’s symptoms go away after the food trial AND come back within a week of a subsequent food challenge, a food allergy has been conclusively diagnosed in your pet.

Blood tests can reveal whether a dog is allergic to a particular food. Your veterinarian will go over whether these so-called serum IgE tests would be helpful in identifying your pet’s problem. This blood testing may not be as effective as food elimination tests, according to some studies.

How is a food allergy treated?

A diet that excludes the harmful dietary component is chosen after it has been discovered. Your veterinarian can provide your dog with a variety of hypoallergenic diets that can be fed to them for the rest of their lives. Three different hypoallergenic diets exist:

  • veterinary hydrolyzed protein diets, such as Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d, Royal Canin Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed Protein or AnallergenicTM, and Purina ProPlan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed, in which the protein molecules are broken down to a size too small to be recognized by your dog’s immune system.
  • Veterinarian novel protein diets that don’t contain any ingredients found in your dog’s previous foods, like Rayne Nutrition’s Kangaroo-MAINTTM, Rabbit-MAINTTM, or Crocodilia-MAINTTM, Hill’s Prescription Diet d/d, Royal Canin Selected Protein PD or Selected Protein RC, or Kangaroo-MAINTTM from Royal Canin.
  • home-made novel protein diet that is free of any elements included in your dog’s previous diets; this diet must be created by a veterinary nutritionist and frequently calls for the addition of a balancing supplement like Hilary’s Blend for DogsTM or Balance IT.

Retail pet foods are not produced using the stringent health and safety standards to prevent cross-contamination, in contrast to veterinarian diets.

Contrary to veterinarian diets, which are produced under strict health and safety guidelines to prevent cross-contamination, pet meals sold in retail establishments may not always claim to be “limited-ingredient” or to not contain ingredients that your dog is allergic to.

Can food allergies be cured?

For dogs with food allergies, there is no treatment. Avoidance is the only available remedy. When symptoms are severe, some dogs will need medication, but a hypoallergenic diet can successfully treat the majority of canines.

Is it likely that my dog will develop other food allergies?

When a dog develops an allergy to one food, they may later develop allergies to other foods. In addition, a lot of dogs who have food allergies also have additional allergies, like atopy (an allergy to inhalants or the environment) or a flea allergy. Talk to your veterinarian if you suspect your pet has a food allergy so they can help your pet get back to living a healthier, more comfortable life.

How long do dog hives last?

Dog hives are red, itchy welts that develop on the skin and cause the fur to stand up. Although there are other potential causes, they typically result from an allergic reaction to bug bites and can last up to one to two days. The goal of hives treatments is to lessen skin sensitivity and discomfort in dogs. Numerous instances suggest that the dog’s surroundings are to blame for these behaviours. A trip to the vet is necessary for more aggressive therapy, such as corticosteroid injections, in severe cases.

With short-haired dogs, it is simple to observe the puffy appearance of hives. Long-haired breed owners should keep an eye out for additional symptoms of this ailment, include facial or eyelid puffiness and persistent scratching. Immediately following exposure to an allergen, dog hives appear and typically disappear within 24 to 48 hours.

One of the most typical causes of canine hives is allergic reactions to insect stings. Some immunizations and drugs, such as penicillin and other antibiotics, are additional causes. This illness can also be brought on by flea treatments that are directly applied to the skin and grooming items like shampoos.

To stop the itching, veterinarians advise giving dogs an antihistamine like Benadryl. Given that Benadryl makes people drowsy, owners should consult their veterinarians to find out how much is safe to give their dog. Oatmeal or tea baths, soaking in cool water for up to 20 minutes, and providing a cold compress wrapped in a damp washcloth are additional treatments that are comforting to a dog’s skin. It’s important to give the dog a simple water bath and thoroughly rinse the material off if dog hives appear after applying a topical flea treatment or shampooing.

When dogs develop hives repeatedly, they are frequently sensitive to anything in their diet or to an allergen like dust or domestic cleaning supplies. Treatment in these situations is identifying the trigger and getting it out of the dog’s environment. The diet of the dog must be carefully modified to account for food allergies.

If the ailment doesn’t go away in a few days, owners should make an appointment with their veterinarian. Although dog hives are rarely serious, a severe case that isn’t improving with home remedies may necessitate cortisone injections. These injections offer a more efficient technique to lessen the itching and swelling brought on by hives.

For more information on pet care and other useful resources, go to Pettable’s blog.

Hives in Dogs: What To Do If Your Dog Experiences an Allergic Reaction

Many elements in our everyday environment can trigger an allergic reaction. An allergen, which is typically a protein found in plants, foods, animals, or insects, interacts with the body, causing the immune system to overreact.

In some instances, the precise allergen is never discovered. Referral to a veterinary dermatologist is frequently needed if a patient has frequent and persistent allergic responses.

A cluster of symptoms could exist as a result of this overreaction. The following are the most typical signs of an allergic response in your dog:

  • Urticaria, another name for hives (patches of red, swollen, itching welts or lumps),
  • facial erythema (muzzle or eye swelling)
  • itching
  • gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea and/or diarrhea

These symptoms could be localized to one area of the body or widespread. A few days after the earliest signs of hives and facial swelling, GI problems are noticed in mild allergic responses. Acute and severe vomiting and diarrhea may be observed in severe allergic responses.

After playing outside, a dog went to PremierOrland Park with facial swelling.

When an allergic reaction is severe or anaphylactic, pulmonary or cardiovascular symptoms may be present. The following signs indicate an allergic response in your dog:

  • having trouble breathing
  • wheezing
  • collapse

Fortunately, these manifestations are quite infrequent, and the majority of allergic reactions are minor.

You should seek emergency veterinarian care if you observe your pet exhibiting symptoms of a minor allergic response (facial swelling, skin hives, itching). As a result, you do not need to go via the emergency room and should be seen that day (unless this is the only availability). These instances can be handled by your neighborhood urgent care center or primary care veterinarian.

You should seek emergency care right away and go through the nearest veterinary hospital if you experience severe or allergic responses (difficulty breathing, collapse, severe/acute vomiting, and diarrhea). Only 1% of allergy reactions in people are severe. Similar rarities apply to veterinary patients.

Your veterinarian will likely give an injection of the antihistamine diphenhydramine in situations of minor allergic reactions. Your veterinarian may occasionally also give you a corticosteroid injection. Following these injections, you might be requested to wait with your pet for a brief observation period. This is to make sure that after initial treatment, your pet’s clinical indicators are improving.

Then, your pet will probably be given a brief course of antihistamines and/or steroids by your veterinarian before being discharged. According to certain research, cetirizine is a superior oral antihistamine for lowering the likelihood of delayed gastrointestinal symptoms as well as the persistence of dermatologic symptoms (hives and itching) (vomiting & diarrhea). However, both cetirizine and diphenhydramine are frequently employed.

Your veterinarian will get IV access and deliver drugs like as epinephrine in cases of severe, life-threatening allergic responses. In these situations, it’s likely that your pet will remain in the hospital for continuous care and observation.

You should continue taking all medications as directed by your physician even after experiencing minor allergy reactions. Additionally, you should keep an eye out for symptoms that don’t go away or get worse. Have your pet reevaluated if this persists despite treatment.

Why are my dog’s bodily parts developing bumps?

Folliculitis, which is defined as inflamed hair follicles, frequently develops when your dog already has another skin ailment, such as mange or skin allergies, since the underlying skin illness infects the hair follicles. On the body, it manifests as sores, lumps, and scabs on the skin. A veterinarian may advise shampoos, oral medicines, and antibacterial ointments to help treat and relieve the condition.

Which insects in dogs produce hives?

Insect bites are the most frequent causes of these reactions. Fleas merit their own section, but your dog may also experience discomfort from bee, wasp, mosquito, and spider bites. Learn to spot your dog’s allergic response symptoms so you can soothe him and avert any major problems.