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Dog Hives

Everything You Need To Know About Dog Hives

Dog hives otherwise known as Urticaria are commonly caused by insect bites, drug reactions from a vaccination, insecticides, exposure of new soaps or consumption of different foods.  They're an allergic reaction that occurs quite immediately from your four legged friend having an extreme sensitivity to a particular substance that has either been inhaled, absorbed through the skin or received in their vaccine.  The symptoms can be seen often within 30 minutes after the reaction begins.

Different canines will show different variations of dog hives.  The most likely symptoms are bumps in the skin, scratching and extreme shedding or hair loss.  If your dog has just received a vaccination and is having a reaction it is common for them to begin chewing at their paws.  Dandruff or overly dry skin is another sign as well as their coat having an unpleasant odor.  If your dog is having difficulty breathing or a swollen face or eyes consult your veterinarian immediately.  Also, if it is a severe or persistent case it may not be an allergic reaction and it could be a thyroid disease or a fungal infection.  These can also lead to hair loss and can be mistaken so if home remedies don't help, you need to seek help.

If you believe the dog hives have been the result of coming in contact with an insecticide or soap, giving your dog a bath will usually remedy the situation.  Always make sure the bath is cool.  You may think warm or hot water is ideal but it will only make the itching worse.  Bathing with an oatmeal shampoo relieves itch and allergies.  If you have oatmeal on hand and your dog will allow you, make a paste and smear it on and leave as long as you can before rinsing off.  If you don't have any oatmeal, tea will also do the trick.  Make a large amount of black or green very strong tea and add it to the cool bath water.  Tea has a natural healing power to soothe the skin.

Just like humans you can give your dog Benadryl. Every eight hours they can have 2mg per pound orally.  Antihistamines can cause your dog to be sleepy so he or she can relax a bit.  This is a good time to take an ice pack, frozen bag of peas or a washcloth dipped in water and frozen and place it on the dog hives.  If the reaction is severe your veterinarian may prescribe a topical medication or an oral antihistamine.  If the scratching leads to infection an oral or topical antibiotic will also be prescribed.  After a few months if the dog hives are not treated with the use of prescribed medication your veterinarian might recommend blood tests or intradermal skin tests to find out the exact cause of the allergy symptoms. 

Although sometimes an allergic reaction can't be avoided, you can narrow the chances by making sure your dog is not exposed to cleaning chemicals, pesticides, etc.  Vitamin supplements like vitamin A, vitamin C and Selenium can help prevent reaction in dogs that are sensitive or have a weak immune system.  You should always be on the lookout for signs of an allergic reaction.  Your dog should always be monitored after receiving a vaccination and your veterinarian can note if your canine friend is allergic to a certain vaccine so that in the future a shot can be given along with the vaccine to counteract the reaction.  Just the way our throat, nose and eyes get itchy from allergies, a dog's ears house the same 'mast' cells that notice allergens.  Think of how irritated you are and treat your best friend the same way you would treat yourself with promptness and compassion to help them through their outbreak of dog hives.



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