Hives in Dogs: Dealing with It

Hives in Dogs

Whenever you see Fido scratching, biting and chewing his skin vigorously, then you need to drive him to the local veterinarian: he might have hives, and you need to attend to him right away. Although cats, like the Maine Coon breed, also experience this complication, but the reaction is stronger in canines than it is in cats. Seeing Fido suffering from this condition will wrench your heart with pity. Anyway, what exactly are hives and how can you detect them?

Hives are an allergic reaction

This complication is actually just a sign of a deeper and more severe problem: allergies, and hives are simply a reaction. Detecting them is rather easy, since the symptoms are visible:

Visible bumps on the skin, with the fur protruding. This is rather disgusting to look and it could send chills down your spine. This can appear anywhere: on the belly, head, and the legs.

Redness in large portions of the skin, especially the underbelly. If you can’t locate the visible bumps yet Fido is scratching, check the belly and you’ll see large red spots.

Swelling around the eyes and face. If Fido has a severe case of hives, his eyes and muzzle will balloon. The eyes will be swollen shut, while drooling could be present as well.

The primary causes

It is important to immediately determine the substance that caused the allergic reaction, given that dogs will show symptoms as quick as 20 minutes. Although it varies, the most common causes of hives (and allergies) include the following:

• Insect stings and bites. Although seeing a dog stung by a bee might be treated as comic relief, it is no laughing matter. Flea and tick bites could also cause hives.

• Vaccines and drugs – some dogs may develop an allergic reaction to certain vaccines, albeit rare. The same can be said to certain medications, which is why it is important to conduct a skin test beforehand. A reaction will immediately occur after injecting.

• Food – yes, dogs can also experience food allergies. In cases like these, a change of diet will be necessary. In most cases, a prescription diet will be recommended.

What you should do

Right after the symptoms start manifesting themselves, you need to know what you should do after your dog shows the signs. That being said, here are certain tasks that you need to perform:

• First off, keep calm and be careful. Your dog could act aggressively, given that it is a natural instinct for canines to protect themselves once they are experiencing something horrendous.

• Keep your dog calm and try to soothe its nerves. Dogs have a high susceptibility to pain and discomfort: if they show that something is wrong, they’re definitely doing something out of the ordinary.

• Do not give it antihistamines – only your veterinarian is allowed to do so. This anti-allergy drug is actually toxic to dogs, and consuming it can cause liver and kidney failure.

• Drive your dog to the local animal clinic. If it’s closed, try to administer diphenhydramine, but be sure to consult a veterinarian beforehand.

Hives are minor, but obviously, they will experience extreme irritation and discomfort. Try talking to your vet about it the next time you and Fido show up in his doorstep!

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