What Is Dog Hives and How Does It Affect My Dog?
Urticaria, better known as hives, is an outbreak of swollen, pale red bumps or red, itchy, raised welts on the skin that appear in varying shapes and sizes. They are an irritating occurrence that, unfortunately, not even dogs are spared from experiencing.
Like humans, there are various things for dogs that cause the immune system to react in a radical manner. Here are a few causes of hives in dogs:
➥ Insect stings or bites; which includes bee stings and spider bites.
➥ Vaccines; this is primarily following an injection of a vaccine, such as rabies or Bordetella (also known as Kennel Cough).
➥ Food allergies.
➥ A chemical reaction; such as insecticides used to treat grass.
➥ Plants, such as poison ivy or oak.
➥ Soaps and shampoos; your pet may be hypersensitive to fragrance or detergents.
Sometimes, you must let hives run their course. However, that’s not always the case. Dog hives may not go away easily, so, it’s best to be on the lookout for signs and symptoms your dogs may be exhibiting.
I. Dog Hives: Signs and Symptoms
As stated, there is a variety of irritants that may cause hives to appear. Some breeds, such as Pitbulls and Westies, are prone to having skin allergies. One may question, “How long dog hives last? Is it a serious issue?” Dogs hives do not last a long time; however, while dog hives may not be fatal or life-threatening, they can cause discomfort for your dog which could lead to other issues if you’re not careful.
To be able to assist your canine friend, you need to know how to verify that your dog has hives. Unlike people, dog hives are not as easily detected due to the furriness of the beloved pet. It is not completely impossible to spot if you watch for a few common symptoms.
➥ Excessive or increased scratching. If you notice your loveable pooch is scratching more often than usual, make the decision to keep an eye on him/her. You might notice hives have appeared. As the increase in scratching could lead to skin infection, be hypervigilant.
➥ Swollen or puffy face. One of the easiest places to spot hives would be a dog’s face. As the face is one of the prime areas plagued with hives on dogs, you should especially pay close attention to your dog’s muzzle. If you find the muzzle looks a little fuller than it normally does, there is a chance your dog has hives.
➥ Red or swollen shut eyes. Hives do not discriminate, and they tend to make an appearance near the eyes as well. Thus, if your dog’s eyes are red and swollen shut, hives may be the reason for it.
➥ Raised bumps on the dog’s skin. This one is a little trickier to detect, because it all depends on your dog’s build and coat. However, if you do happen to notice areas on your dog where the skin looks as if it’s littered with tiny bumps, do not rule hives out.
II. Prevention and Cure
Once you identify that your dog has hives, you may ask yourself next how to get rid of dog hives, or how to prevent dog hives from happening again. In preventing a recurrence of hives, avoid exposing your dog to the allergen that may have caused the reaction.
If you found that it happened after a vaccination, consider pre-treating for the condition by giving your dog Benadryl. Often, the simplest and most helpful dog hives treatment is Benadryl.
Though, if you find that Benadryl is not working, there are other remedies and treatments you can explore before going to the doctor:
➥ Oatmeal is notorious for its effect in clearing up blemishes on the skin. People have benefitted from this treatment for years, and it can be an effective dog hives remedy, too. If the hives are secluded to a small area, make an oatmeal paste to apply to the infected area to soothe and reduce swelling.
➥ Reduce swelling with cold temperatures. Let your dog soak in a bath of cold water to help reduce inflammation and the need to bite and scratch at the hives. For extra discomfort relief, you can add a couple of cups of oatmeal flakes into the water. If you cannot get your dog in the water, you can consider putting cold ice packs on the area.
III. Call a Vet
One of the best and easiest things may be to simply go to the veterinarian. In the severe cases of dog hives, your dog may have difficulty in breathing due to a face so swollen. If this is the case, do not wait it out and call a veterinarian immediately.
Olivia Harper is the co-owner of the blog Daily Dog Stuff. She is a reserved and passionate pet parent who loves to spend time with her Sibe that keeps her active and social. See more of her guides and tips by visiting her blog.