Table of Contents
"Canine hives (canine urticaria) are an immediate allergic reaction to something that is either inhaled or comes in contact with your dog's skin. Symptoms include round red raised areas on the skin and itch. Dog hive treatment involves removal of the cause of the reaction, and the use of oral or topical medications to reduce itch and the severity of the reaction."
Dog Hives (Beagle) around the mouth and eyes caused by allergy related to angioneurotic edema (also called urticaria or hives).
Canine hives are an immediate allergic reaction (within 30 minutes) to substances that a dog has a hypersensitivity to. These substances can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin. They can appear anywhere and usually disappear in 24 hours.
Allergic reactions such as hives happen when an animal becomes sensitized to a particular allergen, triggering formation of antibodies (immumoglobulin E, or IgE) that attach to specialized connective tissue cells called mast cells and to blood cells called basophils.
Hives are caused by insect bites, drug allergy (after vaccination common cause), insecticides (lawn treatments), new foods or soaps.
Symptoms of Canine Hives
You can recognize hives by the raised, circular appearance. You may see your dog’s hair raised in patches.
Treatment of Canine Hives
Hives disappear once their cause is no longer in contact with your dog. Determine what has changed in the past several hours such as a new food or if you took your dog on a walk to a new area.
For food allergies you can give your dog Milk of Magnesia (consult your Veterinarian first) that helps remove food from your dog's stomach. If hives are caused by soap or insecticide, give your dog a bath using products that have been been safely used prior to the hives appearing.
Like humans, you can also give your dog Benadryl (2-4mg/kg or 2-4mg/2.2lbs of body weight orally every eight hours). For extreme cases your Veterinarian may also prescribe Cortisone treatments.
If your dog is in an endless circle of itching and scratching, your veterinarian will probably also prescribe a topical medication (for example l% hydrocortisone) or an oral antihistamine (chlopheniramine or diphenhydramine) for itch relief. It is not unusual that different dog's have varied reactions to different drugs, so your Veterinarian may need to experiment to see what works the best.
Short term Treatment with an oral corticosteroid (asprednisone) may also be prescribed. If the dog's scratching leads to secondary skin infection, your veterinarian may recommend oral or topical antibiotics as well.
All dogs with hives or atopic skin conditions generally benefit from the soothing effects of a cool bath (warm or hot water makes may make the itching worse), with a colloidal oatmeal shampoo and/or conditioner. Bathing not only helps relieve the itch, but it also removes allergens from the skin through which they also can be absorbed.
Natural remedies can act as a supportive approach to reduce skin itch and improve overall skin condition. For dog skin itch and allergies consider products such as Allergy Itch Ease. To improve dog skin condition use a tonic such as Skin and Coat Tonic.
If the hives last four months or more, or when topical or oral medications have little effect or produce side effects, your veterinarian may suggest doing blood tests (RAST or ELISA) or intradermal skin tests (ID) to pinpoint specific allergens for allergy shot type treatments.
Have A Question about Your Dog's Skin Condition or Do You Have a Helpful Story to Share?
Do you have a question or comment? Share it!
Our editors will pick 1 question to answer each week. Please include your dog's age, breed, medical history, medications and if possible, a picture of the condition.
We will do our best to get back to you quickly (it depends on how many questions we receive each day). If you do require an immediate response we suggest using this online dog veterinary service that is available now.
Other Reader Dog Skin Related Questions and Vet Suggestions
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
Can Stress Cause Canine Hives?
Our French Bulldog, Lily is 1 1/2 yrs old and we just got a 6 mo. old Shih Tsu, Bezou. We hoped they would be playmates and they do seem to play well, …
Dog Has Hives
My dog has hives on his head. Once a week or rarely one lesion occurs on his head or muzzle. Sometimes they occur on the abdomen. But every time it is …
Dog Hives Treatment
This site has really helped me understand whats going on with our boxer. A year ago on New Years day, he had hives and was lethargic. We rushed him to …
Sores Between Dog Toes
2 of our 3 American Bulldogs have horrible, oozing sores between their toes. We have tried everything! Grain Free dog food with protein sources that they …
Dog Haves Won’t Go Away Not rated yet
My 3 yr old great dane all of the sudden has all these bumps on his back and legs. He was outside couple hours before the hives, but he has been in same …
How to Diagnose and Treat Dog Hives and Shaking Not rated yet
Reader Question: : How to Diagnose and Treat Hives on Dogs that is accompanied with shaking? My dog has hives all over his body. They look like dime …
Dog's Overnight Development Of Bumps Not rated yet
Reader Question: What Caused My Canine To Develop Bumps On Her Body? My dog is a 4 years old female pit-bull. One morning she woke up with bumps …
Dog Hives and Runny Eyes Not rated yet
My 4 year old female miniature pinscher has never suffered from allergies to my knowledge up until about 1 week ago. We went to the dog park as we …
Dog Skin Lumps and Bumps Treatment Tips Not rated yet
My dog is a male, 8 month old, Brindle Boxer. While laying in his crate 2 days ago, like he does all the time, he suddenly broke out in terrible lumps …
Benadryl Worked for Hives Not rated yet
I gave my puppy Mae mae the Benadryl and it actually worked. I still don't know what caused the hives but my husband had taken him down the street and …
Causes for Extreme Case of Dog Hives Not rated yet
My dog, "Bell" one morning developed an extreme case of dog hives . (Holiday no veterinarians available.) The next morning she was mostly well; however, …
Greek, Jean, DVM, ACIDM; New Hope Animal Hospital “Atopic Disease and
Beale, Karin M. DVM, Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists – “Atopic
Dermatitis: Clinical Signs and Diagnosis”
Giffin, James M. MD & Carlson, Liisa D., DVM “Dog
Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook”.
Lloyd, Professor David, Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Campus:
“Diagnosis & Management of Adverse Food Reactions in Dogs”
Osborn, Sarah Colombini DVM, Southwest Veterinary College, Houston:
“Optimal use of Hypoallergenic Diets”
Ihrke, VMD, Professor of Dermatology, School of Veterinary Meicine, University of California: “Flea Allergy Dermatitis”