Dog Hives and Runny Eyes

by Elishia

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 had been doing for about 6 months now, came home, I picked up some sticks from the backyard. Juneau was laying in the sun. I came into the house and laid next to her on the floor and noticed a strange bump underneath the skin on her chest. It was pretty large.

I immediately gave her a benedryl and put her in the bath. As I was bathing her I noticed one side of her lip was starting to swell. I rinsed her off, called the vet, and brought her in right away.

They checked her vitals, had me wait for 45 min, checked her again and she was fine. Most if not all the hives and swelling were gone. She was prescribed prednisone to be given if she had another allergic reaction. 6 hours later I noticed she was itchy so I gave her another Benedryl. I waited about 1/2 hour and when I noticed she was starting to break out all around her chest and neck I gave her prednisone. This helped almost immediately.

Two days later another breakout of dog hives worse than before and I gave her benedryl and prednisone again and it helped again. She was fine for another 2 days and broke out worse than ever before. This time her eye was swollen 1/4 of the way closed. Gave her meds and this time I was going to start giving it to her regularly. She is now breaking out every night and we wake up around 4am to give her meds.

I haven't changed a thing in or out of the house. We haven't been back to the dog park in 8 days. I tried switching her food to Natural Balance Limited Ingredients No Grain. No new laundry detergent, no new soap, nothing new in the house.

Maybe she has developed a dog allergy that she never had before, but then what should I do about the problem? I have heard that dogs need to be off any medication in order to get a proper allergy test and off prednisone for a proper thyroid test.

If she's off the meds for more than a missed dose she breaks out. I am at a loss. She's been to the same vet 3 times for this and I have consulted with another vet.

I am wondering if you have any advice or suggestions? I'm willing to found that quercetin, nettle, vitamin C, vitamin B12, fish oil, and several other things are all very effective natural antihistamines and and anti-inflammatories.

My local pet store sells an all natural brand of allergy support tablets called "Vet's Best: Seasonal Allergy Support" Almost every single thing that I read is in a natural antihistamine are in these tablets. Its only $11 for a 60-count bottle. I'll try anything. I can only email a photo.

Editor Suggestions Regarding Dog Hives and Allergy

Dear Elishia,

Sorry to hear about the persistent dog hives and canine allergy.

Urticaria, Nettle Rash or Dog Hives are caused by several factors, such as either an immunological response to pollen grains (seasonal allergies), medication, chemicals and insect bites or non immunological factors such as heat, psychological stress, exercise and/or genetic abnormalities which may intensify the problem.

Dog Hives usually appear as wheals or plaques over the skin, which develops within minutes to hours after exposure to an allergen. Some of the clinical features in severe cases includes fever, anorexia and dullness. Skin lesions appear mostly on the neck, eyes, back, flanks and legs.

The severity of the condition also depends upon the sensitivity of the affected dog, and it is more common in pure breeds and short haired dogs. Middle aged dogs, like yours are more prone to severe Urticaria.

Dog hives may or may not need treatment at all; usually the skin lesions/bumps disappear on their own as rapidly as they appear, but in case they persist for a long time or become chronic in nature, then they should be handled with care.

Over time, it becomes impossible to diagnose the exact cause of the condition, because not only the allergen, but the anti-histaminic drugs administered may trigger the immune response.

Prednisolone is very effective in acute cases of Urticaria, but it is never recommended for long term treatment. Other anti-allergic drugs, including “Benadryl” which contains Diphenhydramine are still questionable to use in such conditions. They may help in reducing the severity, but cannot act as a specific solution for Urticaria.

In dogs, where the hives/Urticaria persists, and becomes chronic, the treatment plan includes the elimination of the possible allergen, which may be anything including immunological and non – immunological factors, and the proper handling of the case with specific anti-histaminic drugs such as Hydroxyzine.

The product you mentioned above, i.e. “Vet’s Best: Seasonal Allergy Support” can be helpful in reducing the severity of the symptoms; it contains nettle leaf extract which is a very effective natural treatment for urticaria. Other ingredients, i.e. Vitamins, fish oil, quercetin etc do have some anti allergic properties, but they are only supportive ingredients along with the nettle leaf extract. They can help in improving the physiology of your dog. This is only a supportive measure. It should be remembered that Urticaria can never be treated properly unless the causative allergen or other cause is eliminated.

For added support, we also recommend that you should not only administer the “Seasonal Allergy Support”, but also use some other natural remedies such as Skin and coat tonic and Pet Calm to help reduce any psychological stress developed due to the condition.

It has been noted that many intestinal parasites are the most common reason for chronic canine urticaria. It is possible that your pet has somehow managed to ingest parasites or any intermediate host containing intestinal parasites. Here, we’d also recommend some natural remedies, which will help in eliminating possible internal/digestive parasites. Here the natural remedy Parasite Dr. could be of help.

Genetic factors may intensify urticaria or canine hives, but they can never cause any permanent deformities. Urticaria is only related to the immune system of your pet. This means that your pet is sensitive towards seasonal & other possible allergens. You need to take more care of your dog by using organic diets, natural remedies and preventing exposure to possible allergens.

Best of luck in identifying the cause of the dog hives. Until then, try the natural remedies to see if they can help with the symptoms.

Please keep us up to date on your dogs skin condition.

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