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, but the Frenchie seems to be guarding (to the extreme) both food dishes and just very bullying of the little Bezou (who thinks she is much larger than she is).
Today, only their third day together, and Lily has broken out in dog hives all over her body. She has had hives before, which we thought was caused by a food change, and the vet gave her bendryl and a steroid and got rid of the food we felt was the cause. This time the only change is a new puppy,
I think she is just so stressed having another dog around that it is causing her to get hives. Could this be the reason and will we have to get rid of our new puppy? We are already totally in love with her but we don't want Lily to suffer. I'm hoping time will be our friend and Lily will begin to relax, but is it too late to bring in a new puppy since Lily has been alone and a Princess since we got her at 6 weeks old. I really thought she would love to have a playmate but maybe not.
Please give me any advise you can. We do have her back on the benedryl again and she seems to be getting relief.
Suggestions from our Vet Regarding Dog Hives related to stress caused by a new puppy being introduced into the home
Yes indeed, stress can be a contributing factor in the development of dog skin hives, but so can almost anything else – allergies, heat, cold, touching the skin, etc. I suspect that with time and a little work on your end, Lily will become less stressed and her hives will be a thing of the past. With the addition of a new dog to the house, do what you can to keep Lily’s life as “normal” as possible. Give her lots of one on one attention and breaks from Princess if she seems to want them.
Also, feed the dogs separately and pick up any remaining food when they’re done. If you continue to see behavioral issues between the two dogs after they have had a chance to get used to each other, make an appointment with a veterinary behaviorist. You should be able to manage these two personalities without having to “get rid” of anybody.
If Lily continues to have hives, your veterinarian could put her on prednisone for several months to try to “reset” her immune system and then gradually reduce the dose over another month or two.