Dog Hives Suddenly Developed

by James V.

My dog developed severe hives all of a sudden tonight. It was accompanied by an elevated breathing pattern and very noticeable skin irritations!

He was very uncomfortable and felt hot. Other than that, his temperament and behavior have stayed the same.

It has been approximately two and a half hours since his condition has arose and after an oatmeal bath and extremely close observation he seems to be improving.

Possibilities included insects, raisins from raisin bran cereal, flea and tick ointment that was administered two days ago, and possibility of some other contact with a chemical substance in the garage.

Any suggestions on what I should do other than just monitor him and make sure that his condition continues to improve? I am just worried that there may be something long term threatening or that this may be a sign of something detrimental!



Editor Suggestion regarding treatment for sudden Dog Hives

Dear James,

Thank you for your question regarding how to treat dog hives and sorry to hear about the sudden onset of the condition.

The sudden onset of symptoms such as dog hives over the skin along with a rapid breathing pattern represents urticaria or an allergic reaction. It may be caused by anything such as dog food, drugs, chemicals, insect bites etc.

An acute or sudden condition is usually not a serious issue and there is a good chance that it will resolve on its own. However, associated signs such as rapid breathing may cause complications, which should be considered a mild medical emergency.

In such conditions, it is always recommended that antihistamines or anti allergic drugs should be administered. An owner can administer Benadryl (2-4mg/kg or 2-4mg/2.2lbs of body weight orally every eight hours), or the prescription antihistamine Diphenhydramine HCL after every 8 hours, until the symptoms resolve. Check with your veterinarian for the preferred dosage for your specific dog.

Dog skin irritation and itchiness can be treated with an oatmeal shampoo, which is considered the safest and most effective dog skin soothing agent for allergic skin irritations. Oatmeal is effective, but if it is
used in combination with green tea extracts, it can not only resolve any itchiness but can help to eliminate any dog skin hives as well.

Remember, the use of Benadryl and shampooing/dipping your dog in a Oatmeal preparation is only a symptomatic treatment approach. Canine skin hives or canine urticaria may reappear if the underlying allergen/cause is not removed.

It is better to discontinue the use of any flea and tick medication and to consult your veterinarian for any safe alternative for your dog.

Similarly, if you suspect that the cause of the allergy is a component in your dog food such as bran cereal, you can try to eliminate it and practice a trial feeding without energy rich food contents. This works by changing the diet over to one that contains a simple protein and carbohydrate such as chicken and rice. If the allergy subsides, then food can be assumed to be the cause of the dog skin hives. Additional ingredients can be gradually added back to the diet. If dog food allergy symptoms return, then the last food component added was probably the cause.

If the condition persists, it is better to consult a veterinarian who can administer steroids to overcome the issue. The steroids dexamethasone and predinsolone are administered for chronic cases of urticaria or hives in dogs.

At home, you can continue using a oatmeal shampoo. Look for a product which also contains green tea extracts and conditioning agents. We recommend Grreat Choice Oatmeal Dog Shampoo or similar product.

In addition to the shampoo, you can also a natural remedy such as Allergy Itch Ease to help relieve dog skin itch. These types of products will also help to soothe the skin.

Closely monitor your dogs symptoms, especially the rapid breathing. This can turn into a medical emergency if the underlying allergen is not eliminated. Be sure to identify the underlying cause yourself or consult a nearby veterinarian for any steroidal therapy, if required.

Best of luck to you and your dog with the canine hives problem. Please keep us up to date on how you were able to resolve the dog hive condition.

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