Hives Due to Allergies in Dogs

Hives Due to Allergies in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Most common symptoms

Itching / Papules

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Rated as moderate conditon

33 Veterinary Answers

Most common symptoms

Itching / Papules

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Hives Due to Allergies in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

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What are Hives Due to Allergies?

Allergic reactions for dogs often appear on the skin in the form of redness, swelling, and itching. Urticaria, known more commonly as hives, is another common skin reaction to allergens. Although hives are not generally life-threatening, they can develop into more serious problems. These small raised wheals are extremely itchy, and if your dog scratches at them, they may become even more inflamed or even rupture which can lead to dangerous skin infections. Swelling that occurs in the throat and nasal passages can also make breathing difficult, if not impossible.

Urticaria, known more commonly as hives, is a common skin reaction to allergens that produces red, raised bumps that cause intense itching.

Symptoms of Hives Due to Allergies in Dogs

Not every bump or inflammation on a dog can be considered hives. Hives generally develop within approximately twenty minutes after exposure to the allergen. They are cutaneous wheals, meaning that they are bumps that appear on the skin itself rather than the fatty layer under the skin. They are round, raised bumps that are between one to five centimeters in diameter, but severe hives can occasionally converge to create a larger mass.

  • Round raised bumps
  • Itchiness
  • Red patches

Types

Hives are not the only type of bumps that can be indicative of an allergic reaction: 

  • Angioedema - Bumps similar in size to hives but found subcutaneously, in the fatty layer beneath the skin; angioedema may occur with or without hives, and the itching and burning sensations can be intense

  • Atopy - Atopy is an allergic reaction characterized by inflamed and itchy skin; dogs with atopy may also develop papules, tiny raised bumps, which are usually under a centimeter in diameter
  • Urticaria - Cutaneous bumps that are one to five centimeters in diameter. Can be found in small clusters or all over the body

Causes of Hives Due to Allergies in Dogs

Although any allergy can result in hives, certain types of allergens are prone to causing them. The most common sources for hives can include:

  • Drug and immunization reactions
  • Food allergies
  • Insect stings and bites
  • Insecticides (usually from contact with treated plants and grass)
  • Plant related allergic response
  • Soaps and shampoos

Diagnosis of Hives Due to Allergies in Dogs

Hives have a fairly distinctive raised appearance and can often be diagnosed visually. The primary diagnostics are not focused on the symptom of hives, but rather on the cause of the hives themselves. Allergies are the most frequent cause of hives, but there are many types of allergies, so the emphasis is placed on determining the allergen that is causing the reaction. The veterinarian is likely to request a biochemistry profile and a complete blood count which may expose a type of white blood cell that would indicate an allergic reaction called eosinophils.

Skin scrapings will often be taken from any areas that are affected by the hives or by other types of rash, for use in the microscopic examination of the skin cells to look for issues like signs of disease, mites, or yeast infections. This type of evaluation is called a cutaneous cytology. In some cases, small amounts of the suspected allergen or allergens are injected under the skin to confirm that suspicion. In the event that the allergy is a food related allergy, dietary trials are often the best method to uncover which ingredient the patient is reacting to.

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Treatment of Hives Due to Allergies in Dogs

If your dog has developed hives due to allergy, your veterinarian will give you instructions on how to ease the itching and swelling. Quite often urticaria disappears spontaneously, but in cases where it persists, antihistamines like Benadryl or Zyrtec are often the first line of defense when it comes to treatments given to combat allergic reactions if medication is required. However, many natural remedies may ease the itching of urticaria. Colloidal oatmeal (oatmeal ground into flour) is a safe and inexpensive treatment which can be found in many pantries, and essential oils like lavender, chamomile, and peppermint can help relieve the itching pain associated hives.

Your dog’s doctor should also be consulted before using any over-the-counter medications, as the dosage for canines is quite a bit different than the dosage for humans, and it can vary based not only on your dog’s weight, but also based on their physical condition and other medications they may be taking. Antihistamines are only effectual in around 20% - 30% of dogs who are allergic and even those effects can fade with time, so in severe or chronic episodes steroids and corticosteroids may be required.

Recovery of Hives Due to Allergies in Dogs

As allergic reactions tend to get more aggressive over time, it may be recommended that you get a prescription for an epi-pen if your dog has had a moderate to severe allergic reaction involving hives or angioedema. This device has a properly measured dose of epinephrine for your dog. Canines over 45 pounds are generally prescribed a regular adult EpiPen, canines between 20-45 pounds will use the EpiPenJr, and animals smaller than 20 pounds will usually be given a syringe with the right sized dose for their size. Use of an EpiPen should be followed by a trip to the emergency room, even if your dog appears fully recovered. Epinephrine is a short-acting drug, and the allergic reaction may resume without proper medical treatment.

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Hives Due to Allergies Average Cost

From 331 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$300

Hives Due to Allergies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Boone

dog-breed-icon

large mixed breed

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4 Years

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Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Bumps Vomiting Rash Not Eating

My dog started having bumps on the top of his head and ears, making it uncomfortable like shaking his head as if he was itchy. The next morning the bumps had moved and his eyes were very red and only the whites of his eyes were bulging out ... he also is throwing up. Now he has a rash under his armpits and on his belly and the bumps on his body just keep moving. He was eating until just this morning. That's not like him. It's been raining a lot where we live. Not sure if that helps but I also had switched him and my other dog to a grain free soy free and corn free food, then back to their normal food same brand. Loyall* my other dog has no symptoms at all... please help as I am a single mom and funds are low and actually my car. Is broken down ATM so not sure how I would get the poor guy to the vet!

Aug. 1, 2018

Boone's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

I think that Boone does need to see a veterinarian, as inconvenient as that is, as from what you are describing, his signs are getting worse and not better. Without seeing him, I am not sure if he is having a rash that is caused by an allergy, a parasite, a bacterial or a fungal infection. There are many clinics that do offer a free or discounted first exam that would allow you to have him seen, and give you an idea of cost of treatment for him. I hope that all goes well for him.

Aug. 1, 2018

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Zoey

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terrier

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4 Years

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Fair condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Red Patches

My dog has patches of red flaky skin that itches her it’s on her right side were fur meets her skin on underside it’s only in the fur area closer to back legs I have no job an no money for a vet what can I buy her from a pet store to help I don’t know what to do

July 17, 2018

Zoey's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

Without examining Zoey I cannot determine whether the cause is due to allergies, infections, parasites or another cause; however you could try to give Zoey Benadryl at 1mg/lb two to three times per day in case it is an allergy as well as ensuring that she is up to date on flea & tick spot on medication. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 17, 2018

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Annie

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Pit bull

dog-age-icon

7 Years

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Swelling
Hives
Excitment,
Hot Skin

My dog was lethargic and acted as though she couldn't walk but then after some time we got her too and that when i noticed her face swelling and turning red and felt hot. I went to the store and got something that contained antihistamine because I couldn't find benadryl. I prescribed her half a pill not knowing how much to give. The swelling went done but know I'm noticing swelling in her throat and hives have appeared on a lot of her body. She also is more energetic and feisty. Do you have any recommendations on what I should do.

July 11, 2018

Annie's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

If Annie has swelling around her throat you should visit a Veterinarian immediately as the swelling may restrict the passage of air to the lungs, also without knowing which antihistamine you gave I cannot recommend any other over the counter medication. As I mentioned since Annie’s throat is swelling visit a Veterinarian immediately. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 11, 2018

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Alice

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Pit bull

dog-age-icon

10 Months

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Hives

My puppy is almost 10 months old, and this is her second time having hives. She they showed up a few nights ago, and we took her to the vet the next morning. We can't know for sure, but we think she got them from a food allergy. After altering her diet to chicken only as recommended by her vet, the hives went down and we have kept a close eye on her. We have also been giving her the appropriate dose of Benadryl 3 times a day. The hives showed up on Friday night, went to the vet on Saturday, and now it's Monday night and some small hives are showing up again. How common is it for them to be reappearing while she is recovering from the initial reaction? Thank you for your help in advance!

June 5, 2018

Alice's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Hives are not a common reaction to a food allergy, but are quite common when bitten by an insect or another similar situation. It can take a few days for the reaction to subside, and she may need to be on treatment for those few days. If you are not sure that she is okay, it would be best to contact your veterinarian and see if she needs stronger medication, or if you are okay to continue with the Benadryl. It would also be a good idea to make sure that there aren't any areas with insects that Alice is continuing to visit.

June 5, 2018

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Kimmy

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Africanis

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2 Years

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Swelling
Itching
Hives

My dog Kimmy broke out in hives in the early Monday morning. She had not been outside and there have been no changes in her diet or environment. We gave her Benadryl, a cool bath, and cleaned her bedding, yet it got progressively worse throughout the day. Once her one eye started to swell we took her to the vet who confirmed it was an allergic reaction and gave her a cortisone injection as well as medication. She was fine on Tuesday but woke up in Hives again on Wednesday, given Benadryl and her medication she cleared up. Today is Thursday and she woke up in Hives again. Another trip to the vet who gave her another cortisone shot and is now on a plain biscuit diet. Why does this keep happening all of a sudden? What do we do? Getting worried as she is quite a hardy dog...

May 3, 2018

Kimmy's Owner


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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Some allergic reactions will last for a few days, and some dogs need steroid therapy for that time frame to stop the reaction from reoccurring. If she was stung by an insect or something on Monday morning, she may need a few days of medications before things calm down. It is also possible that she is finding something and continuing to have the reaction, in which case watching her very closely when she is outside and in the house would be a good idea. Reactions like that are commonly caused by insects, so that is a possibility.

May 4, 2018

I took my dog to the vet yesterday because she had been throwing up and had a tiny bit of blood in her stool. They prescribed antibiotics and antidiarrheal. And gave her a shot at the vet that stopped the vomiting. But the next day after two doses of the antibiotic she broke out in hives its bad her eye is swollen shut. I've given her two doses of Benadryl and it doesn't seem to be getting better it's been 7 hours since the first dose.

May 4, 2018

Rachel D.

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Roxy

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Rhodesian Ridgeback

dog-age-icon

18 Months

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Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Bumps Around Head And Neck

We adopted Roxy 4 mos ago and we live in the woods. Roxy has had regular skin conditions since we got her. The vet first prescribed 10 days of antibiotics and it got better and then returned after she went off of them. The vet then prescribed a month of antibiotics and it again got better but now has returned once again a few weeks after the course was done.It starts as little bumps around her neck and head and has turned into open wounds from her scratching. I think the vet may want to try antibiotics again for 3 months and i'm concerned about her developing immunity to them.

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Autumnx

dog-breed-icon

Boxer

dog-age-icon

7 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Round Raised Bumps
Itching - Some

My 7 month old Boxer/Blue Tick Coonhound almost died when she was a puppy from being allergic to a monthly flea treatment. When she was spayed earlier this month the vet said she had a reaction to the Betadine solution, so he had to wash it off & give her something. Last Saturday she came up with raised bumps & strips all over her back and sides. I don't see any redness and she hasn't been itching a whole lot; just a bit more. Monday the Vet said to give her 2 benedryls twice/day. It helps, but doesn't completely go away. Called back today (Wednesday) and am waiting to see what he wants to do.

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Tucker

dog-breed-icon

Boxer

dog-age-icon

6 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Iching , Whining, Running

my 3 month old Boxer was experiencing hives after are walk outside so we gave him the normal dose of benedryl and still would not go away so that night we took him to the vet and he got a steriods shot and the bumps went away but today i walked him agian and he got the bumps agin

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Penelope

dog-breed-icon

English Bulldog

dog-age-icon

10 Weeks

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Itching And Hives

I have a 10 week old English Bulldog who got into wet seafood cat food last night. I have been giving her 5ML of Benadryl every few hours to help subside the itching and hives. It has not been 24 hours since the reaction. How much longer can I give her the Benadryl before it isn't considered safe and I take her into the vet? She still has very small hives but when the Benadryl starts to wear off the hives start to flare up.

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Nutmeg

dog-breed-icon

pitbull

dog-age-icon

3 Years

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Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Redness
Itching
Hives
Red Bumps

We just moved to a new home with many new types of plants in the backyard. My pitbull/boxer started to develop a rash on his genitals and inner hind legs (and just a tiny bit on his lip, I assume it spreads from licking the main rash). I gave benadryl for two days and it started to clear up, so I stopped the benadryl. A couple days later it came back but was bumpy like hives rather than just red. I started giving benadryl again and also put on a dog hydrocortizone cream on the rash because he was walking funny due to the location of the hives. They have now started to scab and are going away, he is no longer acting as if they bother him. This happened to him once before, months ago. That time I took him to the vet and he was given a steroid shot and antibiotics. Wondering why he only gets it on his underbelly and not eyes/face? Is this in fact from plants outside or would just getting it on his underbelly indicate something else?

Hives Due to Allergies Average Cost

From 331 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$300

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