Do your think your dog may have hives?
Hives are an allergic reaction characterised by the sudden appearance of circular, raised and itchy wheals on a dog's skin.
The hair sticks out in little patches which occur most often on the face - frequently, the eyelids are involved as well and are most noticeable because of the amount of swelling involved.
Hives can and do appear on other parts of the dog's body as well.
Hives generally appear within 30 minutes of exposure to an allergen and disappear within 24 hours.
The most common causes of hives are:
- Food allergies (milk, cheese and yogurt are very common culprits.
- Insect bites (flea bites).
- Allergic reactions to vaccinations, antibiotics.
- Topical insecticides and soaps.
Whenever possible, treatment should involve identifying the allergen, removing it from the dog's environment and pulling out all stops to prevent further exposure to your pet.
When an allergy to food is suspected, it is best to remove it from the dog's diet which involves a process of what vets refer to as a 12-week elimination diet trial.
An elimination diet trial involves eliminating any and all "suspect" foods from your dog's diet, which you think may be the cause of its allergy/s, and then gradually reintroducing them to try and ascertain the culprit food/s.
If hives suddenly appear shortly after using a topical insecticide spray, give your dog a nice warm bath and use a herbal shampoo and conditioner to remove any chemical residue left on its coat and skin.
Hives usually respond very well to an antihistamine such as Benadryl, which you should be able to buy over the counter from your local pharmacy either in a liquid form or a cream. In severe cases, don't wait around, put your pet out of its misery and book an appointment to visit your family vet, who will most probably recommend treatment with a cortisone medication.
If you are a believer in taking an Homeopathic approach for doggie ailments such as hives, mange (which is highly contagious) and other skin erruptions try keeping some Newton's Homeopathic skin care oral drops in your dog's first aid kit.