The Causes And Treatment Of Dog Hives
Dog hives are not all that uncommon. Dogs get them just as people do, and often for the same reasons. Just as is the case with humans, dogs can be hypersensitive to certain things, and the hives are usually symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Most cases of dog hives are short lived, and the hives usually come and go within a 24 hour period. If they persist for much longer, the dog should be taken to the veterinarian, not only to provide some relief to the dog, but to check for what could be a more serious problem than just a case of hives.
Causes Of Hives - A dog can come down with hives by eating something it shouldn't. Certain chemicals can cause an outbreak. Even a new formula of dog food could cause dog hives. This happens rarely, but on occasion a new product may contain something, such as a food additive, artificial flavoring or coloring, that may give your pet an allergic reaction. Probably the most common cause of hives is an insect bite or sting, where your pet has an allergic reaction to the insect's toxins. Sometimes, when a dog is prescribed medication for treatment of another problem, an allergic reaction to the medication may take place, and an outbreak of hives can result.
Symptoms Of Hives - An allergic reaction can occur immediately upon exposure to an allergen, or the symptoms can be delayed for a period of time. Itching is the usual symptom, together with the appearance of bumps on the skin. Itching can occur on any part of the dog's body, but most commonly is experienced on the paws. A dog suffering from hives, may be scratching, as it would if it had fleas, but if it is licking its paws as well, dog hives are probably at the root of the problem. Extreme symptoms can include difficulty in breathing, hair loss, excessive dandruff or scaly skin, and facial swelling. These symptoms are often serious enough to call upon the services of a veterinarian, rather than attempting to treat the dog at home.
Home Remedies For Hives - There are several home remedies and over the counter medications one can use to effectively treat dog hives. A cool bath will often provide relief in mild cases. Antihistamines can also provide relief for certain allergens. If bumps are present on the skin, an oatmeal paste rubbed on the skin is often effective. You can also brew up some green tea, have a cup to calm yourself down, and pour the rest over the dog's skin (let it cool first!). Chamomile tea also works when poured on the dog. If the hives known to be the result of something the dog has recently eaten, a small amount of Milk of Magnesia may help limit the symptoms. Benadryl is also effective for dogs, but consult with a veterinarian first to see what is a safe dosage. The same applies to a dosage of Milk of Magnesia.
Prevention Of Dog Hives - There are some things you can do to prevent an outbreak of dog hives, especially if you know what your dog is allergic to. Insect bites cannot always be prevented, but if fleas cause an allergic reaction, you can certainly take steps to keep your dog free of fleas. When bathing your dog, pay attention to the soap or other bathing products you are using. One of these products could contain a substance that will cause an allergic reaction. Switching products can avoid future problems. A healthy diet will go a long ways in preventing dog hives and many other problems. Consult with your veterinarian to find the right formula to feed your dog, if you don't already know what is best for it. There are special pet formulas that contain no substances known to cause allergies in pets. Finally, watch for any abnormal behavior on the part of your dog, such as excessive paw licking, so if it does come down with a case of the hives you can take steps to keep its discomfort to a minimum.