If you are allergic to dogs, you might experience watery eyes, swelling, itching, red bumps, or rashes on the skin when exposed to a dog’s dander or saliva. This condition is called hives or urticaria, an allergic reaction caused by exposure to dogs. In many circumstances, the symptoms of a dog allergy are moderate. So, if the symptoms of hives are manageable, you may be able to tolerate living with a dog.
Some natural therapies can help to alleviate discomfort caused by hives. However, avoiding dog exposure is the best approach to truly remove dog allergies. Keep on reading to learn more about hives.
Can Dogs Cause Hives?
The intensity of the allergy determines the specific symptoms and when they appear. People who have severe allergic reactions to dogs may show symptoms shortly after exposure, while those with less severe allergies may take longer.
Here are some of the signs and symptoms of hives:
- Skin rashes
- Small, itchy, and painful red bumps on the body
- Congestion in the nose
- Sneezing and a runny nose
- Watery, stinging, and red eyes
- Chest constriction and loss of breath
What Are Hives?
Hives or urticaria can be defined as patches of red, puffy, and itchy skin that frequently come and go. Hives can appear on any part of the body and are NOT contagious. So, if your dog has hives, you should probably take it to the vet instead of worrying about catching them. On the other hand, if you are allergic to dogs, you might develop hives on your own.
In dogs, hives are relatively infrequent and are typically caused by dog shampoo, stings, bites, and certain medication. In some cases, hazardous or poisonous plants may also cause hives in both dogs and humans.
The rash can be caused or aggravated by friction, sunshine, heat, exercise, stress, and hereditary disorders. It only takes a couple of minutes or a few hours for hives to appear after being exposed to an allergen. Fever, a lack of appetite, or dullness may precede skin eruptions in severe cases. They can appear everywhere on the body; however, they are most commonly found on the back, flanks, neck, eyelids, and legs. Hives can be detected on the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, or in the lining of the eyes in advanced cases.
Since the reaction could progress into hazardous swelling of your airways or a life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, you should get medical help if you notice any signs and symptoms of hives. This is especially true for hives around the mouth or on the face, which can cause dangerous swelling and possibly airway obstruction.
What Are Dog Hives and Why Do They Occur?
As already mentioned, hives (also known as urticaria) are reddish, elevated patches of skin. Hives can be quite itchy for your dog, just like they are for us. They’re a symptom that your immune system is overreacting due to an allergy.
Hives can appear suddenly—and then vanish just as fast. A “wheal” is a raised red spot of the skin that can occur anywhere from several hours or a few minutes following contact with an allergen. Wheals can appear on your dog’s body in a variety of places, but they’re most common on the legs, stomach, back, neck, and head.
The hives typically go away or start to fade within 12 to 48 hours after coming into contact with the allergen in moderate situations.
Symptoms of Hives in Dogs
Some of the most common symptoms of hives include:
- Wheals (red elevated regions of skin that can appear anywhere on the body including mucousmembranes, but are mostly seen on the head, neck, back, belly, and legs).
- Severe itching
- Excessive drooling
- Swelling (angioedema), which is especially dangerous when it affects the face and respiratory system and can have serious and life-threatening implications.
Hives in Dogs: What Causes Them?
The allergen that triggers the hives could be anything in the environment, a chemical, or something your dog eats. Hives can be caused by anything that your dog is allergic to. Among the most common causes are:
- Stings and bites from insects (often involving the head and neck of your pup)
- Topical agents or shampoos
- Toxic plants
- Allergens in foods
How Do Veterinarians Diagnose Hives?
Your veterinarian will check your dog thoroughly to look for the characteristic wheals associated with hives. Wheals are usually covered in hair and can be found in clusters. Other aspects of the diagnosis, in addition to the physical examination, are:
- Any history you have; be as detailed as possible in outlining allergies your dog may have come into contact with, as well as when and where you first noticed the hives.
- The way your dog reacts to treatment
Hives in Dogs: What to Do
Hives in dogs normally react promptly to treatment, which can include the following:
- A steroid and an antihistamine (oral or injectable)
- Intravenous fluids and injectable medicines (in very serious cases)
Treatments that can be done at home include:
- To relieve itching, apply cold compresses to the hives or swollen regions
- Antihistamines, but only with the approval of your vet
Controlling Dog Hives
Consult your veterinarian to ascertain the cause of hives, taking into account both your dog’s health history and previous allergy exposure.
Infections are the most common cause of hives in humans. In addition, hives are commonly caused by foods, including shellfish, almonds, and eggs. Hives may also be triggered by medications, such as antibiotics and aspirin. Finally, hives can be caused by a variety of illnesses, including the common cold and other viral infections.
Although scratching hives might seem tempting, you’ll only make it worse because it can cause them to spread and become more irritated. The hives themselves are not communicable, but the cause of the hives could be. For instance, if dog hives are caused by a contagious infection like, the infection can spread to other people.
Urticaria or hives are a typical indication of an allergic reaction in humans or dogs. The immune system of your dog (just like your own) can react excessively to a substance or allergen, resulting in an allergic reaction. Hives in dogs are rarely life-threatening, and they usually go away on their own after a few hours. However, if they don’t go away without medicine, or if additional skin welts emerge or the size of the hives grows, you should seek veterinary help as soon as possible. It is important to remember that hives are not contagious so you shouldn’t worry about catching them from your dogs unless you’re allergic to them.