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A Quick Guide To Allergic Reactions in Dogs


Dr. Justine Lee discusses allergic reactions in dogs. For more from Dr. Lee, find her on Facebook!

Ever have an allergic reaction? The same can happen to dogs too! Allergic reactions are a very common cause for midnight visits to the emergency room for dogs.

Allergic reactions are often secondary to exposure to some type of antigen (an allergen). Unfortunately, we often never know the cause for the allergic reaction, but it can be due to numerous causes such as the following:

  • Drugs (like vaccines, medications, antibiotics, etc.)
  • Chemicals in the environment (household cleaners like carpet cleaners, air fresheners, etc.)
  • Bug bites (due to bee or wasp stings)
  • Common natural allergens (like pollen, mold, etc.)
  • Anything!

In dogs, signs of an allergic reaction include:

  • Puffy face (e.g., swelling of the face and body)
  • Hives
  • Itchiness
  • Redness of the skin
  • Agitation/restlessness
  • Feeling hot to the touch

Though rare, dogs can experience life-threatening reactions but these are less common. Signs of severe allergic reactions that warrant an immediate visit to an emergency veterinarian include:

  • Collapse
  • Difficulty breathing due to inflammation or swelling of the throat/airway
  • Shock (e.g., an elevated heart rate, low blood pressure)
  • Abnormal heart rhythm

Treatment for an allergic reaction typically includes:

  • Antihistamines (like Benadryl or diphenhydramine)
  • Corticosteroids (like dexamethasone or prednisone)
  • And rarely, epinephrine (for severe life-threatening reactions)

In severe cases, epinephrine, oxygen, corticosteroids, blood pressure and heart monitoring, and 24/7 care are imperative for best outcome and survival.

With mild allergic reactions, you can consult your veterinarian about just treating with Benadryl at home (make sure the Benadryl doesn’t have any added other ingredients). The dose of Benadryl is typically 1 mg per pound of weight of your dog (so a 50 pound dog would get 50 mgs of Benadryl).

When in doubt, know what warning signs to look for when it comes to an allergic reaction to keep your pet safe.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.


Dog Allergies Symptoms-Signs of Allergies to Dog

In most cases, people who are allergic to dogs will also have other allergy problems. The allergy symptoms do not vary much from those that are experienced in other reactions. The difference is on what component from a dog is causing the reaction. This could affect the respiratory system or the skin. A person who has a dog allergy will experience the following signs of dog allergies:

  • Red itchy eyes
  • A runny and stuffy nose
  • Sneezing, coughing and wheezing

In some people, their skin will also react. Allergy to dog skin rash is common when there is licking and this may involve getting skin itching and breakouts at the point of contact. This is more so after a dog licks you when you are allergic to dog saliva. It is also possible to experience hives. These are symptoms mostly experienced by people with severe allergies.

The reaction is normally different and will vary. Some people will only get dramatic and sudden symptoms at the time of exposure to dogs. For others, the symptoms are persistent but occur on a low scale. This will then clear up once they are away from the area of exposure such as when they travel away from home.

Allergy to dogs skin rash

For people who are highly sensitive and have a severe allergy to dogs, it may be hard to control the symptoms.

In most cases, exposure to dog allergens will also worsen other related conditions such as asthma, sinusitis, snoring, sleep apnea and eczema.

With some allergy sufferers, consistent exposure may cause desensitization to the allergens while with some people it could cause the reactions to worsen.


Help! I’m Allergic To My Dog – What Should I Do?

Choosing the right dog and taking it home is often a happy and fulfilling time for most pet owners. But when trouble strikes in the form of allergic reactions whenever your new dog comes near you, that happy decision can quickly take a turn.

But an allergy to dogs doesn’t have to mean the end of the road for you and your pets! In fact, many people with allergies to dogs can still continue to live with and take care of them.

Not sure what your next steps should be? We’ve put together this helpful guide for what you should do and know after discovering an allergy. And if you’re looking for a reliable source for tips, tricks, and guides for dog owners, check out our other fur baby articles!


What are Plastic Allergies?

Allergies to the synthetic polymers are not common, but they can happen. Dogs can develop allergies at any age, and to any substance. Allergies to plastics can be challenging to diagnose due to the prevalence in plastic products. Plastics are often used in the manufacture of pet products like toys, food bowls, and rope, as well as in everyday commodities such as food wrap, shoes, and carpet. Contact allergies can be just as uncomfortable, unsightly, and difficult to diagnose for our canine companions as they are for humans, and medical attention should be obtained to deal with this serious health condition.

Allergies are a hyperactive reaction of the immune system to a protein that the body sees as an intruder. Allergies to fully synthetic polymers such as most plastics are rare but not unheard of.

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Watch the video: How to Tell Your Dog Has Allergies (July 2021).