Dog hives are caused by allergic reactions to insect stings and bites, food, toxins or chemicals. This page looks at the symptoms of hives, and how to use natural remedies to effectively treat and prevent hives in dogs.
Medically known as "Urticaria", hives are small bumps that can appear on your dog's skin, face, ears, and even tongue.
Dog hives are a form of short-term allergic reactions to, most commonly, insect stings.
Other possible causes could be the dog getting into contact with some allergens (which could be plenty!). For example, certain poisonous plants, household cleaning products, fabric softeners, household chemicals and insecticides... The list goes on.
Certain food items that your dog is allergic to, and certain medicines (such as penicillin, tetracycline, and other antibiotics) and vaccines may also cause hives.
You can usually see the hives developing within 15 to 20 minutes of the dog being exposed to the allergen.
Usually, hives are not life-threatening and the bumps will go away soon. However, the condition can cause a lot of discomfort and stress to our dogs.
Common symptoms include:
Conventionally, antihistamines (e.g. Benadryl) are used to treat canine hives. Serious cases hives in dogs may need the use of corticosteroids.
If it can be determined that the hives are caused by an acute reaction to the ingestion of a food item, then the vet may use Milk of Magnesia to remove the food quickly from the dog's digestive system.
If the hives are caused by direct contact with some allergens (e.g. topical insecticide, a flea product), bathing the dog and rinsing thoroughly can remove the chemical from the dog's haircoat and skin.
For hives that are not too serious and with no swelling, herbs can also be used to alleviate the itching.
For example, you can apply an oatmeal paste to the affected area(s). To make the oatmeal paste, cook the oatmeal in water until it is like a wet paste. Let it cool and apply it liberally to your dog.
Alternatively, give your dog oatmeal baths to help alleviate the itch. Boil about one pound of organic oat straw in 2 quarts of water and add this to your dog's bathwater.
Homeopathic remedies are very effective in treating sudden onset of hives caused by allergic reactions to substances such as chemicals, bug stings, etc.
Common homeopathic remedies for canine hives include:
This natural remedy is effective for the relief of itching and pain associated with not only hives, but also eczema, pimples, and other skin eruptions, as well as mange.
Unfortunately, hives are common allergic reactions and are difficult to prevent. But there are a few things dog parents can do to minimize the risk of their dogs developing hives, such as: