Anaphylactic Shock in Dogs

An anaphylactic shock is a reaction of the dog to an allergen. However, unlike the normal allergic reactions such as sneezing or itchy skin, the anaphylactic shock manifests through severe swelling of the lungs and air passages and may be deadly. The anaphylactic shock requires urgent treatment to save the pet’s life.

Anaphylactic Shock in Dogs

An anaphylactic shock in dogs is an immediate reaction to various allergens in the environment, leading to swelling of the airways and respiratory problems. The condition can be fatal if treatment is not administered within 5 minutes of the allergic reaction.

Dogs that are sensitive to other allergens may develop anaphylaxis to some other factors as well. The anaphylactic shock is a response of the immune system and dogs that have a weaker immune system may develop anaphylaxis more often than healthy dogs.

Causes of Anaphylaxis

An anaphylactic shock may be developed as a response to exposure to various allergens such as:

  • Feathers
  • Pollens
  • Dust mites
  • Mold
  • Drugs
  • Toxins and household chemicals
  • Insect bites
  • Certain foods

These triggers cannot be detected until the dog manifests the anaphylactic shock symptoms. However, once these factors are detected, these should be avoided.

Symptoms of Anaphylactic Shock

The symptoms of anaphylactic shock will occur immediately after the dog is in contact with the culprit substance.

The dog will have a swollen face and he will have difficulties breathing, due to the fact that the lungs, trachea and upper airways will get inflamed. The inflammatory cells are produced by the immune system, when encountering the culprit allergen.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Incontrollable moves
  • Sudden collapse
  • Weakness
  • Hives
  • Lethargy
  • Unconsciousness, due to the fact that the dog’s organs and brain will not be properly oxygenated

Treatment for Anaphylaxis

An anaphylactic shock is a medical emergency and you need to rush to the vet as soon as you see that your dog is displaying abnormal symptoms.

If treatment is not administered in a timely manner, the dog may die, as he will not be able to get air and this can lead to system failure.

If you know that your pet may be developing an anaphylactic shock, it’s best to avoid the triggering factors. You must also be aware of the fact that your dog may develop an anaphylactic shock to other factors as well, so you need to be prepared with an epinephrine shot or an epipen at all times. You must learn how to interpret your pet’s symptoms and be able to administer the shot in a timely manner.