Causes of Welts on Dogs

There are a number of causes of welts appearing on dogs. Welts occur regardless of breed, size, gender or age of the dog. Sometimes welts occur as a result of an allergy or a more serious medical condition such as a mast cell tumor. Welts occurring for longer than 3 to 5 days with treatment or accompanied by other side effects, such as vomiting or diarrhea, should be examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Possible Causes of Welts on Dogs       

Any of the following can produce welts or hives on the skin:

  • Allergic reaction to plants
  • Allergic reaction to insect bites
  • Allergic reaction to other animals
  • Allergic reaction to household chemicals
  • Allergic reaction to garden chemicals
  • Allergic reaction to medications
  • Allergic reaction to foods
  • Allergic reaction to materials in bedding or toys
  • Stress
  • Certain medical conditions or diseases

Allergies Can Cause Welts

There are several types of allergies that can contribute to the onset of welts or hives on a dog. Welts are red, raised and itchy bumps on the skin of the dog, somewhat resembling mosquito bites. Dogs can scratch so often and hard that they can cause the skin to become swollen, red and inflamed.

Welts can be caused by contact dermatitis, whereby the irritant has come into direct contact with the skin, which causes the localized allergic reaction. Irritants can include both natural and artificial factors.

Certain plants and animals can cause an allergic reaction. Grass, weeds, plant sap, pollens, dander, dust mites, fleas and ticks can all trigger an allergic reaction. Some dogs have severe insect bite hypersensitivity reactions, which can result in welts on the skin.

Certain household or garden chemicals can also trigger allergic reactions. It is important to carefully read the label on all chemicals used around any animals for any warnings. Food allergies can also cause welts. Another cause can be a side effect to certain medications. Whenever introducing any new food or medication, it is wise to observe any change in behavior or physical change.

Other Causes of Welts

Stress can also bring about welts on the skin. If a dog starts any self-mutilating behavior, such as chewing on himself, it is extremely important to seek medical attention from a veterinarian. It is also important to determine the cause of the stress: new environment, new animal introduced, changes in routines or a loss of a companion.

Certain medical conditions can also cause welts, such as:

  • ringworm
  • cancer
  • bacterial
  • yeast infections
  • mast cell tumors (these types of tumors dump toxins into the bloodstream, which can cause a reaction such as welts)

Treatment of Dog Welts

Treatment begins with Benadryl and omega-3 fatty acids. This can then be followed by topical treatments, frequent bathing and treating any bacterial or yeast infections with antibiotics. Treating the underlying cause or causes will ensure complete recovery and the least possibility of reoccurrence. Steroids are sometimes used but they also cause other serious side effects, especially in growing puppies, young dogs or pregnant dogs. There are certain herbs that can relieve the itchiness, but care must be taken that the herb does not itself produce an allergic reaction.