Dog Hives Treatment with Antihistamines

Dog hives treatment may be important to relieve the excessive itching and irritability that comes with this allergic reaction. Hives will usually appear within 30 minutes of exposure to a substance that the dog is allergic to, and produce bumps all over the body and face. These bumps can swell substantially and produce extreme discomfort for the dog. Allergens could include food, grass, pollen, mold, insect bites and even stress. There are several treatment options for alleviating symptoms, and one of the most highly recommended is treatment with antihistamines.

Using Antihistamines for Dog Hives Treatment

Dog hives treatment with antihistamines is beneficial for temporarily treating mild symptoms. Antihistamines block the body's reaction to the allergen and prevent or treat symptoms such as bumps, scratching, excessive licking and inflammation. If the cause of hives has been determined, it's beneficial to remove it, change the environment or keep the dog from being exposed to this substance. This will cut symptoms considerably. If the cause cannot be determined or removed, antihistamines will provide short-term relief with limited side effects. The use of antihistamines is only recommended for symptoms that are mild in nature. If symptoms are more severe or cannot be relieved with antihistamines, short-term use of corticosteroids may be suggested. For allergy conditions which have been present for long periods of time, or when life-threatening situations occur, such as anaphylaxis, treatment with antihistamines will not be recommended.

Types of Antihistamines Available

There are several different types of antihistamines available for dog hives treatment. Over-the-counter Benadryl is a popular choice for dog owners, and can be safely given in dosages based on weight. Dyphenhydramine is the active ingredient in Benadryl, so any antihistamine medication using this ingredient should produce similar results. Chlopheniramine, sold by brand names such as Chlor-Trimeton, is another choice of antihistamine that provides relief for itching, watery eyes, runny nose and hives, and is safe for use with dogs for the short-term. None of these medications should be given on a consistent and daily basis, as long-term use could lead to serious side effects and health problems. Refrain from using over-the-counter antihistamines or other types of medication which have not been proven safe for use in dogs.

Concerns and Considerations

When deciding to use antihistamines for dog hives treatment, especially over-the-counter medications, you should be aware that while side effects are generally low in occurrence, they can be produced under certain conditions. Some drowsiness is likely and heart rate may increase. If these symptoms become severe or any other symptoms occur, such as agitation, shallow breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite or the inability to urinate, you should discontinue use of the antihistamine immediately. There are many options for treating dog hives, and dogs often exhibit a wide range of reactions with each type of treatment. It may be necessary to experiment with different treatment options to find one that is most suitable for your particular dog. Likewise, interchanging different types of medication may be beneficial as well.