Tips on Being Ready for an Allergic Reaction


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Allergic reactions can occur in dogs and can vary from mild to severe. The cause is often difficult to determine but can result from vaccinations or insect bites.

The most severe reaction is "anaphylaxis", an immediate reaction that leads to life-threatening symptoms that include vomiting, diarrhea, staggering, rapid drop in blood pressure, swelling of the larynx leading to airway obstruction, and cardiovascular collapse.

The most common type of allergic reaction is "Urticaria" which is a rapid swelling and redness of the lips, around the eyes, and in the neck region that can be very itchy. Hives may also occur. Urticaria may progress to anaphylaxis.

If treated successfully treated, the prognosis for long-term health is good. If your dog experiences signs of an allergic reaction, call your veterinarian immediately. They may recommend that you bring your dog right away. For mild reactions, they may recommend that you give your dog diphenhydramine (Benadryl®). The dose is approximately 1 mg per pound. Therefore, a 25 pound dog would get 25 mg or a 75 pound dog would receive 75 mg. Don't give any medications without the approval or direct recommendation of a veterinarian.

For more information, please read Alergic Reactions in Dogs.

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About The Author

debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.