Why does my dog have hives?

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – Why does my dog have hives?


Jacob P.


Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote asking “why does your dog have hives”.
The most common reason for a dog to have hives is due to an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions can be caused by a variety of situations including reactions to vaccinations, drugs, chemicals, bee stings, and other insect bites.

It is common for us to never know the exact underlying cause of the allergic reaction. However, it is best to have your dog evaluated and treated. The most common drug used to treat allergic reactions and gives is Benadryl. Your veterinarian may prescribe it – starting with an injection then ask you to pick it up at your local store. The dose he will most likely prescribe is 1 mg/per pound. A 25-pound dog would get 25 mg and this is often repeated every 8 to 12 hours for a couple days (even if the hives are gone).

An article that might be helpful to you is Allergic Reaction from an Unknown Cause in Dogs.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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