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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16334
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Dog has come up in lumps over face round eyes and chin and

Resolved Question:

Dog has come up in lumps over face round eyes and chin and mouth. Suspect either insect bites or plant like poison ivy. How best to treat to relieve itching?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am very sorry to hear about poor Bella.
The most common cause of sudden lumps appearing (hives), especially on the face is an allergic reaction.
Dogs rarely react to plants, especially poison ivy, though they can react to wandering jew plants. This is usually to an insect bite or sting. Sometimes we never figure out the cause because the bite/sting is covered up by diffuse swelling or hives.
Treatment is based upon stopping further allergic reaction with antihistamines like Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and sometimes cortisone if the reaction progresses.
Is her breathing and activity is normal?
No vomiting or diarrhea?
You can give her Benadryl (diphenhydramine only don't use the combination products with decongestants or acetaminophen as they can be toxic for dogs) at 2mg to 4mg per kilogram or one 25mg capsule per 8 to 12 kilograms of body weight orally every 8 hours. You'll need to give it for at least 72 hours (3 days) to allow the allergen time to clear. If you stop too soon the reaction will recur.
Dogs take a really high dose compared to people, so don't let the amount worry you. They require more per kilogram than we do.
This may make her a little sleepy.
And then you'll need to watch her closely for any progression of symptoms. That includes difficulty breathing, vomiting or diarrhea.
The swelling should resolve slowly over the next 12 to 24 hours.
You can also apply cool compresses to the affected areas.
In extreme allergic reactions they can get shocky and collapse but you should see difficulty breathing and vomiting/diarrhea first.
And that is very rare.
Most reactions are managed just fine with antihistamines alone.
Because you know now that she has these types of reactions you should keep Benadryl on hand at all times.
If you notice progression of her symptoms don't wait, have her checked by emergency.
If you 'd like you can have her regular vet check her. They can give a cortisone injection which will lessen symptoms faster.
But if she seems to be doing well then I would just call them and let them know so it is on her record for future reference.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
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