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Bumps/Lumps/Hives = Allergies??

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  • Bumps/Lumps/Hives = Allergies??

    There is a call into the vet...but in the meantime, I'm wondering if anyone else has a dog with allergies.

    A little background: I adopted a 1.5yr old pit about 7 weeks ago. When she came to us she was eating Purina 1 Chicken and Rice along with Milkbones and Rawhides for treats. After adopting Katie we slowly switched her to Blue Buffalo Chicken and Rice, and she still gets MilkBones on occasion and Bully Sticks (no rawhide as she swallows them whole).

    Since coming to us she has broken out into various lumps and bumps along her back and ribs. The first time was about 3 weeks ago, and after a trip to the vet (of course on the weekend), we came home with steroids, antibiotics, and benadryl. The bumps cleared up within 2-3 days and she looked great.

    Every once in a while I notice a random bump that looks more like a mosquito bite, but as of last night, Katie is once again covered in bumps. I am giving her Benadryl 2x per day and waiting for comments from the vet.

    This dog is never allowed off of the leash so I do not think she rolled in anything or ran into an ant hill. These break outs do not occur when we Frontline or heartworm. The only recent change was the purchase of a dog bed a few days ago.

    So, any input? My current plan is to take away the Bully Sticks and see if this helps. Next will be changing the dog food back to Purina 1. Could she have an allergy to food? Clothes Detergent? Fabric? Shampoo? We have been hiking in the woods, but I would think if this is poison ivy, I would have it as well.


  • #2
    She could have an allergy to any one of the things you mentioned, including flea bites (if she goes outside she can get one bite that can set off a reaction). She very well might be sensitive to the material her bed is made from as well.

    Dogs don't get skin reactions to poison ivy like we do, also. It sounds like your plan is good; remove the possible causes, and then slowly re-introduce things one-by-one (if necessary).


    • #3

      Our collie girl has issues with Pedigree food, made her break out into terrible hives (we think it was one of the preservatives they use). After we switched her food it never happened again.

      If you see the starts of the lumps coming on, Benedryl right away can help prevent a full-on out break. But if it gets worse you have to take them to the vet for the steroids.

      I would bet it's the food there are several 'holistic' brands out there, and you might want to try that.
      "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
      Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
      Need You Now Equine


      • #4
        I would try upgrading the food if it is feasible. Brands like Innova and Wellness have some holistic and very basic formulas (1 protein, 1 starch/carb) that work well on dogs with allergies. I had a Golden Retriever who had similar issues. He broke out the worst if he had any contact with fleas. I always had him on a monthly topical, but we ended up switching to Comfortis before it started working.

        Good luck to your furbaby!


        • #5
          but as of last night, Katie is once again covered in bumps.
          so what changed between yesterday and last night? THAT is your cause.


          • Original Poster

            Just got off the phone with the vet. She does not think that the bumps are diet related, but most likely environmental. Once this latest episode is clear we will be going to Chlorpheniramine 4mg 2x/day to keep things under control. I would still like to know what exactly is causing the problem, but at this point I'll be happy to have a bump-free pup.

            Thanks for the input!


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by wendy View Post
              so what changed between yesterday and last night? THAT is your cause.
              Absolutely nothing.....

              We went walking through the woods over the weekend, and also got a new dog bed. And I noticed a few bumps here and there, and then she just blew up with about 20-30 bumps yesterday. There have been no extra treats or additional types of food, so not sure it is related to diet.

              I wonder if it just takes a few days for the reaction to build?


              • #8
                Originally posted by MtyMax View Post
                Absolutely nothing.....

                We went walking through the woods over the weekend, and also got a new dog bed. And I noticed a few bumps here and there, and then she just blew up with about 20-30 bumps yesterday. There have been no extra treats or additional types of food, so not sure it is related to diet.

                I wonder if it just takes a few days for the reaction to build?
                Usually 2-24 hours for a delayed hypersensitivity reaction (some are more delayed than others).

                I'd say then to narrow it down between the new bed and the walking in the woods over the weekend. It's possible she has a bug bite reaction if she got bit in the woods too!


                • #9
                  I have a dog with allergies. We had the skin testing done and found he's allergic to to aspergillius, fleas, and dust mites. He's on desensitizing shots since the only thing that's somewhat controllable are fleas.
                  Antihistamines like Benadryl, Claritin...you can try those, and our vet dermatologist says some will work for one dog and not for others. I've tried maybe 10 without any real results. Just don't use any that have a decongestant incorporated in them.

                  She also says that most allergies are environmental vs. food.

                  If it continues, you could also try Atopica. I found that it helped, but didn't clear all the issues my dog was having. We also bathe frequently and wipe the dog's feet and legs with distilled water when he comes inside.

                  Good luck. I know how frustrating it is.


                  • #10
                    My dog has seasonal/environmental allergies. Mainly, she gets itchy and scratches her hide off for the month of August more or less. She will also get the hives. Originally, I thought it was food related, but the allergies come and go every year. I've tried benadryl in the past, but it only makes my dog drowsy. Chlorheneramine is also on the list my vet recommends. So is Clemastine (tavist). Someone on this board recommended Cetrinizin hydrochloride-- Zyrtec, but I can't read the spelling on the bottle. My dog is comfortable on this drug and doesn't itch. I will give it to her until the allergy season passes.


                    • #11
                      My dog is allergic to the rawhide chews, this developed only a few years ago, we went 10 years with no issues prior to that.

                      Since she is 13 and missing a few teeth, rawhide chews would be off her list of things to eat now anyway, so it's managable.
                      There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


                      • #12
                        Do the bumps eventually get crusty or flaky?
                        Your pet sounds like it's allergic, but to what is the question.
                        I would go to a veterinary dermatologist. www.acvd.org

                        If this is going to be a recurring vicious cycle, you'll spend less money in the long run. Lisa


                        • #13
                          Many "bumps" are early pustules, ie skin infections.
                          She needs a thorough skin examinination, use of a flea comb (even if you don't "see" fleas and treat her for them), maybe some cytological exam of the bumps, etc.

                          Most bumps from allerigic reactions are more hive in appearance, not actual "bumps", and they don't last very long. Contact allergies are uncommon in dogs, as already said.

                          Most allergies in dogs manifest as licking of feet or chronic ear problems. Not all, but most.

                          If this episode doesn't clear up and stay gone with your vet's treatment this time, get to a dermatologist.