Hives or Nettle Rash: Causes and Treatment in the Dog

Hives is not a disorder in its own right, but rather summarizes symptoms that can also occur in humans. Almost every fourth person makes an unpleasant acquaintance with hives in the course of their life. The term stands for a skin reaction with redness and wheals. We give tips about hives in dogs.

Hives and Nettle Rash in Brief

The name says it all: Anyone who has ever come too close to nettles can empathize with the symptoms of hives. The red wheals in particular are typical.

  • Further designations: “Nesselfieber” or “Urtica” from Latin “nettle”.
  • Red wheals on the skin, which can cause severe itching, are typical.
  • If the dog has no contact with the trigger, the wheals often go away after a short time.
  • Chronic hives are rare.
  • Wheals can occur all over the body, the head is most commonly affected in dogs.

Hives in the Dog: Causes

The rash often subsides after a few minutes. Still, you should try to find out what caused the reaction. These include, for example, contact irritation or various allergies.

Hives From Contact Irritation

Nettles have small stinging hairs that are supposed to protect them from predators. When touched, these hairs break off and give off a mixture of serotonin, histamine, formic acid, and acetylcholine. Fascinating and annoying at the same time: a ten-thousandth of a milligram of this mixture is enough to trigger symptoms.

In this way, the nettle causes classic contact irritation.

Likewise, some animals such as caterpillars – for example, the oak processionary moth – can cause similar symptoms through stinging hair. Chemicals such as disinfectants or chlorine can also lead to nettle rash in dogs.

Red Wheals From Allergies

Many dogs suffer from allergies. The body’s own defense mechanisms react to harmless substances. Symptoms become noticeable in the gastrointestinal area through diarrhea or vomiting and also on the skin. Stress and high ambient temperatures can exacerbate symptoms.

If the dog has nettle rash due to an allergic reaction, it could be due to a contact allergy. Are you using a new detergent or fabric softener for the dog blanket? Does the dog have a new toy?

The time and location of the rash can provide clues as to what caused the allergy. For example, if the dog suffers from a contact allergy to an ear care product, a nettle rash appears in the ear area. But the connections are seldom so clear.

Research into the cause is particularly difficult in the case of feed allergies.

These can also trigger nettle rash in dogs.

Warning: If the dog has other symptoms, such as breathing difficulties, see a veterinarian immediately. Your four-legged friend may be in an allergic shock. This means danger to the life of your dog.

Medicines That Cause Skin Reactions

Has the four-legged friend received an injection or tablets? This could be a cause of nettle rash. In this case, contact a veterinarian. Together with him, you can weigh up whether a change in medication is appropriate or whether there are other causes behind nettle rash.

Various Skin Inflammations

The symptoms of skin inflammation (dermatitis) may look similar to hives. Itching, hair loss, redness, and pustules are among the classic symptoms. Dermatitis in dogs can be caused by skin infections caused by parasites such as fleas or fungi.

Treat Hives and Urtica Rash

If the urticaria occurs once and disappears again after a short time, you do not need to do anything else. Perhaps your four-legged friend came into contact with stinging hair while driving electricity in the woods and fields. However, if nettle rash persists or appears regularly, you should seek therapy.

Once you have found the trigger, it is important to delete it from your dog’s life.

If you can’t find a cause, make an appointment with the vet. Because itchy hives in particular can be excruciating for your four-legged friend. The veterinarian can make a correct diagnosis. But this can be challenging with allergies – patience and your cooperation are required. This is especially true for feed allergies. Antihistamines can help reduce the symptoms of nettle rash.

Home Remedies for Hives in Dogs

In some cases, the vet will prescribe disinfectant or soothing ointments to soothe the skin. However, you shouldn’t apply anything on your own. Never use ointments or creams from your medicine cabinet for your dog – not even preparations containing cortisone.

What brings relief to human skin can harm the dog. For chronic hives, a visit to an animal health practitioner can provide relief. The most important thing in treating hives is, and remains, removing the underlying cause.

Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

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