Information on the symptoms of hives in dogs and cats, including red, itchy bumps or welts that appear suddenly.

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  1. What are Hives?
  2. What Causes Hives?
  3. More Information on Hives

What are Hives?

Frequent and furious scratching is often the first tell tail sign that allergies are a problem. You may notice that your pet seems to be scratching incessantly, and their skin may even become raw and inflamed. On close inspection, you may notice red, raised welts and bumps on your pet’s skin, similar to mosquito bites – these could be hives.

Hives are a type of skin reaction where the skin becomes raised and irritated. While they aren’t particularly serious, and don’t usually last more than a few days, they are incredibly itchy and some cats and dogs with hives may even scratch themselves raw in an attempt to relieve itchy skin.

What Causes Hives?

Hives are most frequently caused by allergies. Some pets are incredibly sensitive and may develop skin allergies to various environmental or food allergens. Your pet could be allergic to something in its food, or to environmental irritants such as household cleaning agents, plant sap or pollen. Other less common causes of hives include insect stings, side-effects of pharmaceutical drugs and stress.

More Information on Hives

Tips for pets with hives
  • Find out what your pet is allergic to and avoid it. This may involve a lengthily process of elimination, but it will be well worth it when you find the aggravating trigger.
  • Hives tend to cause excessive scratching and grooming. This can result in lesions which can quickly become infected. If you pet has hives, always keep a close eye on the skin and watch out for sores or signs of infection.
  • Try bathing your pet in a bath of cool water to relieve itchiness and wash off any irritants that may be causing a reaction. You can also try adding a couple of cups of brewed black or green tea to the bath water as the tannins will help soothe the irritated skin.
  • While hives are almost always harmless, they could be the beginning of a far more serious allergic reaction. Severe swelling of the face or any symptoms of breathing difficulties require immediate medical attention.
  • Try filling a sock with some Oatmeal Flakes and then run water through the sock. Placing the wet, oatmeal sock on the hives will soothe the skin.
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