hello, I have a 51/2m american bull dog. lately he has these hives/welts/raised bumps. we thought it was from the plastic kennel, so we changed to a metal one. his first nite in it, and today the same thing. we have been giving benadryl 3tx day. he is 65lbs. doesnt seem to help, his sister had the same thing, the vet could not pin point. just give benedryal. help! has anyone else had this promlem? he is eating the same food since before.
Raised bumps on the skin can be hives (which tend to come and go and never lose hair or become crusted), or to a skin infection (most commonly bacteria, other causes are fungal or demodex mite infections). In a short coated dog, skin infections can mimic hives, causing little tufted areas of raised hair, which do not come and go, and may eventually become crusted or lose the hair. In American Bulldogs, the most common cause for both hives and recurrent bacterial skin infections would be allergies to food, pollen/dust or sometimes both (and since allergies are genetic, the involvement of his sister is not a big surprise). The first step is to take your puppy to your veterinarian to find out if these are hives or infection, and if bacterial infection is found then a 3-4 week course of antibiotics would be needed. If hives or infections recur then identification and treatment of the underlying cause would be needed, starting with a hypoallergenic diet trial (my favorite is prescription Royal Canin rabbit/potato) for 6-8 weeks with no other treats or foods (there is no accurate blood or skin test for food allergy, the test and treatment are the hypoallergenic diet trial; food allergy can develop at any time in life and after eating the same food for years). Lastly, if your veterinarianis stumped, then talk to them about referral to a veterinary dermatologist (www.acvd.org).
Kimberly Coyner DVM DACVD
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