Note: This is a guest post written by Roger Dutta, a loving doggie parent. Thanks Roger!
One of the risks of parenting an outdoorsy Frenchie is that it can forage and eat something that causes an allergic reaction. Amongst all the other allergic skin reactions a French Bulldog can have, hives are probably one of the most common. Your pup doesn’t even have to eat anything, sometimes little things such as bee stings, contact with poison ivy bush, or even vaccinations can be the cause of hives.
Hives are round bumps on the skin and tend to be really itchy. If left alone, a bout of hives can subside pretty quickly, often in a matter of days. However, your dog may incessantly bite and scratch the affected areas, further aggravating the problem.
In this post, we explore two key things about this topic; how French Bulldogs get hives and how you can treat them. But first, here are the basics.
What Are French Bulldog Hives?
Hives scientifically referred to as Urticaria, are an acute allergic reaction that manifests as itchy bumps on the skin of Frenchies and other dog breeds. In other words, the body overreacts to an allergen and releases antimicrobial molecules from cells. This is an immune response and they typically trigger inflammatory cells to stop what it perceives as an attack.
Hives are typically dime-sized bumps and can occur all over the body, shoulders, hips, face, and other parts. In some cases, these bumps occur around the eyes, which causes the eyes to be swollen shut.
How dogs react to hives depends on the nature of the pet and the severity of the condition. Some dogs leave the bumps alone, which is a good thing. Others, unfortunately, scratch and bite the hives, which obviously demands swift management. In such cases, one of the most common dog care tips for small dogs with hives is to give them an oatmeal shampoo bath. This helps relieve the itchiness and thus the scratching.
How Do French Bulldogs Get Hives?
As mentioned earlier, hives are a type of allergic reaction. That means they can be caused by a variety of different allergens.
Hives can be caused by a single ingredient present in your dog’s food, for example. Therefore, vets often recommend special grain-free diets or home-cooked meals to remove potential food allergens. Switching dog food brands or going home-cooked for a while is a good way to find out if your Frenchie has food allergies that are causing the hives.
Hives can also be caused by allergic reactions to vaccines. Is your pup developing these bumps after a vaccination? If that’s the case, then it’s best to speak to the vet. He or she may recommend a shot of antihistamines before the vaccination next time.
More often than not, the allergy is caused by something in the environment. If your Frenchie has developed the problem after taking exercising outdoors then the possibilities are endless. Anything from poison ivy and insecticide to an insect bite can turn out to be the allergen causing the issue. If it’s something as random as an insect bite, then the possibility of the condition recurring is low.
The Best Ways to Treat French Bulldog Hives
The first step towards treating hives is to calm down. Hives may look ugly, but they are usually easily treatable using antihistamines like Benadryl. Vets in some cases may prescribe steroids, but they do that only if the condition is severe.
In most cases, hives simply go away on their own. This happens when the allergen causing the reaction passes out of the body through bodily functions. However, a dog that’s continuously exposed to an environmental allergen may face recurring bouts of hives. In this instance, vets will most likely recommend an allergy test to zero in on the allergen causing the reaction so you can take steps to prevent it occurring.
One of the most important aspects of treating hives in French Bulldogs is to provide relief. Hives can be itchy and thus a soothing bath using oatmeal shampoos is a good start.
You can also use an anti-itch topical product like calamine lotion to soothe the affected areas. Calamine lotion is non-toxic and can be applied around your pup’s muzzle and near the eyes as it doesn’t cause irritation. Of course, before using any remedy, be sure to check with your vet to see if it’s a good option.
Perhaps the most common remedy and one that most pet parents go-to is to start their dogs on Benadryl (Diphenhydramine). The dosage is 1mg per pound of bodyweight for dogs. However, it’s best to consult a vet for the proper dosage suited for your Frenchie. In most cases, this treatment is pretty effective in reducing the swelling and you may see visible results in as little as 30 minutes.
About the author:
Being a doggie parent, Roger has rescued, lived with, and has dealt with the heartbreak of losing dogs. He likes sharing experiences that he picked up along the way. He uses his words as the choice of weapon to ensure all dogs get the care and love they deserve.
Will is the proud co-owner of Frankie, a Female Brindle French Bulldog, with his wife Michelle. We share our Frenchie experiences with the world to help health-conscious French Bulldog owners who want a happy, healthy, and long-living dog.