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Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14886
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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10 yr old Lab. Been with us at office all day and not off

Customer Question

10 yr old Lab. Been with us at office all day and not off leash when we got home. Suddenly hyper, tongue seems redder than usual. Rolling on floor and agressively rubbing both sides of face on carpet.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What sort of animal are we talking about?
Customer: 10 yr old Labrador Retriever.
JA: OK. What is the Labrador retriever's name?
Customer: Titon
JA: Is there anything else the veterinarian should be aware of about Titon?
Customer: Good health, lives in house 100%. Very controlled diet (no scraps). Hasn't eaten since breakfast.
Submitted: 25 days ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 25 days ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 25 days ago.

I am very sorry to hear about poor Titon's obvious discomfort, acting hyper, rolling on the floor and rubbing his face.

The most common cause of sudden facial itchiness and hyperactivity is an allergic reaction.

This is usually related to an insect or spider bite or sting. Sometimes we never figure out the cause because the bite/sting is covered up by diffuse swelling or red skin.

Treatment is based upon stopping further allergic reaction with antihistamines like Benadryl and sometimes cortisone if the reaction progresses.

Is his breathing normal?

Any vomiting or diarrhea?

Any facial swelling?

You can give him Benadryl (diphenhydramine only don't use the combination products with decongestants or acetaminophen as they can be toxic for dogs) at 1mg to 2mg per pound of body weight or one 25mg capsule per 15 to 25 pounds of body weight orally every 8 hours. You'll need to give it for at least 72 hours (3 days) to allow the allergen time to clear. If you stop too soon the reaction will recur. Dogs take a really high dose of antihistamines compared to people, so don't let the amount worry you. They require more than we do. This may make him a little sleepy.

You can also apply a cool compress to the worst areas (his face). The cool water will close skin capillaries and reduce inflammation.

You can also flush his eyes with cool water to reduce the itchy feeling.

If any particular area looks red or swollen you can apply topical cortisone cream (like Cortaid) to his skin.

And then you'll need to watch him closely for any progression of symptoms. That includes difficulty breathing, vomiting or diarrhea.

The swelling/redness/itchiness should resolve slowly over the next 12 to 24 hours.

In extreme allergic reactions they can get shocky and collapse but you should see difficulty breathing and vomiting/diarrhea first. Those types of severe reactions are very rare.

Most reactions are managed just fine with antihistamines alone.

Because you know now that he has these types of reactions you should keep Benadryl on hand at all times.

If you notice progression of her symptoms don't wait, have her checked on an emergency basis.

If you'd like you can have a veterinarian check him now. They can give a cortisone injection which will lessen symptoms faster. But if he seems to be doing well then I would just call them and let them know so it is on his record for future reference.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 22 days ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 19 days ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and see if you had any further questions after reading my response. If you do please feel free to respond with them. If not I would appreciate an update on your pup, thank you, ***** *****

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