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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16920
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My dog has about 5 or 6 small bumps on the top of her head.

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my dog has about 5 or 6 small bumps on the top of her head. they don't seem to be bothering her even when I touch them. they just showed up within the last hour
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: penny and about a year and a half
JA: How old is Penny?
Customer: she also isn't fixed and is close to her period
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Penny?
Customer: she also isn't fixed and is close to her period

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.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you

I am very sorry to hear about the sudden appearance of bumps (welts) on Penny's head.

I don't think this has anything to do with her approaching heat cycle.

The most common cause of sudden welts is an allergic reaction.

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

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

Is her breathing and activity level normal?

Any vomiting or diarrhea?

Any difficulty breathing?

You can give her Benadryl (diphenhydramine only don't use the combination products with decongestants or acetaminophen as they can be toxic for dogs) at a dose of 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 her a little sleepy.

You can also apply a cool compress to the worst areas and/or give her a cool water spot bath with an oatmeal based shampoo to soothe her skin. The cool water will close skin capillaries and reduce inflammation and oatmeal reduces inflammation. Lather gently, let it sit for several minutes and then rinse with cool water.

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

The swelling/welts 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 she 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 her now. They can give a cortisone injection which will lessen symptoms faster. But if she seems to be doing well otherwise then I would just call her regular veterinarian in the morning and let them know so it is on her record for future reference.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you everything about penny seems normal she's running around and isn't bothered. Thanks for the help I'll give the benedryl a try

I'm glad to hear she seems otherwise fine, a localized allergic reaction is much easier to treat and less dangerous than one that is progressing systemically.

Dr. Kara and 3 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Should I worry about it being fleas or ticks?

It could be related to fleas, so if she isn't on a flea preventative it is worth putting her on one. Fall is flea high season with lots of humidity and a full summer for fleas to reproduce. Usually dogs that are reacting to flea bites though are very, very itchy.

Ticks bite, attach and feed for a while, so I would expect that you would see an attached tick if they were the issue.