Anaphylaxis in dogs
What is anaphylaxis in dogs?
Anaphylaxis in dogs is not just an ordinary or even a severe allergic reaction to something that your dog has ingested or has been injected with.
Anaphylaxis is a rare, life-threatening, sudden and violent allergic reaction to something ingested or injected. If untreated, it results in shock, respiratory and cardiac failure, and death.
Anaphylaxis is triggered by antibodies that your dog’s immune system has recently produced. These antibodies can cause inflammatory cells such as basophils and mast cells to release substances that cause this violent reaction. Anaphylaxis in dogs, in reality, is not much different than a common allergy in its overall nature; it is just much more severe and violent.
There are several potential causes and before an anaphylactic reaction can occur, the dog must have a previous exposure to the offending substance.and they are referred to as anaphylactic allergen reactions. These forms of allergen can be the result of some type of food, snake or insect venom, the leptospirosis component or preservatives in dogs vaccines, and antibiotics and other drugs.
Symptoms and diagnose.
Anaphylaxis in dogs (also in cats) is a condition that all dog owners should become very familiar with. When your dog has a common allergy, it will start to appear very slowly and will generally appear as a rash, some type of itching, as well as respiratory problems and congestion. But in the case of Anaphylaxis, it will be very rapid and life threatening.
Symptoms of anaphylaxis usually occur within one hour following exposure to the agent. The reaction may be restricted to the site of contact with the agent as seen with local swelling and redness associated with insect stings or may occur systemically in which the whole body will swell. Dogs suffering from systemic anaphylaxis are usually restless and excitable. Vomiting and bloody diarrhea, followed by collapse, convulsions, coma and eventually death indicate a state of anaphylactic shock secondary to systemic anaphylaxis.
A dog’s reaction to an allergen is rapid, and there are no current tests to determine whether a dog will be susceptible to a certain stimulus. However, some skin allergen tests can be done for many common allergens if believed they are at the root of the problem. A severe reaction is considered a medical emergency and often requires hospitalization.
How to react?
An anaphylactic reaction is a medical emergency and immediate treatment is required, so you must go to the Vet as fast as you can!!!
It is important to remove the agent causing the reaction. Sometimes a vaccine is helpful if the allergen is identified. Life support is sometimes required, as well as opening an airway so the animal can breathe properly. In addition, fluids are often administered to reduce the animal’s shock levels and to hydrate. Drugs like epinephrine are often given if the shock is severe, and antihistamines can be prescribed to help with on-going control of the allergy. The dog often requires close hospital monitoring for 24 to 48 hours after the reaction.
Can anaphylaxis be prevented?
In general, there is no way to predict which animals may have an anaphylactic reaction to which substances. If a dog has already had a reaction, such as anaphylaxis, angioedema, or hives, to a substance, the substance should be avoided. If your dog has ever had a reaction to a vaccine or medication, be sure your veterinarian knows and the information is placed in your pet’s medical record.
For animals that are allergic to insect bites, such as bees, ask your veterinarian about getting a prescription for an ‘epi-pen’ and be sure to take the ‘epi-pen’ with