Dogs And Anaphylaxis: What To Do And Expect During This Emergency

Posted on: 14 August 2015


As a pet owner, you do all that you can to keep your pet healthy. Allergic reactions can occur in animals at any age and if you've never witnessed this in your dog before, it can be quite scary. Anaphylaxis is an extreme allergic reaction that can occur when your dog is exposed to an allergen. Anaphylaxis can be dangerous and even cause death. Early detection is key to treating the condition.

Symptoms of Anaphylaxis in a Dog

Signs of anaphylaxis vary from dog to dog. However, some of the most common symptoms include shortness of breath, repeated vomiting, and uncontrollable bowel movements. While these symptoms can also be signs of other conditions, when related to anaphylaxis they will appear quite rapidly. As soon as your dog presents these symptoms, you should rush it to the veterinarian's office or pet hospital.

What to Expect At the Vet

Once you arrive at the vet, prepare yourself for extreme measures to be taken on your dog. If your dog is not breathing at all or only a little, the vet may have to place the pet on life support or attempt to open another airway. The vet will probably administer fluids into your dog's system via IV drip to combat the effects of dehydration and shock.

Expect the vet to use epinephrine to curb the shock and the symptoms. Once the dog has been stabilized, he or she will require close observation for one or two days. The severity of these treatments may shake you emotionally, so consider having a family member or friend drive you home if needed.

Expect the vet to also run other tests as needed to determine the cause of the allergic reaction.

How to Help Your Dog When You Get Home

Once the vet releases your dog, it is important to take the steps to remove the allergen from the dog's routine to prevent anaphylaxis from happening again. If the allergen that caused the reaction was food related, completely dispose of all food and treats containing the allergen ingredients. Visit your local pet store for special foods and read the ingredients carefully, or consult your vet on which options would be best.

Now that you know what anaphylaxis looks like and what to expect at the emergency animal hospital, don't hesitate to respond quickly if your dog begins displaying these symptoms. Ask your vet about other types of allergic reactions your dog could display, and what to do about them. For more information, contact an animal hospital like the Animal Emergency Clinic.