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Allergic reaction.

Species: Dog
Breed: pit bull terrier
Age: 5-8 years
Last night my dog went outside and came back in with a red, irritated mouth. Overnight, his face swelled up with more bumps, as well as on his legs. It looked like he was attacked by a gang of mosquitoes. He was so irritated and hot; he would only lay on the bathroom or kitchen floor. He drank a lot of water. I got him some antihistamine and he eventually went to sleep, and the hives went away. he is still puffy on his cheeks though. He keeps vomiting up his food. Speaking of food, I normally give him a mixture of his purina one and alpo chicken with veggies in gravy. last night I gave him beef with gravy, so I am unsure if that is what caused his allergic reaction. Anyways, for the most part he is still running, barking at birds, and begging, but he just cannot hold down food. I boiled him some chicken and rice; he will eat the chicken, but not the rice. When he eats the chicken, he vomits and wants to go outside to eat grass. What can I give him to eat? Is this normal for him to be passing whatever has made him sick? Should I give him some more antihistamine for his swelling?

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Aw, poor Sheek. He sounds so uncomfortable.

Usually when we see an allergic reaction that causes facial swelling and bumps (hives), the culprit is not something that the dog has eaten. Usually the culprit is either a recent vaccination (like within 24 hours), or more commonly, an insect sting such as a bee or a wasp. This is likely what happened.

The antihistamine is a good idea. Dogs will take 1 mg per pound for Benadryl. And it can be repeated every 8 hours. Some dogs even need it for a couple of days.

It concerns me though that Sheek is vomiting. This really is not a normal thing to see this long after the initial allergic reaction. If he is vomiting everything that he eats then he may need to have an emergency visit tonight. If he just vomited once or twice then I would say to give him a 12 hour fast and follow that with small meals of boiled chicken and rice, but vomiting everything he eats sounds more serious.

There really isn't an over the counter drug that will stop the vomiting.

It's a tough call on what to do here but I really would advise that you have an emergency vet see him tonight. Alternatively, you could give another dose of Benadryl and if things haven't improved within 30-60 minutes then take him in.

I hope everything is ok!

Dr. Marie.

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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

He seems a little gassy too, because his vomit is mostly bubbles. I am in no way trying to endanger my pet, but I do not want to overblow the situation either if it is normal. You are saying that it is not normal for him to vomit, do you think something poisonous bit him or maybe the backyard has some kind of poison ivy or something?

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I hear what you're saying. It's always a tough call to decide whether or not to take him to emergency.

It definitely does sound like an allergic reaction, mostly because he had the hives (bumps on his body). I have seen some dogs vomit within a few hours of an allergic reaction, but it's not common to see it 24 hours later as well.

I'm not thinking that this is a toxin. There are a few things that can cause vomiting of everything he eats, but I can't directly connect them to the allergic reaction.

It's a good thing that he is still acting bright and alert. I still would say that if he continues to vomit after another antihistamine then he will feel much better with injectable meds from the vet.

Customer reply:

Thanks Dr. Marie,

I gave him the antihistamine this morning (around 7:30 a.m.), so I will try again, and I am hoping that he will get better tonight. I hear his stomach growling, and I know he wants to eat, is there something I can give him? Do you think it is best that I stay away from his usual mixed food?

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I think it's not a bad idea to give him no food for the rest of tonight. Still give him small amounts of water though. Then, in the morning start with a small amount of food and see if he keeps that down. If not, then it's off to the vet for sure!

Customer reply:

Yes, ma'am. Thanks for your help

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

You're very welcome! Feel free to reply back in the morning if he is still not well.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.