Anaphylaxis is the name given to a sudden, unusual or exaggerated reaction by an animal to a particular substance. It is always a very sudden (acute) reaction and in dogs frequently results in swelling of the face, head, ears and other parts of the body.
The cause is usually a foreign protein that is unrecognised by the body. Bee and wasp stings are frequently responsible. Certain drugs such as antibiotics, vaccines and local anaesthetics can also be implicated. Less common causes are certain moulds and pollens.
If there is serious swelling you must contact us without delay. The condition is due primarily to a release of a substance called histamine and injections of antihistimines or adrenaline usually result in rapid recovery. If there is a swelling of the face and ears some dogs will scratch and rub at the swollen part. Try to prevent this. Bathing with cold water helps to reduce the swelling and often brings about improvement. Similarly antihistimine creams such as Anthisan, which can be purchased without prescription, do help if available.
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