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Antihistamines for Dogs

If your dog develops allergies, a veterinarian may recommend a common and inexpensive antihistamine drug. Antihistamines provide relief for about 1/3 of dogs. It is a simple solution for dogs that respond well to the right medication.

Histamines

A dog sensitive to allergens or allergy irritants usually reacts by producing body chemicals called histamines that trigger allergic symptoms. The histamines frequently cause itching, rashes, swollen eyes and ear infections.

Antihistamines

An antihistamine blocks the histamine effects for many animals. When your dog is allergic to pollens, she may have itchy eyes or paws, symptoms that are relieved with an antihistamine tablet before she goes outdoors.

Types

Over-the-counter antihistamine tablets that your veterinary may recommend include trade names benadryl, Claritin, Chlor-Trimeton, Tavist or Atarax. Generic equivalents or store brands cut costs and are effective.

Treatment

Consult a veterinarian for antihistamine advice. When your dog is on other medications, he may have reactions to some antihistamines. Vet advice matches the right antihistamine and dosage to your dog.

Considerations

Antihistamines combined with painkillers or decongestants should not be used for your dog. Ingredients such as pseudoephedrine or acetaminophen can harm her.

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About the Author

Phyllis Benson is a professional writer and creative artist. Her 25-year background includes work as an editor, syndicated reporter and feature writer for publications including "Journal Plus," "McClatchy Newspapers" and "Sacramento Union." Benson earned her Bachelor of Science degree at California Polytechnic University.