Angioedema in the dog.

15 Ene

What is angioedema?

Angioedema is a Type I hypersensitivity reaction to an antigen.

The antigens are substances that can induce a host defense mechanism. Should this response be exaggerated, it can trigger a hypersensibility reaction or anaphylaxia.

Different substances can act as antigens, for example: food, insect bites, drugs, inhalant allergens, chemicals, plants. A hypersensitivity reaction entails a massive activation of inflammatory mediators and leads to release of  histamine. 

 All this can cause chain cardiovascular collapse and respiratory distress.

Angioedema and urticaria can affect dogs and cats, but there is no predilection for sex or age. Most affected breeds are  Bull Terrier, Boxer and French Bulldog.

Spring and summer are times where angioedema is more common because of the increased presence of insects.

What happens to a dog with angioedema?

Bumps visible in this young dog as a consequence of hypersensitivity reaction.

Bumps visible in this young dog as a consequence of hypersensitivity reaction.

 Angioedema in dogs.

Inflammatory reaction in the neck area. This can be variably itchy.

Inflammatory reaction in the neck area. This can be variably itchy.

Evident swelling face due to angioedema.

Angioedema is an acute condition, characterized by non painful subcutaneous inflammation and oedema in cheeks region, oral mucosa and around the eyes. This condition appears suddenly, usually within 20 minutes to allergen exposition.

The dog can be variably itchy, nervous, and sometimes laryngeal inflammation can cause severe respiratory distress. Should cardiovascular system be affected by this allergic reaction, the dog needs emergency help to avoid fatal consequences.

Urticaria presents as multiple hives or bumps of various sizes distributed throughout the body surface and it is possible to see can see how the hair rises in these areas.

Which is the best treatment for a dog with angioedema?

Main treatment goal is stopping inflammatory reaction by using corticoids. We administer methylprednisolone intravenously. This is rapid-acting glucocorticoid that interrupts inflammatory reaction very quickly and effectively.

If respiratory distress is present, the dog will need immediate supportive treatment including oxygenotherapy, fluid therapy and vasoconstrictive drugs (adrenaline). 

Should you recognize this signs in your pet, please seek urgent veterinary help.

Can I prevent angioedema?

Some dogs are affected once a time in their life. But some dogs become sensitized to the allergen, and can develop angioedema again. In this case, if the cause (a plant, an insect bite, a particular type of  pollen) can be avoided, it is of course recommended to do it. This has sense as hypersensitivity reactions can increase if repeated contact with  the allergen occurs.

To your successful pet ownership,

Iris Pérez and David Prandi Chevalier

Clínica Veterinaria Betulia, Badalona (Barcelona), Spain

Una respuesta to “Angioedema in the dog.”

  1. Daiva 22 de enero de 2013 a 12:07 AM #

    El medicanto (de Sanofi Aventis) que indicáis en el artículo, es la única solución para las alergias en los perros? Que principio activo tiene?


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