Why is my dog covered in bumps? Here’s What to Expect

Why Does My Dog Get Welts on Their Body?

When it comes to allergic reactions, welts can form when there is direct contact with an irritant. In this case, its called “contact dermatitis,” and the allergic reaction is mostly localized to the area that came in contact with the allergen. The welts or rash will, therefore, often show up on the dogs feet and the belly area if the dog happens to lie down on the trigger. Inhaled allergens such as grass pollen, dust mites, or mold can also cause welts, as well as insect bites.

Sometimes, the actual trigger may be difficult to pinpoint and the underlying cause of the welts on the dogs skin will remain a mystery. A veterinary dermatologist may test for some common allergens, but the process can be costly and challenging at times.

Above: Testing a dog for allergies as they do in human medicine with transdermal injections.

What Causes Welts?

When the dogs immune system reacts to an allergen, mast cells in its bloodstream release the compound histamine. Histamine triggers small blood vessels under the dogs skin to leak. The accumulated fluid, therefore, forms large welts.

What Can You Do to Find the Cause?

It can sometimes be quite easy to find the cause:

  • If your pet was at the park and chasing a bee, the presence of hives could be due to the bee not enjoying your pooch’s playful behaviour as much!
  • If hives seem to come up every time you go out for a dog walk, it could be something in that environment that your pet is sensitive to.
  • If your pet got a new treat and immediately developed bumps on skin or a swelling of the face, perhaps the new treat could be the problem?
  • Sometimes the cause may not be that obvious, especially if nothing has changed in your pets’ routine. Hives can come up due to a delayed reaction to something that changed a few days back, including the location or season.

    Environmental allergies

    A sudden onset of itching particularly to the face, feet, chest and stomach can indicate an environmental allergy, triggered as and when your dog is in contact with the cause of irritation.

    This particular type of allergy in dogs is called ‘Atopy’ and is similar to how people have hay fever – except that dogs show it by having irritated, itchy skin rather than watery eyes and sneezing.

    A blood test can help diagnose whether your pet is allergic to grass, dust mites and pollens, which are some of the most common things dogs are allergic to. Treating environmental allergies can be difficult and in the most severe cases involve shampoo’s, tablets and injections. Over recent years, there have been some new drugs which have revolutionised the care of dogs with this disease and a combination of treatments can help ease your pet’s symptoms effectively.

    Dr. Danielle Spencer explains what bumps and lumps on your dog could mean

    At Animal Trust, dog skin conditions are one of the main causes for treatment at our clinics. Skin issues can cause significant discomfort for your pet, more prevalent in the warmer seasons, where allergies are more prone, and can indicate an underlying health condition that hasn’t already been diagnosed.

    Dogs can suffer from mild to severe skin conditions, many of which require professional treatment to resolve before they get any worse. In fact, when a skin disease is left untreated for a while the condition can often become more complicated. For example, an allergic skin reaction may become secondarily infected with bacteria, or a bacterial infection may also become infected with yeast. Some of the most common skin disorders in dogs include bacterial skin infections, environmental allergies and parasite allergies. To help you understand the range of dog skin problems and the more obvious symptoms identified with each issue, we have summarised 10 of the most common skin conditions in dogs.