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Anaphylactic shock in dogs – symptoms and treatment

Anaphylactic shock in dogs - symptoms and treatment

What is an anaphylactic reaction?

Anaphylactic reaction or anaphylactic shock is a hypersensitive reaction to a foreign substance, especially proteins.

What causes anaphylactic shock?

Before an anaphylactic shock occurs, the animal must be under the influence of an allergen. A typical example is a dog stung by a bee, which subsequently develops hypersensitivity to bee stings.

After the first bite, there is usually a local reaction to the bite, also called humoral reaction. This reaction causes the immune system to produce immunoglobulin E, which binds to mast cells. The massive cells are responsible for the redness and swelling (urticaria) seen at the site of the bite.

It is also said that the patient is sensitive to bee toxins. After the second bite of the dog, sensitive mast cells recognize the foreign protein (bee toxins) and begin a process called degranulation.

In mild cases of anaphylactic shock, a local reaction is observed, such as severe inflammation at the site of the bite. In severe cases, a large number of mast cells are released throughout the body, leading to somatic anaphylactic shock.

As a general rule, local reactions of anaphylaxis are observed, severe anaphylactic shock is extremely rare.

Theoretically, any foreign substance can lead to an anaphylactic reaction. The most common are food proteins, insect bites, medicines, vaccines, a contaminated environment and various chemicals.

It is important to keep in mind that this is an abnormal reaction of the body. The immune system reacts too strongly to the foreign substance or protein, which leads to the reaction.

In most cases, it is believed that anaphylaxis is hereditary.

What are the clinical symptoms of anaphylactic shock?

Clinical symptoms depend on the method of exposure (through the mouth, the skin, the injection, etc.), the amount of antigen, the level of immunoglobulin in the animal.

The most common symptoms of anaphylactic shock are itching, red swelling, swelling of the skin, blisters, swelling of the face or face, excessive salivation, vomiting and diarrhea. With a severe anaphylactic reaction, the dog will have respiratory problems and his tongue and gums will turn blue.

How to diagnose anaphylaxis?

Anaphylactic shock is diagnosed by identifying recent contact with the allergen and by characteristic clinical symptoms. Intradermal tests and immunoglobulin blood tests are also performed to identify specific allergens.

How is anaphylactic shock treated?

An anaphylactic reaction requires emergency medical attention and treatment. The first step is to eliminate the foreign substance, if possible. In addition, to stabilize the animal, they minimize the possibility of severe anaphylaxis, control the respiratory tract and blood pressure.

Frequently used medications such as adrenaline, corticosteroids, atropine or aminophylline. In mild cases, it may be sufficient to use antihistamines and possibly corticosteroids, followed by a follow-up of the dog for 24 or 48 hours.

What are the predictions?

The initial forecast is always discrete. It is impossible to know if the reaction will be localized or progress to a serious one.

The anaphylactic reaction is exacerbated with each subsequent exposure to the allergen, so the main objective should be to prevent its repeated exposure.

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