February 16, 2008
Our English Bulldog is named Rusty and tonight he (all of a sudden) seemed to be swelling with welts. On top of his head, legs, mouth. He was perfectly fine and we noticed his mouth was turning a little red then the welts. He’s acting pretty fine, panting quite a lot. This happened two weeks ago, too. We took him to the vet and they didn’t have a clue. Gave him something for the swelling and an antibiotic. We stopped giving him the meds a few days later b/c he seemed fine. Weird.
This sounds to me like your English Bulldog is having a sudden
allergic reaction. The red mouth and then the welts sounds like
he got stung by a bee, or got into something – dogs always
explore with their mouths – and then developed hives. The panting is also
consistent with an allergic reaction which can cause breathing difficulties.
If not an insect bite, is there something else in his environment that he
could be allergic to? Even carpet cleaner can cause allergic reactions
He could even be alergic to something in his food. Did the welts appear
after he ate? A dog can be fine with food for a while and then develop
the allergic reaction.
If Rusty is getting into something (whether an insect or an allergen) and
he has this reaction, be aware that the more exposure to the toxin, the
more severe his symptoms will become. The classic example of this
is a human who develops an allergic reaction to bee stings until they
become life threatening.
Do you have any idea what he could be exposed to?
You can give him a childrens dose of Benedryl dye free (pink box) to
help mild symptoms. If breathing becomes very difficult or symptoms
worsen you need to get him to a vet immediately.
Does he chew his paws? This is another sign of allergies.
Here’s a link to a good article on dog allergies:
I hope this helps. Please keep me posted on his progress.
Your Bulldog Pal,
Thanks for your email. We’ve taken Rusty to the Vet twice now. We took him this morning. Two weeks ago to the day we took him, too. The vet said what you did only she thought it was a spider bite. We live in Michigan and right now there are no bugs anywhere b/c it’s freezing up here. There is snow everywhere which he eats alot of. This morning she thought maybe an allergy to something. We got benedryl the first time this happened and the vet also gave Rusty and antibiotic and prednisone in case he needed it.
Actually, the carpet and furniture in our home are new. We got them about 3 weeks ago and this has been going on with Rusty for 2 weeks now. We have leather furniture and new carpeting. Of course Rusty thinks he’s a lap dog so he’s on the furniture, too. I’m wondering if what they treat leather furniture with might be the issue? We haven’t treated anything so it would have to be what is already on it. My other thought is maybe dairy? What do you think?
Thanks so much.
I bet it’s the new things, possibly the carpet because they treat it with anti-stain coatings,
and I’m sure they treat leather with something potentially allergenic as well.
One thing that occurs to me is that since Rusty walks on the carpet, if he then
licks his paws, he could be getting the offending carpet sealer in his mouth and
then have the allergic reaction.
You could get the carpet cleaned and when they do, don’t allow them to use
any strong chemicals to clean and don’t let them re-treat it for pet stains or
As for the leather couch, you could put a cover over the leather where he lays on it.
Some of those things like flame retardants and such do some ‘off gassing’ when they
are new and they will diminish in time.
I realize it’s cold, but you could try airing out your house on a warm day to let
the odors escape.
But I suspect it’s something that gets on his paws that he licks off and whamo!
I wouldn’t suspect dairy at this juncture although it can aggravate and cause allergies.
The fact that the allergic reaction happened when you got the new carpet really
leads me to believe it’s related to that.
Does this sound like a possibility?
Your Bulldog Pal,