Hives After Borax Wash on Bull Dog

Posted by Cheryl (Sarasota, Florida) on 06/25/2008

I gave my two year old bull dog a wipe down with a wash cloth & the "borax wash" for mites. The next day he had hives all down one side of him. Is he allergic to the borax? I gave him benadryl it seems to be getting better. Used 3 cups water, 3 tablespoons borax, and 1/2 cup peroxide.

Replied by Sam
West Palm Beach, Florida

My rescued puppy has demo mange with redness around the top of her head and neck and splotches elsewere. After her first (and only) treatment, she also broke out in something like hives and was actally bleeding from the neck. She's not shown anything like this since I've had her. PLEASE ...Does anyone have any feedback?

Replied by Ted
Bangkok, Thailand
384 posts

A hive reaction may occur if the concentration of Hydrogen peroxide 3% was only mixed without the use of water. Either that or borax was not fully dissolved. The concentration of hydrogen peroxide should be 1% concentration or less and borax should be well dissolved followed by application of the solution without rinse. If the solution was rinsed, the mange will spread causing the redness. On the other hand if borax wasn't dissolve in the solution well, it won't kill the red mange. Borax is what kills the mange, and if it is not well dissolve the mange spreads further. Secondly, the solution had to be applied everyday, without rinse. Excessive concentration of Hydrogen peroxide beyond 1% may also cause skin irritation. The only problem I see about problems with borax is that the borax source didn't come from a detergent type use (10 mule team borax), but came from a borax used for metal work, which are generally contaminated, this appears unlikely, but I have noted that there is a problem borax used in metal found and sold in Eastern Europe.

A 1% concentration of hydrogen peroxide is 1/2 cup peroxide 3% plus 1 cup of water should get a 1% solution plus the borax well dissolved or well stirred. It takes about 15 minutes for the borax to properly dissolved, and they do dissolve much slower in colder weather so a lukewarm water is preferable. If the peroxide found contains too many stabilizers it might cause problem, although it is unlikely since it is used for external use only.

Therefore I would try a 1% concentration hydrogen peroxide (with water diluting this) with borax well dissolved, then apply on the dog without any rinse. Borax won't cause hives unless the mange has spread and the borax was not properly dissolved or that after application the dog was rinsed after application, which would have defeat its purpose. Therefore I won't rinse after application, followed by a daily application.