OBJECTIVE To characterize platelet-activating factor (PAF)-induced edema and erythema in the skin of dogs and compare those reactions with histamine-induced cutaneous reactions. ANIMALS 6 healthy Beagles. PROCEDURES Experiments were performed at ≥ 2-week intervals. Each dog received ID injections (5 μg/site) of PAF C16, PAF C18, lyso-PAF, and histamine. Edema (mean diameter) and erythema scores (none, mild, moderate, or severe) were assessed 30 minutes after the injections. Dogs received ID injections of PAF and histamine each with various concentrations of WEB 2086 (PAF receptor antagonist) or underwent ID testing with PAF and histamine before and 3 hours after oral administration of cetirizine hydrochloride or prednisolone (at 2 doses each). RESULTS ID injections of PAF C16 and PAF C18, but not lyso-PAF, induced comparable levels of edema and erythema. The PAF-induced edema and erythema peaked at 30 minutes and lasted for 6 hours after the injection; histamine-induced edema and erythema peaked at 30 minutes and lasted for 3 hours after the injection. Edema sizes and erythema scores were significantly smaller and lower, respectively, for PAF than for histamine. The WEB 2086 inhibited PAF-induced but not histamine-induced edema and erythema. Cetirizine slightly, but significantly, repressed PAF-induced edema and erythema as well as histamine-induced cutaneous reactions. Prednisolone suppressed both PAF-induced and histamine-induced edema and erythema. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE In canine skin, the duration of PAF-induced inflammation was longer than that of histamine-induced inflammation. The PAF- and histamine-induced cutaneous reactions were effectively suppressed by oral administration of prednisolone. The importance of PAF in dogs with anaphylaxis and allergic disorders warrants further investigation.