You’re on the couch gently scratching your pooch when suddenly you realize she has a rash, bumps or acne-type lesions on her belly. Uh-oh – what does this mean? Do you know how to treat a dog skin rash? How can you help her get rid of it?
Causes of Dog Belly Rashes
- The four most typical causes of a belly rash are:
- Allergic or contact dermatitis
- Bacterial or fungal infection
- Parasites like fleas or mites
- Heat rash
Allergic or Contact Dermatitis
Your dog may have eaten or inhaled something like mold, or pollen, or come into contact with poison ivy, fertilizer, road salt, hay, or other irritant. The subsequent rash is often itchy, so your dog will try to relieve the sensation with excessive scratching, biting or licking. And because it’s an allergic reaction, multiple other symptoms can shortly plague your dog, including watery eyes, sneezing, paw-licking or biting, diarrhea and vomiting, and hair loss.
It appears that certain dog breeds have a higher risk of suffering from allergies, including terriers, German Shepherds, Standard poodles, golden retrievers, and breeds with flat faces like the Pug, Bull-Dog and Boston Terrier.
Clearly the best way to avoid getting a rash as a result of these allergies is to avoid the allergen as much as possible. As a preventative, vacuum frequently, bathe your dog with a hypoallergenic shampoo or a gentle but dynamic medicated Shampoo such as Banixx. Consider a change in her diet, etc. Moreover, if you feel the rash is the result of an external source such as poison ivy or other plants, avoid those areas where those plants may be growing. If they happen go be your backyard, it’s best to simple remove them.
If the rash persists, consult with your veterinarian. She may be able to pinpoint more clearly what the allergen is – or might even diagnose another condition altogether (see below).
For more on treating dog skin allergies, click here.
Bacterial or fungal infections
Sometimes the cause of a rash is a bacterial, fungal or yeast infection, which gets started as the result of a cut or scrape, too much moisture in her environment (summer swimming) or a dietary intolerance to your dog’s current food. These infections usually cause lesions that look like pimples, or alternatively will show up as crusty, scaly, flaky skin. All of which may be itchy or painful. Your dog could also suffer hair loss and inflammation – and be entirely miserable.
Ringworm is a type of fungus infection that shows up as circular lesions that are scabby and red. Be careful – this particular type of infection is contagious and can be passed on to your other pets – and YOU! For more information on dog ringworm, click here.
A visit to your Vet may result in her taking skin samples or skin scrapings to see if the infection is fungal or bacterial, and then prescribe antibiotics and/or anti-fungal medications if appropriate.
One type of bacterial infection that can look like small, pus-filled bumps on your dog’s belly is impetigo. This usually affects puppies rather than older dogs. The bacteria staphylococcus causes patches of infection to appear in hairless sections of the stomach. The lesion is filled with pus that oozes and then crusts over. It can be very painful. It is also contagious, so keep an eye on the health of the skin of your other animals. To cure it, you’ll need to use chlorhexidine-type solution or, easier, our chlorhexidine based medicated shampoo. But, it’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian to make sure you’re on the right track and using the right products.
For more on bacterial or fungal infections, see our page here.
Fleas, Mites and Ticks
Your dog’s belly rash may be the result of bites from fleas, mites, ticks and other insects. Flea saliva is an especially potent cause of allergic reaction in dogs – leading to everything from itchy red bumps to hot spots and hair loss.
When you’re searching for answers about “how to treat my dog’s skin rash,” here’s where to start: Controlling those pesky fleas is your number one priority if you want to prevent misery in your dog. If your dog is left untreated for fleas, they will take up residence in your home and even eventually bite you! There is a wide variety of flea shampoos and topical or systemic treatments that are available from your veterinarian. Also, be sure to wash your dog’s bedding with a mild bleach solution (and clear water rinse). And remember, it’s not just in the summertime – flea control is something you may need to do year-round.
If the bites are caused by mites, you may be looking at a case of mange. This can cause a rash on your dog’s skin, including the belly and groin. You will need to go to the vet to get an anti-parasitic medication to kill the mites. Mites may be contagious so act quickly to determine what type of mite is involved. Treatment is very simple and quickly achieved for your dog. Again, it’s a good idea to wash your dog’s bedding with a bleach solution followed by a clear water rinse. Along with the anti-parasitic medication prescribed by your Vet, you can use Banixx Pet Care as a soothing, calming product for your dog’s skin.
Just like with impetigo (see Bacterial Infections above), heat rash is also caused by the staphylococcus bacteria. It looks like a red rash on your dog’s belly. It can also appear on the back, folds of skin, under the tail and neck, and near her ears. Hot, humid weather conditions tend to be perfect conditions for this skin malady to flare up.
Heat rash starts off as a skin irritation that causes your dog to scratch a lot. Then it progresses from a rash to boils, pimples, scabs and a nasty smell. If your dog is scratching constantly, he can easily create a sore that can develop into a secondary infection. With that in mind, start your dog’s heat rash treatment as quickly as possible to prevent it from morphing into something more serious. Wondering how to treat heat rash on dogs? First, your vet should be involved to make sure the diagnosis is correct. If it is heat rash, cool your dog off by applying cold compresses or ice packs (ice cubes wrapped in a wash cloth) to the area for about 10 minutes. Try to do this several times a day until the condition eases.
How To Treat Your Dog’s Belly
Whether the rash is due to allergies, parasites, infections or heat rash, when you’re wondering “how do I treat a rash on my dog’s belly”, there is one sure-fire way to help heal the damage and soothe the irritation. Banixx Pet Care works on contact and usually relieves the itch within a day or two (results might vary from case to case).
It not only eases your dog’s itchy skin but it also helps resolve the infection. Banixx is an anti-fungal/antibacterial formula eliminates the environment in which bacteria or fungus can grow.
Simply apply Banixx 2-3 times daily to your dog’s rash, being sure to saturate your dog’s skin. Massage it well into his skin. It is non-toxic, so if your dog licks it off after application, it will not harm him, though you will need to reapply so the Banixx spray has a good opportunity to work. A good tip here is to do something to distract your pup so that he doesn’t lick it off such as taking her for a walk, playing ball or any favorite game. Or simply, take a dob of peanut butter and swiftly stick it to the roof of Fido’s mouth. It will take her several minutes to absorb that treat!! Keeping her very busy!!
Banixx Pet Care is:
- Steroid and antibiotic-free
- Not sticky or oily
- Gentle on the skin, rash, eruptions
- Proven effective
You may decide to follow this up with Banixx Wound Care cream that is not only anti-bacterial and anti-fungal but also contains moisturizing, rejuvenating, soothing marine collagen that smooths onto the skin as an effective medicated band-aid.
If you enjoyed this article, you can learn more about taking care of other small pets by reading another blog; such as rabbit care. Or if you have ever wondered about something more frivolous such as if Monistat is effective on a dog ear yeast infection. or, more seriously, what if my dog eats a grape.