Skin Rash in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Skin Rash in Dogs

Skin Rash in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Most common symptoms

Bleeding / Hair Loss / Hairloss / Itching / Licking / Pustules

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Rated as moderate conditon

30 Veterinary Answers

Most common symptoms

Bleeding / Hair Loss / Hairloss / Itching / Licking / Pustules

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Skin Rash in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

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What is Skin Rash?

A skin rash can be painful, itchy and very uncomfortable.  Many skin conditions can quickly progress. The most common reason for skin rashes in dogs is allergies. Allergies may be caused by your dog’s diet, by the environment (air-borne) and by parasites. A few flea bites on a dog that is allergic to flea saliva can trigger itching and scratching for weeks.  A flea bite allergy is also known as flea allergy dermatitis.

The most common food allergies in dogs are beef, dairy, chicken, corn, wheat, soy and yeast. A dog with a skin rash may also be reacting due to an allergy to the preservatives, dyes and fillers in his diet. Any dog can develop allergies. There are some breeds that are more prone to develop food and airborne allergies such as the Maltese, German Shepherd, Bull Terrier, Cocker Spaniel, American Hairless Terrier, Lhasa Apso, American Pit Bull Terrier, Golden Retriever and the English Bulldog.

Parasites not only cause skin rashes, they can rob your dog of nutrients. A heavy infestation of fleas, mites and ticks can also cause your dog to become anemic.

Dogs that have a skin rash should be seen by a veterinarian.  The veterinarian will be able to diagnose and treat the underlying reason for the skin rash.

Skin conditions are a very common health problem in dogs.   A skin rash in dogs can be caused by an underlying condition such as allergies, heat, bacterial infections and parasites.

Symptoms of Skin Rash in Dogs

Symptoms may include:

  • Pimple-like pustules on the skin
  • Hair loss
  • Ulcerated skin
  • Bleeding
  • Red and inflamed skin
  • Swelling
  • Sneezing
  • Itchiness
  • Skin flaking
  • Weeping skin
  • Constant licking, biting and chewing
  • Scabs and crusty skin
  • Strong bad odor
  • Depression
  • Secondary skin infection

Causes of Skin Rash in Dogs

Skin rashes in dogs may be caused by:

  • Parasites such as fleas, ticks and mites can cause skin rashes in dogs; many dogs are allergic to the saliva of fleas 
  • Ticks not only irritate the dog’s skin, they can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever; ticks can also transmit these diseases to humans
  • The mite Demodex canis is the cause of demodex mange; demodex canis lives on the dog’s hair follicles
  • Sarcoptic canine mange is caused by the Sarcoptes scabiei mite burrowing into the dog’s skin. 
  • Food allergies are responsible for 20% of itching in dogs
  • Environmental allergies such as grass, dust, mold, second hand smoke, insecticides and cleaning chemicals can cause your pet to itch and develop a rash
  • Heat rash is caused by the combination of the staphylococcus bacteria and hot, humid weather; dogs with a thick coat are more susceptible to heat rashes
  • Hot spots are also referred to as acute moist dermatitis. Hot spots can spread rapidly and a secondary staph infection can cause the skin to have open sores with pus

Diagnosis of Skin Rash in Dogs

The veterinarian will want to go over your companion’s medical history.  He will want to know when the skin rash started and if you have noticed any other symptoms. The veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination and may recommend a complete blood count (CBC).  A complete blood count can help determine if the dog has a bacterial infection or if he is anemic. A skin scrape or biopsy may be taken to be analyzed under a microscope. This can indicate the presence of parasites or secondary infections to the rash, like fungal yeast.

Cannanine

Treatment of Skin Rash in Dogs

Mange is usually treated with dips and medicated shampoo.  Fleas and ticks are treated with a topical product and followed by regular application moving forward, of a parasite preventative medication. If your dog was diagnosed with parasites, the home and yard may need to be professionally fumigated.  Your dog’s bedding and toys should be washed in hot water.  

Dogs diagnosed with food allergies may need to have a dietary elimination trial.  An elimination diet, under the guidance of your veterinarian, can help determine what foods your dog is allergic to. Once a food sensitivity is identified, the rash caused by the reaction should begin to clear. Ointments to soothe the skin can be prescribed.

The veterinarian may recommend you take your dog to a veterinary allergy specialist.  The allergist may recommend blood allergy testing and intradermal allergy testing to narrow down the environmental allergens.  In some cases, daily allergy shots can eliminate the reaction.

Heat rashes may be treated with calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream. Dogs with hot spots may be prescribed antibiotics and a short course of corticosteroids. The hair around hot spots must be clipped away and topical medications will be prescribed.

Dogs with skin rashes may be prescribed anti-inflammatory medications. If the dog has a bacterial infection, antibiotics will be prescribed. The veterinarian could suggest Benadryl to help stop the itching.

Recovery of Skin Rash in Dogs

Your dog will need follow up visits to help monitor his progress. Most dogs recover from skin rashes once the underlying condition is diagnosed and treated. However, even though a rash appears to be healed, the medication prescribed must be completed in full. The rash and itching may return otherwise.

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Skin Rash Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Bear

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Shih Tzu

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5 Months

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Rash
Red Skin
Irritated
Flaky

My dog is roughly 5 months old. She is a Shih Tzu / Yorkshire terrier mix. I recently noticed a small patch of dark pink/red skin near between her nose and eye area where her tears (very minimal form). This area is wet more often then not from the tears and eating meals. I'm wondering if the nature of the area being moist more often than not is causing this small rash and flaky irritated skin. I also used the Tropiclean brand face cleaning foam to clean her face area without a wash. It's only in one area of her body and one side of her nose/eye area. We wash about 2 times per week and use Hypo-Allergenic Tropiclean Soap and Espree Dead Sea Mud Bath to reduce any dryness. We live in Las Vegas where it can be hot and dry. Is there a topical that I can purchase? Is this something we should see the vet for ASAP? Any all natural remedies? Any advise would be GREATLY appreciated.

Sept. 25, 2018

Bear's Owner

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Owen

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mixed shepherd hound

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2 Years

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Serious condition

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0 found helpful

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Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Red Pimple Like Rash All Over

My 2 year old shepherd hound mix has a bad rash all over his inner thighs and on his back. I can see the raised bumps under his short fur. It does not seem very itchy but he does lick it a lot. They look like pimples. It looks horrible. We bathe him with dawn for fleas and he is on Trifexis. He eats dog chow dog food. Any idea how to treat this.

Aug. 21, 2018

Owen's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

If Owen is licking at his skin a lot, it is probably itchy. Common reasons for this might be parasites, bacterial or fungal disease, or allergies. Since each of those is treated completely differently, it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian. They can look at him, determine what might be going on, and let you know any testing or treatment that he might need to feel better.

Aug. 21, 2018

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Roxy

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German Shepherd

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8 Months

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Mild condition

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Redness
Itchy
Scratching

I have an 8 month old female German Shepard and she keeps scratching, licking and biting herself on her back area and her stomach area. I have checked her for flees or ticks and she doesn't have any. Also on her belly area, her skin is irritated and red. I had a bought her a spray(Richard's Organics Incredible Skin Spray for Dogs) for her skin but it doesn't seem to be working. I am feed her dry dog food(Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Puppy Farm Raised Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food). Is there any pills, lotions, shampoos, or food you can recommend for her skin condition.

Aug. 20, 2018

Roxy's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

There are many possible causes for Roxy's itchy skin, including parasites, bacterial or fungal infections, or allergies. Since each of those is treated quite differently, it would be a good idea to have her seen by a veterinarian. They'll be able to examine her and probably save you a lot of trial and error expense to figure out what is causing the problem and how best to help her.

Aug. 20, 2018

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Winnie

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Pit bull

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2 Years

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Rash
Bumps
Rash, Bumps

I have a 2 1/1 y.o pit bull mix with very sensitive skin. About a month ago I noticed bumps on her neck all the way around where her collar sat. She has a cloth collar and when she was on a leash a metal prong collar. Since then she hasn't worn a collar at all. For about 2 weeks the bumps on her neck were a bit like wounds and bled. But I used an antiseptic spray and kept the area very clean (no collar). The bumps seemed to have healed but she has lost a little hair in that area. Even though it no longer seems like there are wounds the bumps are still present. I haven't gone to the vet yet because she seems completely unbothered by this. I also called our vet when I first noticed it and they said not to bring her in unless it got worse because it would heal on it's own and was probably irritation from her collar so to keep that off. I've done that and it does seem to have gotten better, however, it isn't fully healed and I'm not sure what to do.

Aug. 18, 2018

Winnie's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

If the area seems to be getting better, it may just take time for Winnie's skin to completely heal. Skin can take weeks to fully recover, and if the area isn't getting worse, you may be fine to continue to keep it clean and monitor it.

Aug. 18, 2018

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maximus

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American bully

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5 Months

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

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Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Redness,Few Bumps

what is the causes of itchiness and redness of my american bully pet?and my dog keep on scratching and scratching on his neck part...and some on his forehead................................................................................................................................

Aug. 13, 2018

maximus' Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

There are various causes for itchy skin which may include allergies, chemical irritants, parasites, infections, pain, neurological conditions among other causes; I cannot say what the specific cause is but would recommend that you ensure that Maximus is up to date on parasite prevention and is fed a high quality diet suitable for breed and age. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 13, 2018

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Pancho

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Rottweiler

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11 Weeks

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

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Mild condition

Has Symptoms

White Bumps, Scabbing

We have a 11 week puppy with a rash on his joints. It doesn’t itch him but they are small white bumps and they scab. They are on his elbows, legs and top of his head. We have bathed him with medicated shampoo and haven’t sceen improvement. He smells a little too.

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Tyson

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Boxer

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3 Years

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Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Rash

I have a 3 year old male boxer. He has a rash under his chin. Very raw and bleeding. I do not see him scratching it. I just changed their food about 1 week ago. I do not know what it could be. His feet are red again and I know that it is from the grass. Very rainy here right now.I just need help with the rash under his chin. Rigt now the vet is to expensive.

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Izzy

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Brittany Spaniel

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Seven Years

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Red Rings On Belly,
Red Rings On Belly, Dark Edges, Lig

My Brittany has sensitive skin. Overnight she developed five rings on her skin in her lower stomach and inner thigh. They are dark around the edges and lighter pink in the middle. They have a small pinprick dot in the middle. The rings are flush with her skin and do not seem to be bothering her. She does not like to spend much time laying down outdoors. Yesterday, she walked in tall grass and spent some time with me in a large campground shower, in a changing area. She did not lay down in that area. The spots are not scaly

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Sugar

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Jack Russell Terrier

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3 Years

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Fair condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair condition

Has Symptoms

My 11 lb. rescue has developed a few days ago, a rash under her neck of small, smooth grey spots - she is a long-haired white Jack Russel mix. It doesn't appear to bother her. I plan to take her to the vet if it doesn't go away soon.

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Teddy

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Yorkie pom

dog-age-icon

10 Years

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Moderate condition

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Redness
Redness, Itch

Our Yorkie Pom mix has red, irritated areas mostly under his front legs in the "armpit area". It's also got black areas as well, with him itching constantly. Any ideas for home treatment or does he need a vet visit?

Cannanine