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Rash on Your Dog's Belly: Causes and Treatments
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Rash on Your Dog's Belly: Causes and Treatments

Ellie, Critter Culture Staff
Updated Oct 15, 2020

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If you've discovered a rash on your dog's stomach, you may be alarmed. However, rashes are a common occurrence and usually completely treatable. Before you can properly tend to your pet's rash, it's important to know what causes this condition and how it can be treated.

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Signs of a rash

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Some of the most common signs of a belly rash include itchiness, scaly skin, hair loss, and inflammation. You may also notice lesions on your dog's skin that closely resemble pimples. A yeast-like scent may indicate that the rash is infected.

If you aren't sure which type of rash your dog has, call your vet and explain the symptoms in detail. Your vet can then help you properly diagnose your dog's infection.

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Allergies may be the cause

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Allergies are a common cause of a rash. Pet shampoos and certain foods can trigger an allergic reaction in your pup. In other cases, your dog may be exposed to certain irritants such as poison ivy or household cleaning products. Flea allergy dermatitis — or flea bite sensitivity — is another common cause of skin issues in both dogs and cats.

Keep your home environment free of any potential allergens that could harm your pet. If you believe that your dog is suffering from flea allergies, be sure to pick up flea medication from the vet to help soothe your pet's symptoms.

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Check for an infection

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A rash on your pup's stomach can also be triggered by certain infections. If your dog has suffered a cut or abrasion, the open wound may cause an infection to develop. In some cases, this infection may lead to a rash that forms on your pet's belly. Some of the most common types of infections in dogs include yeast infections, bacterial infections, and fungal infections. See a vet if you're having trouble identifying the source of your pet's infection. With the right diagnosis and treatment, your furry friend can return to their normal self and find relief from their rash.

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Some breeds are more prone to rashes

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Genetics play a significant role in a dog's tendency to develop a rash, and certain dog breeds are more prone to skin issues. Some popular dog breeds that have a higher risk of developing rashes include poodles, bulldogs, golden retrievers, cocker spaniels, German shepherds, and Labradors. If your pet belongs to this group, be extra careful about where they roam outdoors and what you feed them.

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Parasites may be the cause

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Parasites may also be the culprit behind your dog's rash. These tiny pests can crawl into your pet's fur and trigger a number of infections. The most common parasites are ticks, mites, and fleas. Most dogs carry a small number of mites and fleas on their fur with no issue, but they can develop a rash if the flea or mite population grows large enough to compromise their immune system.

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Underlying disorders that cause a rash

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While most causes of a rash are minor and easy to treat, skin irritation or a rash can be a symptom of a larger, underlying condition. Conditions such as Cushing's disease and hypothyroidism may cause a rash and require immediate attention from your vet. Other signs to watch for include hair loss, unusual eating habits, and darkened skin.

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Dandruff can lead to skin irritation

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Just like humans, dogs can experience dandruff, which may irritate the skin and lead to a rash. Fortunately, dandruff can be managed with the right treatment. Remember to properly groom your dog on a regular basis to keep further dandruff at bay. It's also a good idea to brush your dog's coat often and supplement with omega-3 fatty acids to ensure that your pet's fur stays soft and healthy.

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Treating a rash caused by a bacterial infection

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There are many different ways to treat a rash, and a skilled vet can discuss these treatment options with you. The proper treatment for your dog depends on the origin of the rash. There are no home remedies for a bacterial infection and may require antibiotics.

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Treating allergies

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If you suspect that your dog's belly rash is a result of allergies, the proper treatment may not be as straightforward. It's a good idea to discuss your pet's symptoms with your vet to identify the specific allergy and decide on the best course of treatment.

Once you begin treating your dog's condition, you'll likely need to address two separate issues: the cause of the allergy and the rash itself. Whether your pet's allergy is a result of their diet or your home environment, take the time to isolate the cause of the allergy so you can properly address it.

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How to treat a fungal infection

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Fungal infections are easily treatable, but it's important to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible to address the problem before it gets any worse. In most cases, your vet will help treat your pup's fungal infection by providing you with special antifungal products. These can include antifungal medications, shampoos, and creams. After enough time, your furry friend will be back to their healthy, playful self.

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