Dog Rash on Belly - Symptoms & Treatment
Dogs are prone to different rashes and infections, and if you notice your dog has a rash on their belly, it doesn’t mean you should start panicking. Dog rashes on the belly can be irritating and uncomfortable. There are many different reasons your dog can get a rash. Dog owners, especially new ones, can quickly start worrying about their dog’s health. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes the issue is less frightening than it looks. Here is what you need to know if your dog developed a rash on their belly.
Not many people know this, but the skin is the biggest organ on the dog’s body. It protects them from parasites, viruses, bacteria, and other things that can harm their internal organs and systems. We often think it is durable and tough, but the truth is, the skin is sensitive, and delicate skin health can easily get affected. The most common way skin shows how delicate it is, is through rashes. Some dog rash causes are;
- Hormonal or endocrine
The dog’s skin can easily be cut or damaged. When something like that happens, it opens a window for bacteria, fungi, or yeast to infect the dog. Infections can cause lesions. Lesions cause flaky, dry skin and can even cause hair to fall off. Another thing lesions cause is small red pimples or a rash.
Bacterial infections are called pyoderma, and dogs can get it after suffering trauma or a cut. Puppies are prone to these types of skin infections, especially in areas where they don’t have much hair. Pyoderma can even be hereditary.
Fungal infections such as ringworms (not actually a worm but fungi) can cause infections. Yeast infections can cause yeast dermatitis. The most common symptoms are musky smell, crusty, flaky skin, thickened skin, redness, itching, and ear infections.
Allergies are a common dog belly rash cause. Dogs can be allergic to different things, from environmental things like pollen, soil fertilizers to food, cleaning products, poison ivy, or even flea and tick preventives.
Allergies will cause your dog’s belly to rash and itch. If that happens, your dog will start scratching. Make sure you keep an eye on their scratching because they can damage their skin with excessive scratching. That can lead to infections and complications. Allergies will cause different symptoms, from hair loss, red skin, and itchiness, to diarrhea and other gastrointestinal upsets. It would be best to call your vet and ask for advice if you think your dog’s belly rash is caused by allergies.
If your dog gets infected with skin parasites, they will most certainly cause skin irritations. Ticks, mites, and fleas will feed on the dog’s blood or skin, and if a dog has a reaction to their bites, they will most likely develop some sort of rash. Parasites are responsible for different skin issues. Some of them are Demodex mange, sarcoptic mange, and flea allergy dermatitis. Ticks can carry serious diseases like Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. All of these parasites can cause your dog to have a belly rash.
According to the American Kennel Club, some dog breeds are genetically more susceptible to skin conditions. Some of those breeds are:
Some breeds even have skin issues specific only for their breed; Golden Retrievers can get congenital ichthyosis, Samoyeds can develop zinc-responsive dermatosis, and Cocker Spaniels are prone to dandruff.
The most serious cause of a dog belly rash can be hormonal imbalance or some form of endocrine disorder. Several serious health concerns can cause a dog rash on the belly. Some of those are hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease. These illnesses cause the dog’s hormones to go crazy, and often, the first symptoms are skin problems.
The key to treating these diseases is catching them early. Help your vet by keeping a close eye on your dog. Make sure you notice changes in hair loss, urination and drinking habits, coat quality, and dry skin.
There are different types of dog belly rashes, and each type can have unique symptoms. The obvious one is - the dog’s belly will be affected. The most common reason, the pyoderma, will include symptoms like dry, scaly, crusty skin, itchiness, redness, and hair loss.
Yeast infection will include symptoms like a specific yeasty odor, and ringworms will cause unique circular patterns.
After the vet made a diagnosis based on tests they decided were necessary, they will decide how to approach the dog belly rash treatment. Here are some of the causes and their treatment options;
- Bacterial infection belly rashes are treated with a course of antibiotics. Vets can make additional tests to confirm the type of bacteria that infected the dog and decide which antibiotic will do the job best.
- Belly rashes on dogs caused by the yeast will be treated with yeast medication and specialized shampoos that will make it impossible for the yeast to grow.
- Allergies can be treated with antihistamines. However, food allergies can only be treated by changing the dog’s diet. It is a long process that will require a lot of dedication and patience. You can read more about it here - Hypoallergenic dog food.
- The hormonal and endocrine disorder will require treating the problem, not the symptom. If the problem causing the rash is treated, the dog rash on their belly will disappear.
Rashes are common, and they are usually nothing to worry too much about. Most dogs will experience them sooner or later. The vast majority of cases are easily treatable by medications, creams, or shampoos. However, dog belly rash should not be ignored, and it will require your vet’s attention. Just keep in mind that some rashes can be transferred to humans, so make sure you don’t touch the affected area yourself.
World Dog Finder team