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? And how can you help her get rid of them?
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 in contact with poison ivy, fertilizer, road salt, hay, or other irritant. The 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 hypoallergenic shampoo, change 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 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, or other trauma to the skin. These infections usually cause lesions that look like pimples, and can also 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!
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, hydrogen peroxide, or benzoyl peroxide two times per day. But, it’s always best 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.
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, which 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.
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, and can also appear on the back, folds of skin, under the tail and neck and near her ears. Hot, humid weather conditions can make it 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, this can also develop into a secondary infection, so treat the heat rash as quickly as possible to prevent it from morphing into something more serious. 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, there is one sure-fire way to help heal the damage and soothe the irritation: Banixx Pet Care, which works on contact and usually relieves the itch within a day or two (results might vary from case to case).
Banixx not only eases the itching, it also helps resolve the infection, as its 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, even massaging it into your dog’s 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 Banixx has a good opportunity to work.
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, contains moisturizing, rejuvenating, soothing marine collagen that smoothes onto the skin as an effective medicated band-aid.