A rash on the abdomen of a pet can seriously scare the owner. After all, it can be a sign of some disease! But don’t worry. Any illness can be cured successfully if detected timely. Read on and find out what the reasons for the appearance of a rash on the dog’s belly can be and what to do if you have noticed it.
What are the Reasons for Rash on Belly in Dogs?
This is not a separate illness, but just a manifestation of some disease. And there are plenty of ailments, a symptom of which is a rash. Among such illnesses, there are:
- Skin diseases (fungal infection of the skin, dermatitis, scabies, eczema, shingles, etc). The main and usually the only manifestation of these diseases is a rash, ranging from small pimples to large red spots.
- Skin parasites (fleas, ticks). They bite the animal, causing pain and itching. Active scratching causes appearing red spots and other types of rashes on the skin. The abdominal area is more susceptible to be damaged by parasites. Since the skin is the thinnest here, it is easiest for fleas or ticks to bite it through and get to the blood.
- Liver or kidney diseases. When these organs are out of order, toxins are poorly eliminated from the body. This often provokes a rash.
- Stomach problems. Digestive problems often lead to skin manifestations. A rash on the belly is the most common of them.
- Allergy. A rash can be provoked by both external factors (aerosols, household chemicals, unsuitable means for washing a dog, etc.), and internal (food, medication, accidentally eaten plant). With an allergic reaction, the dog suffers not only from rashes but also from severe itching. Often it is the abdomen and groin area that is affected by a rash, especially in puppies, because the skin here is the most delicate and sensitive.
- Bacterial infections. If the dog scratches too vigorously or otherwise injures the skin on the abdomen, an infection can lead to suppuration, inflammation, and the formation of painful rough crusts. Increased itching and pain provoke further scratching, which even more actively spreads the infection and aggravates the disease.
- Skin irritation. It is most often provoked by washing a dog with detergents intended for humans, household chemicals, or “rough” laundry soap. All they dry out and irritate the delicate skin of the belly, leading to redness and rash.
- Intertrigo. Dogs of some breeds suffer from it in the same way as small children. In dogs, this is caused by sweating or ingress of moisture, dirt into extensive skin folds, so the rash is more typical for breeds such as pugs, shar-pei, mastiffs, bulldogs. Pimples can be located in any fold, but they spread especially strongly on the abdomen and in the genital area. The risk of intertrigo increases in hot weather and if a pet has excess weight.
- Stress. Sometimes sensitive dogs react with rashes to stressful factors, such as changes in diet, moving, changing of the owner, participating in exhibitions, and even the appearance of a new family member at home: a child, a new puppy, or another pet.
Additional Symptoms that May Go Together with Rash on Belly
It depends on the reason for skin manifestations:
- If a rash was provoked by skin diseases, there may be no other symptoms except spots or pimples.
- If the reason is a parasitic infestation, you can see fleas or ticks on the body of the animal (they look like little black dots). In addition to a rash, ulcers and fur loss appear. Also, the pet constantly scratches itself as the areas bitten by parasites itch.
- Liver dysfunctions have the following symptoms, except rash: refusal to eat, weight loss, drowsiness, vomiting, thirst, yellowing of the whites of the eyes.
- Typical signs of kidney diseases are thirst, increased urination, poor appetite, weight loss.
- Stomach disorders can be recognized by decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, poor appetite.
- Allergy has a rash as the main symptom. Among the additional ones, there can be swelling, redness of the eyes, discharge from the eyes and ears, scratching because of itching.
- Bacterial infections usually manifest by increased body temperature, refusal to eat, and lethargy.
- The signs of skin irritation and intertrigo are not only rash but also red and dry skin.
- The symptoms of stress are agitated behavior, heavy breathing, constant scratching and licking of the body, shaking off for no reason, increased salivation, chewing of the objects around, peeing and pooping in the wrong places.
What to Do if you Have Noticed Rash on the Pet’s Belly
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons that may provoke a rash on the tummy. Therefore, only a vet can determine the exact cause. The doctor will conduct a thorough examination of the skin, and, if necessary, will take the tests for identifying infections or other health problems.
Then, a vet will prescribe treatment. It will consist of the local remedies for getting rid of the symptom (rash) and the medications for the main disease that has caused the skin problems.
Sometimes only local remedies are enough. For example, if the reason for a rash was just skin irritation, intertrigo, or skin parasites, no pills are needed. An effective treatment would be a moisturizing and soothing cream or flea and tick shampoo or drops. Make sure that these remedies are always in a dog first aid kit as you may need them at any time.
As for bacterial infections, antibacterial ointments in combination with pills or injections will be a great solution.
For allergies, local anti-itch ointments are used, as well as antiallergenic pills. Also, you will need to get rid of the agent that has provoked the illness. For this, you will need to change the feed or abandon certain household chemicals.
Liver, kidney, or stomach diseases will require longer and more difficult treatment with pills or injections.
Once you have got rid of the rash and its reason, take care for prophylaxis for the problem not to appear again.
How to Prevent Dog Rash on Belly
Stick to these rules for this annoying problem never to bother your pet:
- Maintain your dog’s skin hygiene. Bathe the whole body of your pet 1-2 times a month. Also, wash paws and belly every time when they get dirty after walks. If you don’t do this, the skin becomes very dirty, which makes it more prone to infections.
- Don’t overdo skin hygiene. Bathing too often leads to skin dryness and irritation.
- Don’t use aggressive bath products (human shampoos, soaps, etc.). Only a specialized dog shampoo is the right solution.
- Consult a vet for choosing proper and balanced nutrition to prevent stomach, kidney or liver problems. Give dog vitamins to your pet if the diet is not perfect.
- Carry out preventive treatment for fleas and ticks every 1-2 months or use an antiparasitic collar.
All this will help you and your pet forget about ugly itching rash!