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Itchy Red Rash on Dog's Belly, Neck & Armpits & Hot Spots on Ears

by Coleman
(Washington, DC)

Dog Belly Rash

Dog Belly Rash

Dog Belly Rash
Dog Neck Rash
Dog Armpit Rash
Jelly at the park

For the last 6-9 months, my dog Jelly has had an itchy red rash on her neck, belly, and armpits that varies in severity. There is also a little bit around her mouth. Sometimes she is just a little pink, sometimes she is deep red with open sores from constant scratching.

I am thinking this may be an environmental allergy.

We live in a house in Washington, DC with 4 other people and 1 other dog. We moved here from Indiana a year ago. The itchiness started in my old apartment 6-9 mo ago, where I lived with one other person and a cat. I thought it was the cat, but her condition has not improved since we moved.

Strangely enough, her skin gets better when we get out of DC, it seems. When I visit family in Virginia and North Carolina she seems better and less red.

The armpits have darkened skin around them that I thought was dirt until it never went away. These pictures are actually after a trip to Virginia, so the symptoms are usually more severe and red.

I have tried baths, grooming, and changing food. I have also taken her to the vet twice to no avail - both times they recommended a low-ingredient diet with a novel protein (which she already eats - Natural Balance potato and duck) and gave me expensive antibiotics and steroids that seemed to help slightly but never really worked. She has also been taking salmon oil capsules with food and that doesn't help much either.

Jelly is a four year old pit mix.

Coleman and Jelly

Comments for Itchy Red Rash on Dog's Belly, Neck & Armpits & Hot Spots on Ears

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Jun 05, 2014
My Online Vet Response for: Itchy Red Rash on Dog's Belly, Neck & Armpits & Hot Spots on Ears
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

June 5, 2014

Hi Coleman,
You are correct. From the photos you sent of Jelly's skin, she does have allergic dermatitis. I suspect it is a combination of inhaled allergy, (to pollen, weeds, grass, etc) AND contact allergy, (to whatever she is laying on), plus some skin fold dermatitis,(armpits and neck), secondary to all of the itching and scratching she does to traumatize her skin and cause bacteria to get into her skin creating more red, inflamed 'flare-ups'.

Here's what I suggest:
1. Make sure her diet does NOT have any DRY food. She needs lots of moisture in her diet, canned and/or RAW.
See our page on 10 Best Dog Food Options,, and consider feeding her a raw diet. Or at least add some RAW to her diet. I do not think she has a food allergy.

2. Frequent bathing, one time per week, with an oatmeal shampoo, or Johnson&Johnson Baby Shampoo. This is mostly to remove surface bacteria that is imbedded into her skin from her toenails when she scratches.

3. Use Rescue Remedy to spray on her skin, wherever she is itching/scratching, to CALM her skin. This can be used as often as needed. To make a mixture, buy the *human* Rescue Remedy at a health food store. (NOT the Animal Rescue Remedy in glycerin). Add 20-30 drops to a 4-6oz pump spray bottle, and fill with Spring Water. This can be sprayed on her skin wherever she is red or inflamed, at any time day or night to CALM her skin. You can make up another mixture of 10-20 drops into a glass eye dropper bottle, and fill with Spring Water, and give her a dose of it by mouth to help CALM her down.

4. Antronex by Standard Process, available from This is a liver supplement that helps the liver to remove histamine from the skin. It *acts* like an antihistamine. Give her 1-2 tablets two times daily. When pollen count is high, or it is windy give her a dose 3 times daily. Can be given as needed. If she is not itching too bad, (when you go out to Virginia, etc) she will not need it.

5. NO VACCINATIONS. Seek the help of a holistic veterinarian to write her an exemption from vaccinations.
Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is

6. Last, but not least, she will need a homeopathic remedy, probably Sulphur 12C or 30C. But, there are a multitude of homeopathic remedies, useful for red/itchy skin, and it is best to follow the advice of a holistic veterinarian that can examine Jelly to prescribe a remedy that is best for her *constitution*. See our page on conventional vs holistic vets,

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

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