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Recent Flaring of Red, Hot, Scabby & Itchy Dog Skin Rash on Groin, Armpits & Belly

by Gloria

sweet Caper_therapy dog

Recently, my dog's skin rashes seem to flare up within hours (or overnight), and right now it is really bad. Affected are almost exclusively his underbelly, groin and armpits. The rash is red and hot and very itchy (also a lot of scabs). I can see how miserable it makes him feel.

My Australian cattle Dog mix Caper (5 years old) has always had sensitive skin. We know he has an allergy to beef and possibly chicken, so we changed his food to more "unique" proteins, such as wild rabbit, venison and/or kangaroo. We also have been feeding grain-free food.

I have read a lot on your website, and it has helped a lot. We have been at the vet with him frequently...always with skin issues. Otherwise he is healthy, active, and in amazing shape.

Usually the vet diagnoses Superficial Pyoderma. They do a scrape and mostly find bacteria but no yeast. Steroids and antibiotics make the skin rash heal beautifully, but as I have read in many other stories from dog owners, it returns with a vengeance a few weeks after stopping treatment.

Caper goes to daycare 3 days a week. Usually we have him washed with Virbac shampoo 1-2x a week.

Now to my question: the daycare, which is excellent, has plastic "lawn" to make it easier to clean, and to not turn the place into a mud pit every time it rains. However, I started wondering if my dog could be allergic to the material of that plastic "lawn"; or if that type of material keeps dog urine from being absorbed into the ground and therefore causes that reaction.

Have you had other cases like that before? Is it possible that it is the daycare floor, or is a food allergy more likely?

Thank you so much.

Comments for Recent Flaring of Red, Hot, Scabby & Itchy Dog Skin Rash on Groin, Armpits & Belly

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Feb 12, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Recent Flaring of Red, Hot Scabby & Itchy Dog Skin Rash on Groin, Armpits & Belly
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Gloria,

Great photo! Caper is quite the handsome boy!

I agree with your veterinarian's diagnosis. From the photos you took of Caper, it does appear to be superficial pyoderma.

In answer to your question, 'Have I had other cases like that before?' YES. See our page with more details, Dog Skin Conditions and Dog Skin Disorders: Diagnosis, Causes, Natural Treatments.

You asked if it might be caused by the plastic grass from the Daycare, or from food allergy? Both might play a factor in causing some 'susceptibility' to this condition. But treatment will not be successful by merely suppressing his symptoms with antibiotics and cortisone, or removing him from the Daycare 'environment'. Treatment must treat the *whole* body, to treat 'Caper' not just his skin.

By this I mean using homeopathic remedies that fit his constitution. Seeking the help of a holistic veterinarian would be best. One that will 'take the case' and find the remedy that will 'fit' Caper. This is done by discovering his likes and dislikes, temperature preferences, what types of past illnesses he had as a puppy, does he tend to be thirsty, is he fearful of strangers, have a fear of thunderstorms, etc.

Is the rash confined to only his abdomen, does it start with an itch first, or by eruptions/lesions first?

You might also consider feeding a Raw diet and no DRY DOG FOOD. You might start with those same 'novel' proteins that he is able to tolerate.

Living in Florida, you did not mention what types of flea control you use, nor how often he has been vaccinated. Exposure to toxins whether environmental, (such as flea/tick preventive), or from vaccinations will suppress the immune system and cause him to have a harder time healing. See our page on natural flea control, Natural Dog Flea Medicine and Products - Treatment & Prevention
And consider an exemption form, to not vaccinate him until he is well and has NORMAL skin. At that point he will be healthy.

Continue to bathe with the Virbac Epi-Soothe shampoo 1-2 times per week.

Caper should also have some Immune system supplements to his diet:

1. Immuplex from Standard ProcessOpen and sprinkle one capsule in his food two times daily.
2. OrthoMolecular Specialties, Mega C Powder
3. Missing Link Canine Formula

Feb 12, 2013
My Online Vet Response For: Recent Flaring of Red, Hot, Scabby & Itchy Dog Skin Rash on Groin, Armpits & Belly PART TWO
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Gloria,

Here is the rest of my response.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is

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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Related Pages:
- Dog Skin Conditions,
- Dog Itchy Skin,
- Dog Skin Rash,
- Dog Skin Allergies,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Skin Rashes, Marks, Spots, Lesions & Patches (including itchy skin and mange) Section,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Hair Loss Section

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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