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Red, Itchy Rash - Superficial Pyoderma

by Charlie

-Dog has a very itchy rash on belly, inner back legs, tail, and back end. It has gotten progressively worse over the past week.

-lab mix
-6 years old

-the rash is red but not dry and flaky. I suspect it was present for a few days before I noticed it this past Saturday. She has been chewing on it when I am at work. Today there are several places where she is missing hair around her tail and anus. I have not seen any fleas. There is a possibility it is poison ivy/oak, but I don't know if it would be able spread as far as this rash has. My room is often humid as I live in the mountains and have a fish tank that evaporates quite a bit of water (fungus?).

The rash doesn't appear to be getting worse or better, and I can't stop her from chewing on herself when I'm not at home. What can I do for the rash and the hairless spots? When (if necessary) is it time to take her to the vet?

-I've given her a bath with medicated shampoo several times which helps with the itching. Also I changed her bedding after each wash.

Thanks for the help,


Comments for Red, Itchy Rash - Superficial Pyoderma

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Sep 21, 2009
Online Vet-Skin rash on legs
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Charlie,
The rash/redness on your dog looks like superficial pyoderma. This is commonly caused by fleas. Even though you have not seen any, I would still take measures to control fleas. See our recommendations on our natural flea control for pets page.

This is a three part ordeal: to take care of any fleas on the dog, in the house and in the yard. Keep in mind that fleas are parasites, and are attracted to weakened animals. Animals that have been over vaccinated, on a poor diet, on drug treatment from conventional therapy, are more likely to attract fleas.

It is highly unlikely to be a fungus, or poison ivy. I would continue with medicated shampoos, like oatmeal shampoos to control the itching, one to two times per week. Keeping the skin clean and dry is the best way to clear up the lesions. Making sure her diet is the most nutritious is very important also, check out our site under Dog Food and Treats.

For a more specific treatment, including checking the anal glands and treating for chronic disease, vaccinosis or illness/allergies it would be best to contact a holistic veterinarian. Check out the Alternative Care section to learn about each modality, then search for a vet in your area on our Dog Vet Care page.

Hope this helps, and 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: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person."

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

Oct 29, 2009
dog itching
by: Anonymous

I too have the same problem. I was wondering if you sprayed diluted vinegar on her fur would it discourage her from nibbling at her fur? I think it is just a bit of a habit for my dog. I am back in school so she is home all day, even though she goes outside she still has the same problem.

Oct 30, 2009
Reply about vinegar
by: Administrator

Hi there,

We have a couple of pages posted to our site that include information about using vinegar, including the following:

However, I don't believe that either of these will address your question directly. If you would like to ask our veterinarians directly, please sign up on our My Online Vet page.



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