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Red Puppy Rash on Underside & Ears

by Jessica
(SW Florida)



belly again
Also in her ears
Her and our other dog

We rescued a puppy two weeks ago from a humane society. She is approximately 8-10 weeks old. Suspected to be a lab/rottie mix, but seems small, she was very underweight when we brought her home (ribs and hip bones sticking out).

She and her litter mates were found in a storm drain when they were very young (2-3 weeks) without their mother, so she was separated from her mother very early. The shelter supposedly fed her Science Diet Puppy, of which they sent us home with a small bag. I do not like Science Diet, so I switched her over to Fromm's Large Breed Puppy kibble over the course of her two weeks with us.

When we brought her home she still had hookworms, despite being treated at the shelter, so our vet had us give her a 3-day course of dewormer last week. Now, because she's a shelter pup, the shelter gave her multiple vaccines before they'd let her leave. But when I took her to our vet, the vet said that was unusual for such a young puppy. I am supposed to take her back this week for boosters and another fecal though.

She has put on weight nicely and looks healthier now. She's very alert and active and loves to play with our other small breed dog and child. So she's not lethargic and her stools are firm. She's picking up potty training quickly and is taking to small doses of crate training well.

We do not treat our yard with any pesticides, but every once in awhile the lawn maintenance crew will treat for weeds along the perimeters. Since she is a puppy, and we are potty training, she's been outside a lot (we live in Southwest Florida). We have White Oleander trees at the back of the yard as well as Milkweed in a butterfly garden. I know both of those can be toxic. I've tried my hardest to keep her away from them, but again, she's a puppy. She wants to put everything in her mouth.

Neither dog has evidence of fleas. And though the temperature is mild here in FL we won't have a "flea boom" until summer.

Because she was freshly spayed when we brought her home, I've been monitoring her wound closure daily to make sure everything is okay. Only today I noticed a red rash on her belly and legs.

I tried to inspect the rest of her but her hair is dark and extremely short. I could not see any red spots under her fur on her rump, back or front legs (yet…it may spread). So I thought contact allergy.

But then I noticed red spots inside her ears… which I thought was weird for a contact allergy. So, I'm stumped.

On the one hand I have no idea what she brought with her from the shelter. On the other, I have no idea if she could have a food allergy, a vaccine problem, a medicine reaction, a reaction to something in the yard… Or if she's having a problem with something in the house.

Because I have another small dog and young child, I use only non-toxic products in my house. And my child is extremely sensitive to detergents/soaps so I use only free and clear (organic when possible) laundry detergents, soaps, lotions, etc. I found an enzymatic stain and odor remover that claims to be safe for kids and pets to clean up her accidents.

The puppy doesn't seem to be chewing or licking any more than she has since the rash developed in the last 12 hours.

I know puppies have sensitive skin to begin with, what could be going on and how do I figure it out?

Are there natural remedies as opposed to prescribed medicines for stuff like this?

My 8 year old dog has never had a skin problem, so this is a first. It's Sunday and I'm not scheduled to take her to the vet until Thursday. Just hoping to get some advice in the meantime to hopefully alleviate the problem or her probable discomfort.

Or if it's something you think is contagious to our other dog or to us, I'd take her in to the vet immediately.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Comments for Red Puppy Rash on Underside & Ears

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Feb 24, 2015
My Online Vet Response for: Red Puppy Rash on Underside & Ears
by: Dr Carol Jean Tillman

February 23, 2015

Hi Jessica,
From the photos you sent, I do not believe that your puppy is part Rottweiler. I think she is mostly Lab. Although, she might be *stunted* considering her poor start in life!

The skin lesions are called, "Puppy Pyoderma". They are not contagious. It is relatively common to see pimples that appear in the groin, or other skin fold areas, (like the ears) after stress. They usually come from the 'normal' bacteria that is always found on the skin. But in a healthy individual with a strong immune system, the bacterial skin flora are kept under 'control'. And as she was weaned too young, had numerous vaccinations, hookworms and dewormer and underwent surgery to be spayed, before 3 months of age, she was definitely STRESSED!

Here's the plan:
1. Bath-Use baby shampoo once a week (for at least 6 weeks), to bathe her. Rinse and dry well.

2. Ears-You can use rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip to clean her ears and make sure no water goes down her ear canal. Do this 2 times per week.

3. Diet- No Dry dog food. She should be on canned with raw meat. See if the Fromm's Large Breed Puppy kibble comes in a canned form. Gradually transition her from the dry to the canned, and then start adding in RAW meat. NO raw pork or raw fish. If she does grow to Rottweiler size, then you might need to compromise on her diet, and feed 1/3 raw, 1/3 canned and 1/3 dry... this way at least 2/3 of her diet will be moist.

For tartar control once her permanent teeth are all in, (this occurs by 6 months of age), you will need to give her some tartar control treats to chew after each meal, TWO times daily.

Ideally, an all RAW diet would be the healthiest for her.

4. NO VACCINATIONS! I would not give her ANY 'booster' vaccines until she is at least 6 months of age. At that point, with all of her permanent teeth in place, she should have a fairly mature immune system. Or better yet, have an antibody titer to see if she already has a protective level. In which case, I would wait to give any boosters until next year. And Rabies could be given between 6 months to one year of age. I would NOT give the Rabies and the Distemper/Parvo vaccine at the same time. I would space them out 6 months to one year apart.

5. Homeopathic Remedy-Thuya (Thuja occidentalis) this is a remedy useful for 'vaccinosis'. Illness that is seen after a vaccination in susceptible individuals.
It is available online or at Health food stores. Find 30C potency and give her one pellet by mouth one time daily for just 3 days. She may need another dose one time, in 30 days, depending on how she responds to diet, bathing, etc. And I would give her one dose after any future vaccination.

6. Worms-take another stool sample in to be checked in 2 weeks to make sure the deworming worked and she is negative. If she is still positive, you may need to deworm your other dogs, as they may have been exposed to her stool, if you let them all out in the backyard together.

7. Heartworm-Start her on the Heartgard heartworm prevention and give it every 45 days.

8. Fleas and ticks-Use the natural product from called EVOLV. It is made from cedar oil and is safe for puppies and adult dogs.

Regarding the vaccinations and the homeopathic remedy, you might find it easier to seek the help of a holistic veterinarian, in your area.

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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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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