Common dog rashes

Different dog breeds are subject to a variety of skin rashes. Some breeds are more susceptible to rashes than others. Common to almost all dog breeds are skin rashes called "hot spots." These and other skin problems can plague your dog until he begins to bite at the rash, making it much worse than it originally was. There are a number of remedies on the market for dog rashes, but it's important to identify the source of the rash before applying topical medication.

Hot Spots

Hot spots are by far the most common of all dog skin rashes because they are secondary to all other skin disorders. A skin problem that begins because of an allergy or external parasite may quickly develop into a hot spot as your dog bites and licks at the site of the rash in an effort to gain some relief. The biting causes a bacteria bloom that overwhelms your dog's immune system and causes swelling, redness, puss and a foul odour. The fur falls out and your dog is frantic to stop the burning and itching. "Hot Spots" are also known as "Lick Sores," but the medical term is superficial pyoderma.

Food Allergies

It's difficult to make the leap from what is in your dog's dish to that rash growing on his skin, but food allergies are the most common cause of dog rashes. According to Organic Pet Digest, experts are not sure why dogs develop allergies to normal, everyday food items, such as beef, chicken, soy or wheat. The dog's body perceives these ingredients as intruders and creates an immune-system boost against them. This causes a problem with yeast (Candida), which in turn causes outbreaks on the skin and in the ears. Treat rashes caused by food allergies by changing your dog's diet.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

Flea allergy dermatitis is exactly what the name implies. As if the biting and itching of a flea infestation itself is not bad enough, some dogs are highly allergic to fleas. The flea's saliva causes the problem. Just one flea can cause a serious outbreak of rashes all over the body. This in turn causes biting and scratching, which leads to hot spots. Owners of dogs with flea allergies must be hyper-vigilant that their dogs remain flea-free.

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About the Author

Michelle A. Rivera is the author of many books and articles. She attended the University of Missouri Animal Cruelty School and is certified with the Florida Animal Control Association. She is the executive director of her own nonprofit, Animals 101, Inc. Rivera is an animal-assisted therapist, humane educator, former shelter manager, rescue volunteer coordinator, dog trainer and veterinary technician.