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Visible rashes on your dog's groin may look alarming and uncomfortable. However, they are pretty common. Many things may cause these rashes, such as a bacterial skin infection or something more serious, such as Cushing's disease.
You doubt yourself as a dog owner, not that the rash is your fault, but self-guilt persists. You have reached the point where wishing the rash would go away is no longer an option. Additionally, the skin inflammation can develop into an unpleasant infection that will require veterinary action if left untreated. Therefore, it is crucial to quickly identify and treat rashes that form on your dog's groin.
Today, we will tell you everything you need to know about your puppy's groin rash, including symptoms, possible causes, and steps to take to ensure your dog's skin looks and feels healthy again.
TYPES OF DOG RASHES
Dogs can develop different types of rashes, just like humans. Many of these allergies present themselves in the form of rashes. Some of the most common allergies in dogs include:
- Flea Allergy Dermatitis. A prevalent skin disease caused by having just one or two fleas on the skin. Prevention is the best treatment for cases such as these. The best thing you can do is to ensure that your pet is up to date with his or her flea treatments.
- Atopic Dermatitis. A sensitive reaction to environmental allergens, which commonly come from pollen, dust mites, and mold spores. Aside from manifesting itself in the groin, you may also see it develop around the eyes. To help your dog avoid these rashes, remove any possible allergens that your dog may come into contact with.
- Puppy pyoderma. Young dogs, especially puppies, are prone to bacterial infections in the skin of the groin and armpits. These rashes are usually mild and often clear up as the dog ages. If your puppy seems uncomfortable or the rash becomes severe, your vet may prescribe an antiseptic wash, antibiotic ointment, or oral antibiotics to get rid of the infection.
- If the situation is not too severe, you may be able to cure your dog’s rash by using prescription topical treatments. Other forms of mange require oral medications and dips in addition to special shampoos for your dog.
- Hot spots are rashes that are aggravated by your dog frequently licking and chewing the skin. They can appear because of irritants such as infections, wounds, and flea bites. They can also result from boredom, poor grooming, and laying on hard floors.
SYMPTOMS OF GROIN RASH
Rashes on your dog's groin can come in many forms. The most common type is pyoderma, which is characterized by pimple-like lesions. The skin around the groin may also look dry, scaly, and crusty. The fur around the groin will typically fall off. And of course, the dog will continuously be scratching the groin area.
The skin around your dog's groin may also appear weepy, scabbed, red, or inflamed. You'll know that your dog has a yeast infection if the groin area emits a yeast-like odor. Fungal infections often manifest themselves through circular patterns in the lesions.
WHAT CAUSES RASHES IN DOGS?
Your dog's skin serves as your dog's protection from the outside world. It is the barrier that comes between harmful organisms and your dog's internal organs. Although we may think of skin as being resistant and robust, a dog's skin is typically susceptible to changes in the environment.
One of the ways your dog's skin shows its sensitivity is through the presence of rashes. There are many causes of rashes in dogs. These include:
- Allergic reactions
- Shampoo, pollen, insect bites, bee stings, etc.
- Yeast infection
- Bacterial Infection
- Fleas, ticks, or mites
- A poor diet
- Excessive licking or chewing of the skin
HOW TO PREVENT SKIN ISSUES
As with most things in life, prevention is better than cure. Listed below are a few things you can regularly do to prevent rashes from ever manifesting.
- Conditioner. Apply conditioner on your dog after bathing.
- Dog Food. If you've recently changed your dog's food, they may be having trouble adjusting. Consider switching them back and observing whether symptoms persist.
- Swapping your dog's food for a different protein (chicken instead of beef) or a hydrolyzed protein diet, like Royal Canin, may help if the allergy is food-related.
- Fish Oil Capsules. Consider giving your dog fish oil capsules at mealtime. Around 1000mg once a day should be fine for most dogs.
- You should only give around 1mg per body weight, and make sure the Benadryl contains only diphenhydramine as an active ingredient. Consult your vet before giving Benadryl if your dog is a puppy, since they can be sensitive to certain medications.
DIAGNOSING THE CAUSE OF A RASH IN A DOG
In diagnosing a groin rash, a veterinarian will conduct tests based on your dog's age, breed, overall health, and symptoms. As the process moves forward, the testing becomes more invasive. These tests can include:
- Allergy Testing – Blood test and skin test
- Food Allergy Testing - A dog receives a hypoallergenic diet for 8 to 12 weeks. If the dog returns to the old food and symptoms persist, your dog most likely has food allergies.
- Ear Swab – A vet will swab a dog's ear and look for bacteria, parasites, and yeast that may cause infection.
- Skin Scrape – A small scraping of skin is gently taken from the dog.
TRADITIONAL RASH TREATMENTS
Here is a list of some traditional rash treatments veterinarians use:
- Antibiotics for the treatment of skin infections
- Shampoos with prescription medications
- Flea, tick, and mite-killing medications
HOME REMEDIES AND NATURAL TREATMENT
If your dog has visible rashes on the groin and is continuously itching and scratching, consider treating the rash through healthy and natural remedies.
You can start by eliminating potential allergens in the environment. As mentioned before, swapping your dog’s food for a different protein (chicken instead of beef) or a hydrolyzed protein diet may help if the allergy is food related. If there are no cuts or open sores on the groin, you may also apply non-scented lotion or hydrocortisone cream to the affected area. Do not apply hydrogen peroxide or any other substance that will sting or irritate the skin.
In some cases, applying oatmeal on the afflicted area also helps. It may not cure the rash completely, but it will ease the pain and irritation in the affected area.
Applying a small amount of shea butter or coconut oil is also an acceptable option. By massaging either of these into your dog’s skin, you can reduce the discomfort your dog is experiencing. Just make sure your dog doesn’t lick too much off or an upset stomach may result. If your dog’s rash isn’t going away or gets worse, talk to your vet.
Lastly, you could discuss CBD soothing balm for dogs with your vet. Cannabidiol interacts with local cannabinoid receptors in your dog's skin. Research is underway to determine how CBD may be able to influence skin health. However, a few smaller studies are available that show the potential benefits of CBD for skin issues.
The University of Modena investigated the medicinal effect of CBD-ointment on severe skin diseases and their scars. The investigation concluded that topical CBD ointmentis safe and practical for various skin conditions.
WHEN TO VISIT THE VET
Mild itching usually isn't a sign of any severe health problem. If, however, your dog develops other symptoms such as a loss of appetite, restlessness, or prolonged sadness, take them to the vet ASAP.