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Pitbull with rash

Species: Dog
Breed: Pitbull
Age: 5-8 years
Mister has been treated all his life for a skin rash he has. Before this year he would only breakout two times a year. He has been broken out with this rash since January. I was talking with my neighbors the other day and all of them who have dogs are broken out with the same rash. Only the neighbors on my side of the street even ones a mile away. None of the dogs on the other side have this problem. My son came for a visit the other with his new dog and now he has this problem. What do you think could be the problem. My vet has given up. Should go to another vet.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This sounds like a frustrating problem!

There are only a few conditions that can cause a rash that are contagious to other dogs. First of all, you can ask your vet about a condition called sarcoptic mange. This is a skin mite that is contagious from dog to dog. It usually causes extreme itchiness on the backs of the elbows, hocks and ears, but can affect other parts of the body as well.

Another possibility is fleas. Some dogs can be so allergic to fleas that even one flea bite can set them off with itchiness. The most common areas to see affected skin if this is the case is over the base of the tail (where it joins the body) and the back of the neck.

I have seen some pitties that have severe allergies. Any time I see a pitbull with skin issues I talk about allergies. But, this would not be contagious to other dogs.

Another possibility that is contagious is ringworm which is actually a fungal infection. The way this would be diagnosed would be by sending samples of plucked hairs to the lab to see if there is fungus there.

If this were my case and all of the above conditions were ruled out then I would be recommending a skin biopsy which usually gives us an answer.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---

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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.