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Itchy red welts on belly.

Species: Dog
Breed: American Pit Bull Te
Age: 3-6 months
Hi. I have a 4 month old 25lb American Pit Bull puppy name Vino. For the last past maybe three to four days he's been having a red like rash on his belly, almost looks like hives. He's been scratching as well and now has made red scratches on his belly and under his arms. He's all white so the marks are evident and the inflammation seems to be more visible at night. I've also noticed he's been genital licking much more lately (not sure if that has anything to do with anything).

Some background on him: He's 16 weeks old, APBT breed, we've had him since he was 9 weeks (6 lbs); we got him from a breeder who had his parents on site and after Vino there was one white puppy left from the litter. He still eats and plays normally thus far and we have him on Nutro Max for puppies (for about a month now) and he eats three times a day, tolerates it just fine. He's up to date on his shots and we've been taking him to our local clinic sponsored by the s.p.c.a. I do however need to take him to a "real" vet clinic because the s.p.c.a are being bullies about when we should neuter him, they tried to push us to neuter him when he was 3 months old; I said no (due to the research I conducted on my own) and they seemed to be pretty upset about it and wouldn't give him his third set of shots until we make an appointment for neutering (which I found pretty odd). Do plan on neutering him close to five to six months. We take him out (on walks) about three times a day with potty breaks here and there and he goes to the dog park to socialize (try to go at least twice a week (usually go a little more) but haven't been since the rash and itching. It's actually been about a week and a half before this inflammation occurred that he's been to the dog park (so I wouldn't necessarily blame the dog park solely).

For the itching situation we were instructed to give him an oatmeal bath (ground up oatmeal in a blender) and put it in his bath water and his shampoo is also an oatmeal formula. Also told to give him a tablet of Benadryl (little pink 25mg tab rolled in a little peanut butter) in 8 hours slots. We did that today, was that the right thing to do? Still too early to tell if it's working. Also what would you say is causing this skin problem? We really need help with this, we can't go to the spca clinic just yet because they simply do not take walk ins. We are in the process of searching and eventually taking him to a "real" clinic soon as well. Please help us out with this. Thanks so much!

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

It's always hard to figure out skin problems without being able to see your dog, but I'll see if I can help.

The most common reason to have a rash on a dog's belly is because of a skin infection. We usually don't know why a skin infection happens. Unfortunately if it is a skin infection it won't go away without antibiotics that you would have to get from your vet.

Some puppies can get something called "puppy pyoderma" which looks like a skin infection but usually goes away on its own. However, puppy pyoderma is not itchy so this is probably not what your dog has.

I have seen some dogs get red welts because of an allergic reaction but it is not usually just on the belly.

In the summertime we can see red welts on the belly because of mosquito bites, but this is not likely at this time of year.

The benadryl won't hurt, but is not likely to be very helpful.

It does sound like he will need to see a vet.

Dr. Marie.

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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.