My Cody just turned 3 on Monday. I feed him Buffalo Blue and boiled chicken which he's been good with for 2 years. About 2 months ago, I noticed that he was scratching a lot. I bathe him at the neighborhood dog wash monthly and he's never had a reaction to the shampoo. I know he doesn't have fleas, so I thought it may be due to the summer shedding. Today I took him to the dog wash and while I was blow drying him, I could see red blotchy spots all over his back under the thick fur. Could this be a simple heat rash? I can't think of anything that could cause this so suddenly. I feel bad for him, so I'll take him to the vet tomorrow, but still would like some feedback. Thanks!!!!

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Do you apply one of those smear-on anti-tick/anti-flea nostrums, like Frontline Plus? That stuff can have all sorts of baleful effects.

In 2010 the EPA published an advisory about "spot-on" flea and tick products. Every nut case on the planet jumped all over this, so you have to be careful because a lot of the resulting commentary is not very credible. But here's a pretty sane-sounding discussion at Mercola: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/02/29...  Here's a discussion at VetInfo, which seems to be level-headed: http://www.vetinfo.com/side-effects-fipronil-frontline-dogs.html

Thanks for the info....I haven't given him any spot-on flea products this year. We are in a very low flea area so I figured it wasn't necessary. :)

It could also be that he has developed an allergy to grass pollen or any other kind of pollen.  I've had dogs that got red itchy spots on their bellies in high pollen times or when the leaves start to come down from leaf mold.  Max actually gets his reaction like many humans...his nose doesn't run but his eyes do and his whole sinus gets messed up and causes ear infections.  But it's good to have him checked by the vet to find the culprit so you know how to treat it.

Thank you, Linda....that's exactly what I'm thinking, maybe a grass or pollen allergy. Maybe even a reaction to fertilizer or something. Tonight he seems fine, and we checked all through his fur and couldn't see the blotchy spots I saw today. Maybe he needed a bath? Anyway, taking him to vet as soon as they can see him.

Kathleen I just started having this problem with my girl Foxy and I also believe it's allergies.  I noticed her itching a lot and on her belly she had red marks from biting.  I will tell you what I did and it worked wonders was giving her a bath and then rinsing her in apple cider vinegar and water and just drying her off and not rinsing off the vinegar.  It helped but she was still itching a few days later so then I did it again.  We haven't had an issue since and that was just last week.  I've read many different ratios but I did 2 tablespoons of ACV to 1 quart of water. I probably in the future would do a little more ACV. Her fur was also very soft afterward and it didn't smell bad at all.  I just was sure not to get near her head at all. 

Thank you, Becky for the tip! Apple cider vinegar is great for many things :) Cody is due for his yearly checkup, so I'll be taking him in early in the week. Hopefully I'll get some answers. Last night there were no discernable spots on his skin when we checked through his fur. He still acts like he's itchy, though. I read on a vet site that you can give them a 1/4 tablet of Benadryl, so we did. That seemed to help a lot! But, of course, I don't want to be giving him Benadryl all the time. Thanks to all for the help and support!

I have used apple cider vinegar for itchy spots due to allergies.  I fill a spray bottle with half water half apple cider vinegar and spray as needed :)  Apple cider vinegar is amazing!!!!!  Also, works well on human mosquito bites, takes the itch away like nothing else :)

If the spots are going away, he's probably getting better, even if there's still some residual itchiness. He may have gotten into something (plants?) or eaten something (wonderful treasure found on the ground?) that he's allergic to. If he got into a plant or pollen or some such, probably your having washed him removed the irritant

I used to give my greyhound Benadryl. My vet said t hey actually can tolerate a fair amount of it. Might want to call the vet and ask for a recommended dosage.

You're welcome Kathleen.  I'm with you I have Benedryl but hated to start giving it unless I really had to.

Because Max's allergies affect his sinuses I have to use Benadryl.  Max is 35 lbs (he's a large boned corgi) and he gets one Benadryl twice daily from mid August to the first frost. This is per our vet.  He gets horrible ear infections otherwise. They can tolerate higher doses of Benadryl than we can.  We use either Walgreen's or Target's equivalent, both work fine.  I also use them...Max and I share the same kind of allergies.

it could be hot spots go to your vet he may need quarter zone tablets or cream?. 

I hope he is continuing to improve. I was told the Benadryl or its genetic pill dose matches the weight of the dog. For example the 25 mg dose is correct for a 25 lb. dog. The first time the skin breakdown itching and scratching happened to Sully the vet thought it was probably grass pollen and she prescribed prednisone to help her get relief since it was pretty severe. Sully lost control of her bladder while she as on the prednisone which concerned me for her and also because I rent. I think it really bothered her to have almost non-stop accidents too.

When I found out we could try Benadryl I was worried, but it sure beats the "roids." I can keep her free of rashes, itching and hot-spots most of the time, but it is a delicate balance. I make sure I always have plenty of ACV, hydrocortisone cream, Benadryl, and hydrogen peroxide which I sometimes use to wipe down her belly and paws if she starts licking and I don't want to bathe her too often and risk more dry skin. I think most of her issues are food and/or environmental allergies which cause itching, discomfort and uneasiness from constipation, and a combo of mild anxiety issues and possible boredom which tends to show up when I am out for more than a couple of hours or more often, when I am really sick and I am home, but forced to ignore for the most part her for a day or more due to illness. If I am up and moving she seems okay, even though she mainly sleeps or just lies at my feet, but she seems to sense when I am not well. I would bet Cody's rash makes him itch, but also his itching could aggravate the rash. In other words, he may have issues from time to time, but it may not be from one specific cause but the treatments are the same in all cases (I think) though I would not want to be the last word on what Cody needs. I hope he is doing well now.

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