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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I’ve had Mari for three weeks and just recently she’s developed what looks like either a rash or flea bites on her stomach. I’ve throughly inspected her for fleas and am not seeing any or any signs of them. She isn’t itching or licking more than usual either, but she has these red bumps all over her belly. There is black stuff too but it doesn’t quite resemble flea dirt. Is it an allergy or parasite?

Thank you for your help!
-Alyssa & Mari
 

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Could be puppy pyoderma or an early staph or yeast infection. Puppy pyorderma is common. A quick google search and images may be helpful. Some pups outgrow it on their own. Others need a little help with special shampoos and wipes and sometimes antibiotics. Diet is important as well to build a healthy strong immune system.

When in doubt see your vet. It's likely not serious but your vet will know for sure the best course of action.
 

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Is that a flea on its leg in the bottom picture? Or my now 2 year old is allergic to damp Bermuda grass. Only on his stomach. Better as he has gotten older and his immune system has "matured".
 

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Looks like a flea to me also. A good way to see if it is fleas is to get the good old fashioned blue Dawn dish soap. Safe for puppies and kittens, and will kill adult fleas. When I get a new foster pup, it’s the first thing I do. I place a white hand towel at the bottom of the sink for a puppy, because you can visibly see the fleas falling off dead on the hand towel. If it’s a larger dog, I wash outside on top of a large white towel for the same reason. I do it before I let them loose in any grass areas.

It’s a temporary measure until I get them into the vet for prescription flea/tick/heart worm meds.

I don’t let them in grass until after the bath, because I need to know if they came from my lawn. If I let them in the grass before washing, I won’t know if it’s from my lawn, or from bringing them here from the shelter. If it came from my lawn, I know it’s time to call in the exterminator to have my lawn sprayed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is that a flea on its leg in the bottom picture? Or my now 2 year old is allergic to damp Bermuda grass. Only on his stomach. Better as he has gotten older and his immune system has "matured".
Sorry that is a bit confusing! No, it’s not a flea. It’s just a piece of dirt. I’ve checked her closely with soap and flea combs and found nothing.
 

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The red stuff looks a little like staph to me. I'd take her to a vet to confirm. Suspected staph warrants a vet visit because antibiotic-resistant staph (the dog version of MRSA, called MRSP) is on the rise...and it can be zoonotic.

If your vet confirms that it's staph, I would ask if you can try treating it topically to avoid oral antibiotics -- abx resistance is such a profound worry now that it's very much in your dog's (and your family's) interest to try the topical route. Bathing with antimicrobial veterinary shampoo at least once a week will knock it out without oral meds if you catch it quickly -- I generally look for one containing chlorhexidene and follow the bottle directions EXACTLY (keeping it away from the head, leaving it on for the indicated time, etc.). You might need to keep up the weekly baths for a few weeks. You can either buy it from your vet, or online (Amazon, etc.), and there's also a foam that may be useful in lieu of shampoo.


FWIW, even though topical treatments for staph are a little bit of a chore, they save a lot of money in the long run when you catch it early.
 
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