Q. My dog likes to walk around trees and bushes. I noticed today a rash on his back in a straight line and his hair is gone in the area. Help?
JESSICA L DESROSIERS
A. If you live in a brushy or wooded area it is possible that your dog may have come into contact with an irritant such as poison oak or poison ivy. These can spread to people, so care should be taken when handling the area by using gloves and washing hands. You should also prevent your dog from licking or scratching at the area to prevent the spread of irritation. Topical ointments for pets can be used to treat oak/ivy infections.
Other causes such as allergies, cuts and scrapes, or even external parasites can cause redness as well. Ticks and fleas are common in wooded and brushy areas, so making sure your pet is on a preventative for these is important.
If the rash appears to have any cuts, scrapes, open sores, hair loss or spreads, then making an appointment with your vet is best. Your vet can take a sample of the area to look for any more serious infections causing the redness.