How to Treat a Spreading Dog Skin Rash and Is Benadryl Effective For Itch

by Reader Question and Response from Our Vet

Reader Question: How to Treat a Spreading Dog Skin Rash

My dog has a skin rash that started on one of her ears. It has since cleared up in her ear, but it appears that it has spread over her back and neck. Can I give my dog Benadryl to help with the itching?

What steps should I take to heal the rash?

Suggestion From Our Veterinarian Regarding the Use of Benadryl for Dog Skin Rash and Treatment Approach When The Rash is Spreading


Benadryl is safe to give to dogs at an appropriate dose, but I doubt it will do much to help your dog’s rash and itching. It’s just not all that effective in dogs.

Your best option is to make an appointment with your veterinarian so he or she can properly diagnose your dog and come up with an effective treatment plan. Your veterinarian will start by asking you some questions about your dog’s history and lifestyle and then perform a physical exam.

Next might come a few simple tests like a skin scraping to look for mange mites, a fungal culture for ringworm, and skin cytology to diagnose yeast or bacterial skin infections.

Treatment will vary widely depending on the underlying cause of the rash.


Jennifer Coates, DVM

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