Rashes that can be passed from dogs to humans are called zoonotic rashes. Most of the time the rash is a symptom of an allergen, parasite or infection. While the majority of these rashes are harmless, they can be irritating to both people and pets and are contagious. It is best to identify the cause of the rash as soon as possible to prevent further spread of the problem.
Skin Rashes Caught From Dogs
Rashes Caused by Ringworm
One of the most common rashes given to people from dogs is tinea corporis, also known as ringworm. Rashes caused by ringworm begin as small, raised patches of skin. The patches may be red and itchy. If left untreated, the middle of the patch clears up, leaving the telltale ring on the skin. The rash is actually caused by a fungus and is contagious. Ringworm is treated with over-the-counter medicines that contain clotrimazole or miconazole.
Rashes Caused by Scabies
Scabies, or sarcoptic mange, is caused by microscopic mites living under the surface of the skin. On a dog, the rash appears as bumpy, raised, and extremely itchy patches of skin. When humans contract scabies, the rash appears on the chest and stomach areas in the form of tiny, red spots. Effective treatment for scabies can be prescribed by a veterinarian in the form of a dip, injection or pill.
Rashes Caused by Hookworm
Rashes caused by hookworms appear as a long, slender line on the skin that resembles a tunnel. Hookworms are also easily treated by your veterinarian once identified. People who suspect that they may have hookworms should visit their doctor so the parasites can be properly identified and a treatment plan can begin.
Rashes Caused by Plant Irritants
Should your pet roam into a green patch of poison ivy, oak or sumac, you will certainly be susceptible to catching a case of it. The plant oils can be carried on the dog's fur or under his nails and passed on to you through direct contact. Giving your dog a thorough bath if you discover he has been exposed to any of the plants should keep you from being exposed to the plant irritants that cause the rash.
Rashes Caused By Staph Bacteria
A skin rash caused by staph bacteria can be transmitted to people through direct contact with a dog who has a staph infection. The bacteria enter the person's skin through a scratch or open sore, and the rash that follows can be inflamed and painful. Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a type of staph bacteria that can cause rashes and sores. This is an extremely dangerous type of staph.
Impetigo is a skin disease usually seen in young puppies or in very young children. The disease is zoonotic, and mildly contagious. The rash caused by impetigo appears on the stomach and consists of raised bumps on the skin that become filled with fluid. Puppies with impetigo recover on their own, but keeping the rash clean with hydrogen peroxide or a topical antibiotic ointment helps it to heal faster. People that contract impetigo, especially children, should keep the rash as clean as possible to prevent infection, and have your physician prescribe a topical antibiotic.