Hairless Chinese Cresteds & Heat Rash

Chinese crested are usually hairless, but powderpuff cresteds are needed for breeding programs.
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Chinese crested dogs are exotic and cuddly, drawing attention wherever they go. Chinese cresteds are great conversation pieces, but they're also a lot of work, even in their hairless condition. The exposed skin is prone to rashes and other conditions, so owners must take precautions and know how to treat skin outbreaks.

Crested Basics

Chinese crested dogs are primarily hairless, with tufts of hair on the head, tail, feet and sometimes elsewhere. Additionally, some members of this breed are covered in hair, known as the powderpuff crested. The powderpuffs are identical in type to their hairless brothers, except for the hair, and they are needed in breeding programs to continue the breed.

Recognizing and Treating Heat Rash

If your Chinese crested shows signs of heat rash -- bumps on the skin, red blotches, pus-filled blotches or itchiness -- take quick action to help relieve the condition. You could find heat rash anywhere on your dog's body, but look for outbreaks in folds of skin, in the armpits, under the tail, under the neck and near the ears. You can treat by cooling down the dog, perhaps with a cool bath, or by wiping the dog down with cool towels. Calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream may help, but check with your veterinarian before using.

Other Causes of Rashes

These dogs can develop heat rash along with a variety of other conditions that can appear to be heat rash. Care for your Chinese crested's skin like you would your own skin. Look for acne, abrasions, dry skin, rashes and protect the skin from sunburn. Condition with moisturizers, but beware of scented products that could produce allergic reactions. The greatest threat comes from sun exposure, so be sure to apply sun screen every day to prevent burning, cancers and premature aging.

Environmental Dangers

Products in your house, and even those commonly used on dogs, can create problems for Chinese cresteds. These dogs can develop heat rash or have allergic reactions to many things, including grooming products, dog foods, cleaners, yard fertilizers, fabrics, pollen and insect bites. Dogs with rashes and allergies are hard to ignore. They scratch relentlessly, and their skin becomes red and blotchy. Your veterinarian may recommend medication to help with itching and rashes, but the most effective treatment is prevention. Protect your dog from exposure to the allergens.

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