The dog’s skin is the largest organ of the body, however it has a very limited number of ways in which it responds to injury. “Hot Spots” or acute moist dermatitis are generally areas on the dog’s skin as a result of your dog’s itching, biting and scratching and can often develop rather suddenly. These spots may become pretty big and can develop just about anywhere on the dog. I find it typically in the spring time when the temperatures are warmer as well as the humidity is higher. The dogs with the dense undercoat, for instance Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers and rottweilers are susceptible to getting these kinds of areas on their face and neck. Frequently, areas discovered at the base of the tail are more than likely caused by fleas mainly because fleas prefer to congregate in these areas. Some dogs tend to be so allergic to fleas, the bite of one flea is sufficient to cause the dog to itch all over. Any type of trauma can start the process which the dog then exacerbates by persistent chewing and licking which in turn creates a vicious cycle and causes the hot spot to spread.

The dog normally has bacteria that lives on their skin and so long as the skin is healthy, the microorganisms seldom lead to any issues. However, if an issue occurs, such as a fleabite, cut or allergic reactions, the dog starts to lick, bite, chew and scratch which will disturbs the defensive layer of the skin. When that takes place, the bacteria on the skin, along with the germs in the mouth, set up housekeeping in the skin. This creates a quickly spreading infection which is often extremely painful. The spot on the skin is red, raw and seems moist because the wound oozes serum and pus. The hair then mats down over the wound and the infection then spreads beneath the hair.

A visit to the veterinarian is frequently called for. In many cases the hair has to be shaved away to halt the spread of the infection. Now and again, these hot spots are so painful, the dog may need to be sedated to have the area cleansed and shaved. Antibiotics are prescribed to take care of the infection and follow-up antibiotics are sent home. Sprays, ointments and medicated shampoos may also be prescribed to continue treatment at home.. For some dogs, a special collar may be used that will deter the dog from chewing at the places.

The root reason for the insult should also be addressed. If fleas are present, then all year round flea control might be prescribed.(over-the-counter flea control is not recommended) Pollen, food, and other allergens can also precipitate an attack. Sometimes special diets with essential fatty acids and a novel protein source for example salmon, lamb or venison might be recommended to help heal the skin. Blood and skin tests can be preformed to help discover what the dog is allergic to and special allergy injections or prescription diets can be offered.

Examine your dog daily for itchy spots and use flea control recommended by your veterinarian year round to help you avert hot spots due to flea allergies. Regular grooming and brushing will keep mats from developing. If your dog is itching continuously, get him to the veterinarian to deal with the itching before the infection can progress.

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