Dog Hair Loss Hot Spots

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Posted by ron1945 | Posted in Dog Hot Spots | Posted on 15-08-2010

Hot Spots (Pyotraumatic dermatitis)  


 This dog hair loss dermatitis problem is found most often in long haired, thick-coated dogs, like the Saint Bernard, Newfoundlands, Golden Retrievers and Spaniels to name a few.   The problem begins when moisture is trapped on or near the skin by a dog collar or matted hair.  This condition is a great host for the bacteria that naturally lives on the dog to grow.   Something give the dog reason to scratch which breaks the skin and allows the bacteria to create an infection.  The infection causes the dog to react to the pain and itching discomfort by licking or scratching at the irritation.

Other names for this hair loss problem are:  Acral Lick Dermatitis and Acute Moist Dermatitis

This problem is occasioned by a red, moist, hairless and painful looking sore that is created by the dog scratching, chewing  or licking the itchy irritable spot too much.  As noted above, the itchy irritation is caused by bacteria naturally occurring on the dogs skin.  An agent of some sort, perhaps fleas, mites, or anything that would give the dog a natural tendency to scratch starts the process.  There is no one single factor–just something to cause the dog to scratch.   The dog’s scratching opens the skin to further bacterial irritation, and the cycle continues: more itching, more scratching, and so on.  An allergic reaction or condition can also sponsor the outbreak of infection.

Dog Hots Spots are identified in two forms:  mild, or superficial; and the more serious deep hot spots.  Each form is treated a little differently.  The mild or superficial hot spot can be treated by removing the hair around the sore area, and thoroughly cleaning the affected area with a medicated soap.  A topical medication can then be applied.  Regular bathing of the dog can help reduce the incidence of this problem.  The more serious form, or deep hot spot is treated similarly by removing the hair from the affected area, cleansing it with a medicated soap, followed by topical medication, and antibiotics at the recommendation of your veterinarian.

In addition to the treatment noted above, to help rid your dog of this problem keep the dog from continuing the itch scratch cycle.  This may require muzzling the dog for twenty-four to seventy-two hours in order for the inflamed area to heal.  In severe cases a veterinarian may prescribe the use of astringent cortisone agents and/or anti-inflammatory drugs.  This is a condition that can occur every four to eight months.  <<< Return to Dog Hair Loss Overview

The information contained in the articles on this website is provided for information purposes only. The articles are not written by veterinarians per se. As such, the information should not be considered as a replacement for the advice of a veterinarian. Great care is made in the creation of these articles; however, we cannot guarantee their accuracy and/or omissions. In all cases where doubt may exist, we recommend seeking appropriate professional veterinary advice and assistance.

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