Allergies in Dogs can Triggers Skin Infections Commonly Called ‘Hot Spots’

The dog’s skin is the largest organ of the body, however it has a very limited number of ways in which it reacts to trauma. “Hot Spots” or acute moist dermatitis are generally areas on the dog’s skin due to your dog’s itching, biting and scratching and may seem to appear quite abruptly. These places may become rather large and can appear anyplace on the dog. I see it quite often in the spring time when the temperatures are hotter as well as the humidity is higher.

The dogs with the dense undercoat, like Labs, golden retrievers and rottweilers are prone to developing these spots on their face and neck. Frequently, areas found at the base of the tail are very likely as a result of fleas mainly because fleas love to gather in these areas. A number of dogs tend to be so allergic to fleas, the bite of one flea is enough to induce the dog to itch all over. Any sort of trauma can start the process which the dog then exacerbates by continuous chewing and licking which in turn creates a vicious cycle and will cause the hot spot to spread.

The dog commonly has bacteria that lives on their skin and so long as the skin is healthy, the microorganisms rarely result in any trouble. But when an issue happens, such as a fleabite, cut or allergic reactions, the dog starts to lick, bite, chew and scratch which will disrupts the protective 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 fast spreading infection which may be rather 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 generally called for. Quite often the fur will have to be clipped off to stop the spread of the infection. Sometimes, these hot spots are so painful, the dog may need to be sedated to have the area cleansed and shaved. Antibiotics are given 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 to help deter the dog from chewing at the places.

The underlying reason for the insult should likewise be addressed. If fleas are present, then all year round flea control may be prescribed.(over-the-counter flea control is not recommended) Pollen, food, and other allergens can also precipitate an attack. Sometimes specific diets with essential fatty acids and a novel protein source for instance salmon, lamb or venison might be prescribed 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 is often offered.

Examine your dog daily for itchy spots and use flea control suggested by your veterinarian year round to help prevent hot spots due to flea allergies. Daily grooming and brushing will keep mats from developing. If your dog is itching continuously, take him to the veterinarian to deal with the itching before the infection can develop.