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Pictured below is a close up of an area of dermatitis on a dog’s neck. The dog was fine when his family left for work in the morning. When they returned, he had a raised patch of hairless skin on his neck right below his collar. The dog paced about rubbing his neck on anything he could find. He only stopped to scratch his neck. The nails on his back paw were covered with a sticky, smelly yellow material. Study the image then answer the following question: What is this condition?
Diagnosis: Hot Spot (Acute Moist Dermatitis)
Hot spots are areas of moist dermatitis that are extremely uncomfortable for the dog. They usually occur in breeds with double coats such as Golden Retrievers, Great Pyrenees and Bernese Mountain Dogs. My patients seem to experience them in the summer, when the heat and humidity are high.
Hot spots can be caused by a number of things including fleas, allergies, mites and lice. Basically, anything that irritates the skin can cause a hot spot. Once the skin is irritated, bacteria move in and cause an infection. The dog scratches the area causing it to grow rapidly.
If your dog has a hot spot, please seek veterinary care right away. This is a painful condition that needs aggressive treatment.