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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20247
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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What can I do about the hotspots on his back

Customer Question

what can I do about the hotspots on his back
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.Normal 0I am sorry to hear that your lad is suffering with hot spots (aka moist dermatitis) . We do see these quite commonly this time of year and they can be linked to moisture being trapped under the dog's thick coat. The moisture leads to moist skin and this allows the bacteria to cause a spreading lesion with pus, redness, and irritation. Once they start, these lesions can spread like forest fires under the coat leading to multiple or very large lesions. Now in this case with these signs, you will need to aim to keep his skin as dry as possible while providing supportive care. In regards ***** ***** for these lesions, the first step is keeping it clean. To do so, you can cleanse them with a mild antiseptic (ie dilute chlorohexidine, betadine or even salt water --1tbsp to a pint warm water). This will just reduce the bacterial population and help dry out the area before a flare-up can occur. Further to this, you can apply topical OTC antibiotic cream to help settle the infection +/- hydrocortisone cream to reduce the itchiness that it will be causing. Usually that will be enough to settle small flare-ups. Just to note, if he has a very thick coat and dense hair over these areas, we will often shave them to get more air to the site and speed up drying out and healing of the skin. As well, if we have dogs that are prone to these lesions, then we can also use antibacterial shampoo treatment (ie Malaseb or Zincoseb) to keep his skin bacteria in check. Furthermore, just in case there is an allergy component, you can consider a trial on Benadryl (Diphenhydramine; (More Info @ http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/diphenhydramine-benadryl/page1.aspx)). Dose-wise, we typically will give dogs 0.5-2 mg per pound of their body weight (1-4 mg/kg) by mouth up to 2-3 times daily. Now do note that we tend to go for the lower end of the range to start with these dogs since antihistamines can cause drowsiness in dogs (just as it can in people). And of course, you'd want to double check with his vet if he has any pre-existing health issues or is on any other medication.Finally, if he is very irritated with this and rubbing the area, do consider an e-collar from the vets or pet store to protect the area. Or since it is on his back, you could potentially cover the lesion with a t-shirt (as its breathable material and will allow drying). We don't want to cover the lesions with a bandage though because that would risk locking in moisture and allowing this to fester. Overall, the signs you are seeing tell us that bacteria are causing a moist dermatitis. Therefore, I would advise the above to address his skin. If the lesions are mild, then this is usually enough to settle them. Of course if they are deep, severe, or don't settle with the above treatment, then we'd want to consider systemic antibiotics + a short course of steroids to clear the infection, halt the irritation, and settle the skin.Please take care,Dr. B.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hi Patricia,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Beau. How is everything going?

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