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Hello. Thanks for the question.
It sounds like you're seeing a staph infection under the tail. These are essentially breaks in the skin barrier where normal staph bacteria from the surface of the skin gets in between skin cells and causes an infection. It will be red, itchy and irritating.
The treatment is usually by clipping the hair and cleaning the skin with a dilute Chlorhexidine solution. I will then use oral antibiotics (Cephalexin) and pain meds (Rimadyl). Topically, you can use something like Neosporin or SSD (silver sulfadiazine) to help it heal faster.
I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
Yes, I would. These can spread pretty rapidly, so definitely within the next 12-24 hours.
I haven't seen it or done any tests, so I'm not sure. I do think that a staph infection is the most likely.