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Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
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My dog has a collar rash under her neck. What should I do?

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My dog has a collar rash under her neck. She was continually scratching so last night I removed the collar and shaved and cleaned the area that was scabby. The spots now look like they are bloody, not bleeding but like the blood is coming to the surface. They are raised and moist. She continues to scratch.

Hi there!

Welcome to Just Answer! I would like to help you with this question, but need a bit more information, please.

Was it a nylon collar, or metal or leather?

Is it under her neck (throat area) that is affected, or all around?

How large is the area of affected skin?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Nylon collar.
Under her neck on her throat.
About 4" by 3"
At one time the dog groomer left soap in areas and she had a similar reaction. But this seemed worse.

I shaved her and scraped away a mange or crusty substance that she kept scratching.

Does she have folds of skin there? Is it moist and red in the folds?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Does she have folds of skin there?
Is it moist and red in the folds?
Not particularly more than other places.
I try to keep it dry but it seems to keep sweating.

Hi again,

Your poor girl! What you are describing is a beautiful, textbook description of a "hot spot." A hot spot is the common name for "acute moist pyoderma" which is a type of skin infection.

There are commonly yeast and bacteria living in small numbers on the skin surface. When a dog starts chewing or scratching at one spot, she opens up little scratches in the skin surface, and the yeast and bacteria invade there. The fur stays wet from oozing serum from the scratches, and this keeps the area moist and warm - just the kind of place that bacteria like to grow! They are particularly common on the neck under the collar as the collar keeps the skin and hair wet because it does not 'breathe.' As the bacterial numbers increase, the scratches get infected and ITCHY! The dog scratches more... and soon a large area of red, raw, weeping infection can occur.

More about hot spots:

Treatment involves shaving all the hair in the affected area - which is often quite large. This allows the skin to dry out. Antibacterial washes are used on the skin and antibiotics (usually for 2-4 weeks) are given by mouth. If it is very inflamed and itchy, a short course of corticosteroids would likely be used to give the dog relief and stop her from scratching and thus exacerbating the problem.

You may be able to treat this by washing the area with an antibacterial soap. One example would be chlorhexidine scrub (which you can get at pharmacies off the shelf in Canada and the USA). I suggest people wash small areas of pyoderma 3 times daily for 3 days. Scrub hard to get that scaly, scabby material off it. Rinse well. Pat dry. You can apply corn starch to keep it dry. Then continue to wash twice daily for 4 more days. Watch VERY closely that there are no more patches coming up.

If this is not improving, then you may need to see a vet to get a prescription for antibiotics for your girl!

Good luck with your dog!

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