A hot spot, or acute moist dermatitis , is an acutely inflamed and infected area of skin irritation created and made worse by a dog licking and biting at itself. A hot spot can manifest and spread rapidly in a matter of hours as secondary Staphylococcus infection causes the top layers of the skin to break down and as pus becomes trapped in the hair. Hot spots can be treated with corticosteroid medications and oral as well as topical antibiotic application, as well as clipping hair from around the lesion. Underlying inciting causes include flea allergy dermatitis , ear disease or other allergic skin diseases. Dogs with thick undercoat are most subject to getting hot spots.
Stanley’s allergy tests identified a list of food, insect, and inhalant al lergens, including chicken, carrots, rice, grains, fleas and flea saliva, cats and cat dander, mold, grasses, and trees. Schaff eliminated what allergens she could and used topical medications and the corticosteroid Prednisone to treat Stanley’s remaining symptoms. The topicals did not work, and the pharmaceuticals gave the dog polyuria/polydipsia (PU/ PD), a condition causing excessive thirst and passage of large volumes of urine. Added to his misery of itchy raw spots, weepy lesions, and a stinky, gooey coat, poor Stanley was now having frequent and unavoid able accidents.