This time of year, with the warm and humid weather, we see a lot of dogs with acute moist dermatitis or hot spots. Acute moist dermatitis is a rapidly developing, surface bacterial skin infection that occurs as a result of self-inflicted trauma. It often presents as a raw, painful, irritated skin lesion that results in and worsens from the dog constantly biting, scratching, chewing, and licking an area of its skin that is irritated or itchy. When it is covered by the dog's hair, the hair holds in the moisture and further irritates it.
We will generally treat these dogs by clipping the fur away to allow air to the area ,applying a topical anti-bacterial solution and a medication to stop the itching. If the area of dermatitis is severe and very painful we sometimes have to use sedation in order to treat the area and prescribe oral antibiotics. This condition usually clears up well with prompt treatment. Dogs that are prone to hot spots can benefit from being shaved in the summer or dried off very well after swimming. Here are two examples of acute moist dermatitis (hot spots).