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Hot spots, also referred to as pyotraumatic dermatitis, are caused by excessive licking, biting, rubbing or scratching of an area of the body that itches or is painful. Common sites are on the cheeks and hips. Some of the underlying causes are allergy, parasites ( especially fleas) , ear infections, anal irritations, matted dirty coats, contact with irritating material, compulsive licking or chewing and sometimes just because. Dogs with dense undercoats such as German Shepherds, Collies, Golden and Labrador Retrievers seem to be more prone to developing hot spots.
Typical sores are hairless, reddened and moist with a thick yellowish covering in the center. The sores are painful and progress rapidly if not treated. Treatment requires shaving of the hair from affected areas until normal skin is reached. This often requires heavy sedation or an anesthetic because of the pain involved. Topical and systemic medications are required to resolve this condition.
This golden was presented for a smelly sore under his left ear. This is what we found after clipping away the hair.
Ouch! Note how swollen those skin folds are and the raw area in the centre of the lesion. See how the dermatitis is spreading outwards. This can get out of control so quickly. If this is what you suspect your pet has, medical attention is paramount.