Canine Eczema: Moist Dermatitis in Dogs

Canine eczema also known as moist dermatitis in dogs or hot spots can occur on any areas of the dog’s body and may also spread at an alarming rate. This condition if often caused by bacteria and will manifest through itchiness, redness, scaly and crusty skin. Canine eczema can be treated with antibiotics and topical treatment.

Causes of Moist Dermatitis

Moist dermatitis is most frequently caused by bacteria of different types. The eczema occurs when the skin is wet, this being an ideal environment for the bacteria to develop and spread. Hot spots often occur during the summer months and dogs with long, matted furs are more susceptible to developing this condition.

The dermatitis may be contracted from other infected canines, through direct contact with the skin.

The presence of external parasites such as fleas or mites will facilitate the occurrence of hot spots.

Inhalant allergies may be a contributing factor to canine eczema.

Symptoms of Moist Dermatitis

The moist eczema will be manifested through symptoms such as itchiness, redness, excessive scratching, licking or chewing of the skin. The dog may lose hair and there may be a film of pus in the area infected with bacteria.

The infection can penetrate deeper into the layers of the skin and the skin may become flaky and thickened. If left untreated, the hot spots may turn into lick granulomas.

Diagnosing Canine Eczema

The canine eczema may be diagnosed by taking your pet to the vet. The vet may perform several tests including allergy testing and a bacteria swab to determine the type of bacteria that are present, which will help finding the best antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria.

Hot Spot Treatment Options

The first step in treating hot spots is to clip the hair around the affected areas; this will allow the air to circulate and will speed up the recovery.

The vet will recommend a few topical ointments that contain antibiotics that will tackle the bacteria. In addition, the vet may recommend ointments that contain steroids to relieve the itchiness and the redness. Before applying the ointments you should clean the dog’s skin with an antiseptic solution (i.e. chlorhexidine). Make sure your dog doesn’t lick off the cream; if needed give your pet a lamp shade collar, to prevent the access to the hot spots.

Steroid injections may stop the scratching; the vet may also recommend a short therapy of oral corticosteroids.

If the eczema is severe, the vet will recommend a cure of oral antibiotics that should be administered for 10 to 14 days.

Preventing Canine Eczema

To prevent eczemas from occurring, you should keep your dog’s skin and coat clean; make sure the fur is not matted. Groom your pet regularly.

If your pet has longer hair, you may cut it short during the summer months, so that there will be no dampness to facilitate the development of bacteria.