Identifying & treating wet eczema / hot spots / acute moist dermatitis
Acute moist dermatitis is commonly called wet eczema (we’ll refer to it as wet eczema). It appears as a spontaneous eruption on the skin as a small area that appears red, irritated, and inflamed. It generally appears as a patch but can also be in the form of a stripe running across the torso of the dog.
It can occur in any breed but is very common in Golden and Labrador retrievers. It can be found anywhere on the dogs body but is mostly found on a dog’s head, hips, or chest. These patches will appear suddenly and enlarge quickly, often within a matter of hours. It may look like a wound but there is no sign of external injury as in puncture of skin to have a bleeding situation.
If you touch the area it may sometimes feel warm, but it always feels wet. It may also be ‘crusty’ outside and wet ‘inside’. Hair in the area is lost rapidly.
The bad news is the rapidity of the advance of the patch. What was the size of a patch 1 cm across may easily become 10 cm in 6 hrs! If untreated within 1 day it would be very wet and a crust would have formed; in 2 days there will be severe pus formation and the crust will fall off; in 3-4 days the wound is very deep and flesh starts to rot.
The good news is if you start treating it with antibiotics within the 1st 24 hrs it would have completely disappeared in 2 days!
Wet eczema can result from a wide range of conditions, including infections, allergies, insect bites, or excessive licking and chewing.
However, the most common cause is factors that cause immunity of the dog to be suppressed that then causes the naturally found bacteria on the skin called Staphylococcus Intermedius to flare up and attack the dog’s tissue. This attack is very rapid and changes in the wound area can be observed even every hour.
A very common cause for dogs in our care has been found to be heat stress and high probability of occurrence in moist atmospheric conditions.
Clip (use shearers or scissors if you can) or shave (use one of the old style safety razors) to completely expose the spot and about an inch of area around it. Note: If the dog is able to reach the wound use an Elizabethan collar immediately.
- Wash the skin with a povidone-iodine and pat dry. 2 times a day, followed by
- An antibiotic cream or powder needs to be applied on location twice a day 10 to 14 days.
- Oral medication
Avil 5mg 1 per 10kg body weight for 2 days – will take away the irritation and localized inflammation preventing scratching/ gnawing of the site.
Cefpet 200mg/ Cefpodoxime Proxeti 200mg; 1 per 20 kg of body weight + 1 rantac; once a day (twice if the wound is puss filled and very deep) for 5 days.
If the wound is still present extend treatment for 3 days