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The Norwegian Elkhound and Hot Spots

Hot spots are medically known as acute moist dermatitis; essentially, these spots are reddened, localized bacterial skin infections, common in many species of dogs. The bacterial infection is not what triggers the creation of a hot spot, however. A simple persistent skin irritation that causes itching is what gets hot spots going; a dog will chew or simply lick the irritated area constantly as long as the itching persists, and this will lead to skin damage. Once the skin is damaged, bacteria can easily move in and infect the area. Some of the most common causes of the initial skin irritation are fleas or other parasites, allergies, burrs, lack of grooming and heat; some dogs are so sensitive, though, that even something as simple as a certain type of shampoo may initiate irritation. Some experts actually believe that the underlying cause of the majority of hot spots is merely an increase in the humidity and overall temperature of the skin; add any of the above factors and the irritation simply gets worse. [...]

Pyotraumatic Dermatitis: Extinguishing "Hot Spots"

Pyotraumatic Dermatitis, also known as "hot spots", are severe skin irritations caused by trauma that a dog typically inflicts on his or her self. Attempts to scratch persistent itches, to bite at fleas, or to alleviate some type of pain result in painful trauma to the outermost layer of skin. Though this trauma is the most frequent cause of hot spots, hypersensitivity to parasites such as fleas or mites or allergic reactions to food or medications can also cause similar irritations. Ultimately, the trauma to the skin manifests as large, open lesions within a matter of hours. These lesions are typically a bright red, moist, and oozing sore that rapidly forms a crust surrounded by red, raised skin. Hair is lost from the affected area, but in any hot spot, the hairline is very clearly defined with a sharp edge. If left untreated, the lesion will spread very rapidly, and there is substantial pain associated with the area of the trauma. [...]

Skin Injuries and Conditions

Just like human skin, skin on a dog can become infected, can develop rashes and lesions, and can also become dry, flaky and irritated. Sometimes the first sign of serious health conditions and diseases is noted in the skin and coat condition, so carefully examining the dog's skin during routine grooming is essential as an overall health check. A healthy dog's skin will be smooth and free from large amounts of dander or flaky dead skin, free from lesions or abrasions, have normal coloration and be elastic and healthy looking. Skin that is flaky, dry, does not snap back into place or has excessive moisture, hot areas or lesions is a sign of an unhealthy dog. [...]

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