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dog missing hair

October 8th, 2005, 08:57 PM
My dog is missing a patch of hair and his skin looks as if the top layer is gone.(almost like a horrible burn on a person) The patch is slimy and is on his neck and looks like it is spreading around only in the neck area. Do you have any idea what it could be?

October 9th, 2005, 07:12 AM
Could be a "hot spot". You should see your vet in case it's infected and needs antibiotics. Hot spots are Moist exzema or moist dermatitis.

I didn't see where you live, and if you are in Canada, chances of finding a vet cheap right now might be hard. Give your vet a call, and see if there is an emergency vet number on their answering machine (unless your vet is already open 24 hours like mine, as it is a vet hospital as well). At least call A VET, whether it be your own or just one in a hospital that you find is open, and ask their advice (which they should give free over the phone). If it appears to be spreading REALLY fast, get to a vet ASAP!

In the meantime, here is an easy way to care for it:

What can I do to treat a hot spot?
The first thing to do is speak with your veterinarian. Due to the rapidity of spread and possibility of deeper skin infection, it is wise to start treatment with your vet. Also, these hot spots can be very painful to the animal -- caution is advised, use a muzzle if need be for your protection.

1. Shave the area. The first treatment for hot spots is to dry them out and get air to the area. Hair loss is a feature of hot spots, but hair can also mat over the inflamed area, covering up a potentially much more severe and large problem.
2. Cleanse the area with cool water and a gentle skin cleanser.
3. Cool compress the area 2-4 times a day with a cool wet washcloth.
4. Medications - Depending on the severity and size of the hot spot, your veterinarian may prescribe oral antibiotics, topical drying sprays or medications, and/or special shampoos.
5. Prevention of licking, biting, scratching -i.e. Elizabethan collar
6. Additional home remedies that can be used until you can see your vet:
* tea bag compresses (black or green tea) to help dry the area out. Tea can be used as a wash or as a compress.
* Domeboro's (Burow's) solution (aluminum acetate) - available over-the-counter at pharmacies to help dry the skin out. Can be used as a compress or as a spray.
* Hydrocortisone creams - Some people advocate using a thin film of an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream. I would recommend talking to your vet first -- in general, creams and ointments only serve to "gunk up" the area and prevent proper drying if used incorrectly. Also, if the pet licks it, you want to make sure that it isn't toxic.