Wet eczema otherwise known as “hot spots” or “acute moist dermatitis” is the sudden onset of intense irritation of the skin and is most commonly seen in long haired dogs, particularly around the face, but can be anywhere on the body. Wet eczema is most commonly seen in the summer months particularly when conditions are humid.
Wet eczema appears very quickly. It is not unusual for a client to go to bed and then wake up the next morning to find their dog has a large, red weeping area on their skin.
Why does wet eczema happen?
Self trauma by the dog either by scratching or chewing is what leads to the area of wet eczema forming. The affected area of skin is intensely itchy. Continued irritation and scratching of the affected site leads to a continual self perpetuating cycle and worsening of the eczema patch.
Triggers for wet eczema forming?
There are several triggers for wet eczema and these include:
- Insect bite
- Ear infection
- Anal gland irritation
Treatment involves identifying and treating any underlying condition, plus clipping and cleaning the affected area. As the affected skin is often very painful, many dogs need sedating in order to be able to carry this out effectively.
Once the area has been clipped and cleaned, the dog is often sent home with topical steroid cream to apply and they may also be given a steroid injection to stop further irritation and self trauma. Sometimes we advise putting a sock on the foot that is doing the scratching to try and prevent further skin damage. Although if your dog has a penchant for eating socks, this would not be advisable!
It is not common to need oral antibiotics, but in cases where we are suspicious there may be significant bacterial infection, they may be necessary.