What Is Pyotraumatic Dermatitis In Dogs?

Pyotraumatic dermatitis, also called hot spot, is a fairly common inflammation of the skin in dogs. It can cause secondary infections if it becomes significant.

Pyotraumatic dermatitis is most often caused by the animal itself, due to rubbing, licking, or scratching. It usually affects dogs with long, thick hair, especially during summer.

Types of pyotraumatic dermatitis

Pyotraumatic dermatitis can manifest as a small lesion as it can progress in a few hours and reach large diameters. We distinguish 2 types :

  • pyotraumatic folliculitis: the contours of the inflammation are clear. The infection is therefore superficial
  • pyotraumatic furunculosis: the edges of the lesion are affected by pustules (caused by infections)

The causes

Lesions caused by pyotraumatic dermatitis are, in most cases, self-inflicted as a result of an itch associated with flea bites, food allergy, or otitis externa. Otherwise, it is linked to multiple factors:

  • Bacterial infections
  • The breed (some dogs are predisposed to pyotraumatic dermatitis such as Labradors or Golden Retrievers )
  • The type of coat (pyotraumatic dermatitis is more common in long-haired dogs)
  • A flea allergy
  • A disease of the anal sacs


The warning signs of pyotraumatic dermatitis are easily and quickly recognized. We note:

  •  Plaques that appear on the face, neck, tail, and around the ears
  • Bad smell (due to lesions)
  • Pruritus
  • Excessive licking
  • Pain causing visible signs of fatigue


To treat pyotraumatic dermatitis, you must see a veterinarian. The Vet is supposed to do tests to confirm the diagnosis. It shaves and cleans the inflammation and aims primarily to treat the original cause. Finally, the vet applies a drying solution to the wound. In the most severe cases, the vet offers antibiotics over a period of 4 weeks.

Preventive measures

To protect your dog from pyotraumatic dermatitis, it would be necessary to:

  • Do daily grooming
  • Apply antiparasitic treatments
  • Adapting a healthy diet for your dog
  • Clean the areas where your dog is often at

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