• My ten-year-old lab has been biting at his back hind legs. It looks like it's getting infected and is pretty enlarged, about the size of a silver dollar. We put a cone on him and have put some neosporin on the wound. Is this the wrong thing to do? Do you know what the problem is or what is causing it?

    What you are describing sounds a lot like what we usually refer to as “Moist Dermatitis” or a “Hot Spot”. Without examining your dog it is very difficult to say for certain that this is what we are dealing with, but it is a common condition that has a large number of causes. Typically, there is some type of inflammation that causes the dog to start licking or itching at the skin. This licking disrupts or damages the skin and then infection can set in and the inflammation continues to get worse.

    A cone can sometimes keep them from licking at it, but then they usually find more creative ways to scratch the itch. What we really need to do is find out what is causing the initial inflammation and address that while we also treat the existing skin infection that he caused by licking. The cause of the inflammation can vary from fleas to mites to even a deeper inflammation like arthritis.


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