Dog Hot Spots - Causes, Symptoms & What to do
When you hear of a “hot spot” you don’t always think of a skin condition that can occur in dogs. However, dog hot spots, also known as acute moist dermatitis, are red, moist, hot and irritated lesions. These typically occur on a dog’s head, hip or chest area.
Dog hot spots can be caused by a number of factors that include allergies, bites, poor grooming, underlying ear or skin infections and constant licking and chewing. Basically anything that irritates the skin can cause hot spots. They often grow rapidly in a short period of time because dogs scratch, lick or chew the infected areas. Dogs that aren’t groomed on a regular basis can be prone to these infections due to their matts and dirty coats. This contributes to the fact that breeds with an abundant amount of hair are most commonly affected.
Veterinary treatment is essential for most dogs with hot spots. You should bring your dog to the vet immediately after you notice an abnormality in your pet’s skin, or behavior that could indicate hot spots. A veterinarian can help determine the cause of the infections and then the treatment. There are several ways that hot spots can be treated, including:
• Shaving the hair around the infected area
• Cleansing the hot spots with a solution such as Vetericyn Hot Spot Spray
• Medications that prevent and treat dog parasites
• Antibiotics and pain killers
• Diet changes; dietary supplements
• Corticosteroids or antihistamines
There are plenty of ways that hot spots can be prevented. First of all, make sure your dog is groomed on a regular basis by a trained individual, keep his hair as short as possible and try your hardest to control fleas through medication, flea collars and whatever else your veterinarian recommends. Dogs that are stressed are susceptible to hot spots because they chew and scratch more, so keep your dog as relaxed as possible. Give him lots of attention and make sure he gets enough exercise to keep boredom and stress aside.
Dog hot spots aren’t always completely preventable but it is beneficial to take precautions. If your dog becomes infected, try to keep him from itching and further spreading the infection. Your dog should be as comfortable as possible when infected with hot spots so they can heal properly. Talk to your veterinarian regarding the right treatment route to take.