Pet Health And Care >>  Dog Health >>  Dog hot spots  
Dog hot spots

Dog Hot Spots Treatment, Causes, Symptoms

Hot spots refer to localized areas of infection or inflammation on the skin.

The infection can either be restricted to just the surface of the skin or can penetrate deeper as well. Hot spots are also known as moist or acute dermatitis. Dog hot spots are usually aggravated due to repeated scratching, licking or biting.

The symptoms of canine hot spots include itchiness, oozing, redness, tenderness and pain.

There is also usually hair loss on the affected patches of skin. In some case, the hair can become matted over the hot spot, thereby concealing the extent on the problem. Hot spots can occur suddenly and grow very quickly. The growth is so rapid that in some cases, a small patch of inflammation may be detected in the morning, which by evening will have spread over an area as large as the size of your palm.

Dogs can become agitated by hot spots and tend to continuously lick, bite or scratch the area, making it worse. If the area is touched by others, they may respond by growling or snapping. Hot spots can be triggered by the presence of mites, fleas or other parasites. Insect bites and stings can also be responsible for the lesions. In some cases, certain foods or other allergens can also lead to excessive licking and starching in the area. Skin wounds such as cuts or scrapes are also known to be responsible for the development of hot spots. Still other triggers include boredom or psychological disturbances caused by stress.  

Dog hot spot treatment involves an immediate consultation with a veterinarian.  This will help to prevent spread of the infection into the deeper layers of the skin. Hot spots can also be very painful and discomforting for the dog and hence early treatment is advisable. When treating dog hot spots, it is recommended to use a muzzle on the dog for protection since they can become very aggressive when the affected areas are touched. The hot spots must first be dried by exposing them to air. Removing the matted area from the area is also advisable so that the size and degree of the lesion can be determined. The area must then be cleaned with water and a mild cleanser. Place a cool compress over the area using a cool clean washcloth. Your veterinarian may also prescribe certain oral or topical medications. The dog may also need to wear an Elizabethan collar to prevent licking and scratching.

  Submitted on April 6, 2010  

Explore Pet Categories