Hot spots are a moist dermatitis which are most commonly caused by bacteria. They look like a sticky, raw and red patch of skin and will be a constant annoyance to your pet.
Most often a hot spot is caused by an excessive amount of licking, itching, scratching and chewing to an area, creating bacterial contamination.
This contamination is created with alarming ease, as all it takes is a break in the surface of the skin and a little bit of moisture (say, from a bath, swimming or saliva) to start up. In most cases, the raw and weeping skin will spread under the fur so by the time you notice anything it will be well established.
These infections are most common in dogs and a trip to the vet is advisable as they are very painful for your four legged friend.
TREATING A HOT SPOT
Most hot spots will respond well to oral or topical antibiotics as prescribed by your veterinarian. In some cases, they will also administer a cortisone injection to kick-start healing. We highly recommend that you seek veterinarian advice and treatment as more trauma can be done if the area is treated incorrectly.
It is important to treat a hot spot sooner rather than later as small infections can grow in size considerably and become much harder to treat, not to mention extremely painful for your dog.
- The area needs to be exposed to air to dry it out and promote healing. This is done by trimming the surrounding fur with clippers or by shaving if it too big.
- A mild water-based astringent or antiseptic spray is used to clean the area and patted dry carefully.
- Hydrocortisone cream or spray is to be used as prescribed by your veterinarian. This will stop itching and further promote healing.
- An Elizabethan collar is best to prevent further irritation of the area. This might be annoying and uncomfortable for your pet, but the results are worth it!
- Keep an eye on the area to make sure it continues to heal. For the first 1-2 days the hot spot will need cleaning and treatment possibly several times daily.
Commonly, a hot spot will “dry out” within a week and fur will start returning within two weeks.
If your pet is licking, chewing or scratching at a certain area on a regular basis then it pays to check under the fur to make sure no infection is starting up unnoticed. As with most issues, early detection will be much more pleasant to treat and will save your dog a lot of discomfort.