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Hot spots are a form of irritated or inflamed skin known as a pyotraumatic dermatitis. The skin looks raw, moist & oozing. Hair loss is common, sometimes a large patch could be missing, which can grow if left untreated. It is very itchy and painful often inciting a dog to extreme amounts of licking and scratching the skin making it worse. They can appear anywhere on the body.
HOW DO HOT SPOTS DEVELOP?

Hot spots can be caused by a number of factors. The skin could have been inhabited by bacteria. If it breaks the skin and is supplemented with moisture than an infection can develop. This can commonly be made worse when a dog then lies down on that area of the body that has made contact with moisture. Then an environment can be created on the skin for the inflammation to grow. Moisture can be supplied through a recent encounter in the rain, a bath wash or any other encounter with water.

A hot spot can also be caused by a dog’s allergic reaction to something. There are a variety of precipitators including food, insects or atopy. The skin becomes itchy, the dog scratches it, and bacteria infects the damaged area creating a hot spot.

Hot spots can also develop due a dog’s mental or emotional behaviour. It might be bored, suffering from anxiety or even have obsessive compulsive disorder. The dog then becomes agitated, starts scratching its skin. The damaged skin comes in contact with moisture and an inflammation develops.

 

HOW DO YOU TREAT HOT SPOTS?

1)      SHAVE THE INFECTED AREA

Dry out the hair around the infected skin and trim it. If the inflammation is quite large, shave it instead. This will help expose the skin to air and dry out the wound. 

2)      CLEANSE THE INFECTED AREA

Pat the inflammation with a skin cleanser or some cool water.

3)      MEDICATE THE INFECTED AREA

This depends on the size and nature of the infection. Thus the prescribed medications would reflect this. This could include special shampoos, oral antibiotics or drying sprays. Three to four weeks can be the expected course of a prescription timeline. You will likely have to make a visit to the vet whom may give the dog an injection called cortisone. It is designed the speed up the healing process.

4)      PREVENTING INFECTION

It is important to relieve the dog of pain and itching so that it is less inclined to scratch and lick its hot spot. This could require an Elizabethan-Collar (E-Collar) placed around the dogs neck and identifying if possible the trigger of the hot spot and removing it.

5)      MONITOR THE INFECTED AREA

You must routinely watch the inflammation and track its progress to avoid the hot spot getting worse and spreading.

 

CONCLUSION

Hot spots are a very undesirable skin infection that you definitely do not want to happen to your pet. But just remember, if encountered again, there are two things you must remember: 1) Treat the inflammation & 2) Identify the trigger.