Hot Spots on Dogs
You notice your pet is scratching, biting and licking a specific spot on their fur. You take a closer look and you notice the pink-red, inflamed area is oozing around the fur and is hot when it is touched. Chances are, your dog has developed a hot spot.
A hot spot on dogs is a type of canine acute moist dermatitis that is commonly seen as a red, oozing, moist patch surrounded by matted fur. It is initially caused by irritation of the skin, followed by a bacterial infection caused by staphylococcus intermedius. Common areas of hot spots include the head, neck, hips and chest. If not treated in a timely matter, the patch can quickly increase in size and be extremely irritating to the infected dog.
Common causes of hot spots include:
- Chewing or licking - Excessive licking and biting can be caused by stress and boredom. Be sure to keep a stress-free environment for your pets and provide interactive toys to direct their focus elsewhere. This behavior can cause lesions on their coat, and the open wounds are susceptible to bacterial infections which can lead to hot spots.
- Diet - What kind of dog food are you feeding your pets? Having corn, wheat, and soy can be a probable cause for them to have skin allergies. Consider a grain-free diet when choosing what to feed your pet.
- Fleas - Depending on how sensitive the dog is to flea allergies, one or two bites can cause them to have mild to severe hot spots. The bites will cause the dog to scratch and bite, which can lead to open lesions. The best way to prevent fleas from infecting your dog is using flea and tick treatment regularly.
- Is your pet regularly groomed? - Consistent bathing and grooming keeps their coat clean and free of allergens and dander. You can never go wrong with a clean coat. This is also a great way to keep you pet free of fleas!
- Open bites or cuts – Any type of open wound can lead to bacteria growth. The best way to prevent hot spots from developing is to clean the area and treat it with over the counter medication.
Please consult your local veterinarian if your dog shows any symptoms of hot spots. The veterinarian can help you detect the underlying problem of the hot spots to help treat the problem and prevent future skin infections. They will clean the lesion, shave off the fur surrounding the area, and provide you with the next steps for recovery.
In the meantime, be sure to keep your dog from scratching or licking the hot spot. Consider using an e-collar to keep them from irritating the infected area until they have recovered.