Hot spots are a common skin disease in dogs. It usually happens during the warm months of the year. It has various causes. A hot spot is an infected area of the skin with inflammation. It may be a light infection or a deep one. Whatever kind it may be, it’s necessary to get the treatment done.
Hot spots are also known as dermatitis. Hot spots are caused by too much of licking, scratching and biting. Symptoms of a hot spot include pus like oozing, redness, swelling and itchiness.
If your canine is constantly scratching a spot on his legs or rear, he may have dog hot spots. These areas will be marked by swollen skin where hair has been removed. They are usually circular shaped, with puss coming out.
Allergies and matted hair also play a factor in whether your puppy is more susceptible to hot spots. If you have a dog with behavior problems, watch and make sure that he or she is not constantly licking the same spot. This will eventually cause the bacteria to build up, and lead to an infection.
Does Your Little Buddy Have Hot Spots on His Skin?
Hot spots are painful sores that dogs get when skin bacteria grows enough to overwhelm your dogs natural defense system. These unfriendly dog sores can begin to spread in as fast as an hour without proper treatment.
What are Dog Hot Spots?
Hot spots on dogs are hot and often painful areas on the skin that can be tiny or very large. Typically, a hot spot will discharge pus and may also emit a bad smell. As a result of the infection of the skin, the hair will begin to fall out and this is made worse by a dog’s natural instinct to lick the area. Hot spots can develop in a matter of just a few hours.
What Causes Hot Spots on Dogs?
Dogs love to bit and lick themselves – it’s not only how they keep their coat clean, but also how they deal with itches, pests, and wounds. The problem is that when they have an issue, they don’t know when to stop, and as a result, generally end up with a gaping bloody spot on their skin, also known as a hot spot.
So what causes hot spots on dogs exactly? Is it just biting and licking, or can something else cause them to occur? Well, in most cases a hot spot on a dog’s skin is the result of the next conditions:
If your dog has pent up aggression or anxiety, then he or she might bite, scratch, and lick as a coping mechanism. In this case, they do it so often that they rip of their hair and damage the skin. In this case, it’s not good enough just to yell at them to stop…you have to address the psychological condition that’s behind it.
Dogs get allergies, just like humans – the only difference is that they can’t tell you about it. Also like humans, dogs react to allergens with histamine, which in turn cause the skin and or body to itch. And how would you guess that dogs reaction to itchy skin? You guessed it, they bite and scratch until the itch stops, or the skin is so raw that they can’t scratch it any longer, and even then they often will keep going.
In the case of an allergic reaction, the likely culprit is fleas, but even materials like pollen or certain foods can cause an allergic reaction in your pet. To fix this, you’ll have to both treat the wound and identify and treat the allergen. Fleas can be treated easily, but food allergens are much more difficult to isolate.
If your breed of dog has long hair, then they are at a greater risk of getting matted down hair. They should be brushed and bathed once a week to prevent this from happening.
If your puppy has knots in his hair, brush them out before bathing. If the hair is extremely gnarly, and you cannot get the knots to come out, clip the troubled areas with a pair of scissors.
Where are Hot Spots on Dogs
A hot spot can appear just about anywhere on your dog’s body and many dogs end up having several. The most common area for a hot spot is just under the flaps of the ears. This occurs commonly in dogs who are large and who have big, floppy ears.
In addition, hot spots often occur in dogs who have heavy coats such as Labrador Retrievers. In these breeds, the hot spot will develop just prior to the time when the dog begins to shed, because dead hair becomes trapped in the follicles of the skin. Also, common parasites like fleas can cause irritation of the dog’s skin, leading to development of hot spots.
Hot spots on dogs can appear suddenly just about anywhere on your dog’s body. The area around the hot spot can deteriorate quickly as the spot becomes more infected. The most common cause of hot spots on dogs is bacteria that infiltrates a small area of the skin.
Any substance that breaks the surface of your dog’s skin can allow bacteria to get in, especially if there is a bit of moisture on the skin. Moisture can be added when you bathe your dog, walk them in the rain or play in the wet grass. An existing cut on the dog’s skin can be a perfect environment for the development of a hot spot.
Dog Hot Spot Treatment
Treatment for hot spots on dogs is essential, because this condition can be painful and dangerous. The vet will usually either sedate or anesthetize the dog for the first treatment for a hot spot. The skin is washed gently with a special shampoo and the hair around the hot spot is removed.
Once the skin is dry, a steroid based antibiotic is typically administered and will need to be reapplied one to two times daily for several days. In addition, some dogs will be prescribed a course of oral antibiotics. Any underlying cause of a hot spot, like fleas, will also need to be treated.
Depending on where a hot spot is located, the dog may also need to wear a special surgical collar to prevent additional infection or damage from scratching.
Dogs should always be dried off thoroughly after bathing or being outdoors, in order to prevent the development of hot spots.
Home Remedies for Hot Spots on Dogs
- The first thing to do is to trim the hair that is on the edge of the sore. This will prevent the spread of the infection and make the edges of the spot visible.
- Use a an antiseptic or water based astringent to thoroughly clean the area.
- If your dog is constantly licking the area after it has been cleaned, they will probably need to wear an Elizabethan cone collar (makes them look like a satellite dish) until the infection has been removed.
- Also, you can buy soft protective Inflatable Dog Collar to make your pooch more comfortable.
- Dog sores sometimes need antibiotics such as Neosporin, but wait and see if the dog hot spots clear away before trying them.
How to Prevent Hot Spots on Dogs
Your dog can become stressed, bored, and lonely if he or she does not get adequate love and playtime. This causes bad behavior in animals, and can lead to scratching or licking constantly.
Give them consistent love, play and attention and the problem will go away.
Clean Your Home from Allergens
Allergies seem to be the main culprit when it comes to hot spots. Work at getting your house and yard clean and free of these allergy triggering substances. Pollen, dirt, chemicals, plants, and grass (just to name a few) are all known causes of allergies in dogs.
Vacuum your house well, and get rid of any new plants that may have triggered an allergy flareup. Next, use a dog shampoo for itchy skin to remove the buildup of dirt and soothe the skin.
While there can be several underlying causes the hot spot will almost always cause your dog to itch and bite at it repeatedly. This can increase the chances for infection greatly and lead to more serious dog skin conditions if you’re not quick to act.
In just about every case, a hot spot means a trip to the vet. There are certain medications that can treat them and in some cases your dog may be required to wear the head cone to prevent them from further damaging the inflamed area.
If you suspect your dog has a hot spot be careful when examining him/her. Even well behaved dogs can become aggressive when someone touches their hot spot.