Hot Spots

Health

scratching

I’ve had the occasional hot spot. It’s no fun believe me. Hot spots occur when a dog itches, scratches or licks him or herself excessively, eventually forming a wet scab on the fur. Hot spots can be caused by allergic reactions to the environment or food, insect or flea bites, poor grooming or underlying ear & skin infections. Sometimes constant licking & chewing is caused by stress or boredom.

Anything that irritates or breaks the skin can create the environment for bacterial contamination if the surface of the skin has a bit of moisture on it. A recent bath, swim, stroll in the rain, even a slightly oozing sore can provide enough moisture and/or nutrient for a bacterial infection to take hold. Once the dog begins to lick the sore, adding more moisture, it just gets worse.

A hot spot can appear very quickly & is always painful. It’s best to treat them right away.

How to treat a hot spot.

1. Trim the area around the hot spot with animal clippers. If the area is too big, shave it. Exposing it to air will dry out the moisture and help speed healing. Because hot spots are usually very painful, it may be best for a veterinarian to do this, as clipping or shaving can cause more trauma if not done correctly.

2. Gently clean the area with a mild water-based astringent or antiseptic spray, or specialized shampoo, & pat dry.

3. Apply hydrocortisone spray or hydrocortisone cream (with a veterinarian’s prescription) to stop the itching and help promote healing.

4. Prevent your dog from biting, licking or scratching the hot spot affected area. You may need to use the dreaded plastic/soft cone or soft pillow around the dog’s neck. I have used “Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Hot Spot & Itch Relief Spray” which contains hydrocortisone. It puts out the fire so to speak so I stop licking the area.  I purchased mine at my favourite store Critter Comforts and Clips but you should be able to find this pawsome product at your favourite pet supply store or at your Vet’s.

5. Keep an eye on the area to make sure it continues to heal. You don’t want a hot spot to flair up again.

Here is an informative video by Dr. Becker.

CEO Olivia

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