It would be safe to assume that we as dog owners have heard the term ‘hot spots on dogs’. Hot spots on dogs is a painful and stressful time for your furbaby, and probably you too. I know I would freak out if Harley had a hot spot, I can’t stand to see her in pain or uncomfortable.
WHAT ARE HOT SPOTS?
Hot spots on dogs can occur at any stage throughout your dog’s life no matter the breed. A hot spot is a painful moist red rash or lesion that is itchy, painful and sensitive. In other words… not very nice.
Also Related: 6 Signs and Symptoms of Itching in Dogs
It’s a form of acute moist dermatitis or Pyotraumatic Dermatitis (comes on quickly). Bigger dogs such as Rottweilers, Labradors and also Golden Retrievers are more susceptible to getting hot spots.
WHAT CAUSES HOT SPOTS ON DOGS?
The common causes of hot spots can be from stress, boredom, underlying medical issue, allergies, bites, poor grooming/hygiene, flea infestation, ear infections, warm/humid weather.
Hot spots can appear suddenly without warning. If left untreated dermatitis can spread quickly. If you noticed your dog scratching pop some wound care spray on the area. This will help keep your dog from scratching and also getting infected. VetSupply.com.au which is an affordable Australian company has wound care spray that you can buy online.
Hot spots tend to start with an itch or rash, this leads to more scratching which again leads to red-damages skin. It can ooze and smell. The open damaged skin can then lead to bacterial growth and will become itchier for your dog. This is how the hot spot can get worse and spread causing scratching, bacterial growth and more scratching.
HOW ARE HOT SPOTS DIAGNOSED?
The obvious choice is your veterinarian who will examine and diagnose the hot spots. Your veterinarian will your dog’s history and current symptoms. Blood tests can also help determine if there is an underlying issue that is causing the hot spots.
The hot spots tend to look like moist, oozy lesions that will even look painful on your dog, these can appear within hours.
Severe hot spots can have the appearance of a thick plaque scale over the hot spot, this is a sign usually affected by a severe deep bacterial infection.
Treatment of hot spots on dogs is necessary and will not go away on its own, it MUST BE TREATED. Below are two treatment options, you will have the medicated option and natural option.
First, treatment started with cutting away the matted hair that surrounds the hot spots. By doing this, it will reveal the extent of the hot spot and you will be able to see the area that needs treatment more clearly. Plus it will allow the lesion to dry.
Remember: Hot spots on dogs can be extremely painful and uncomfortable, every dog will cope with pain, itchiness and sensitivity differently. Also in many cases, your dog will have the lesions removed and treated under general anaesthetic which will be an overall less traumatic experience.
MEDICATION – ANTIBIOTICS & ANTIFUNGAL
A topical treatment such as a dual cream that is an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory. Systemic antibiotics are most often prescribed by your veterinarian as it will help treat the lesion on a deeper level.
Common creams can include Steroidal anti-inflammatory and Cortisone which will help alleviate the itchiness.
You may choose the natural course of treatment as some dogs do not do very well on prescribed medications. Speak to your veterinarian first before trying to treat your dog’s hot spot yourself.
First, you will need to trim the area around the lesion and cleaning away the puss and dead skin. Remember to be gentle.
It’s best to speak to a Homeopath that specialises or has experience in treating hot spots on dogs. Take a few photos to show the Homeopath so can give you the right treatment as there are many options for Homeopathic remedies depending on the severity of the hot spot.
Hot spots on dogs appear quickly and have specific symptoms which will give you an idea on which remedy to use.
Belladonna: Hot spot will grow quickly and will look bright red and dry.
Graphites: Sticky discharge and appearance yellow
Apis: Aggressive hot spot, look itchy, quick onset, red
Mercurius: Yellow or green discharge with a scab
Rhus Tox: Bumpy or pimple rash appearance, swelling around the area of hot spot
PREVENTION OF HOT SPOTS ON DOGS
It goes without saying that early detection is crucial when it comes to preventing hot spots and since they can appear very quickly without warning there are a few measures that we can take to try and prevent these nasty and uncomfortable hot spots.
Take notice of excessive scratching as this is commonly the first sign. If you notice a lesion, even it is in tiny you must not delay and get it treated immediately. Within hours it can develop into a big nasty hot spot. As I said before VetSupply.com.au have wound care spray, so it might be worthwhile picking some up.
I hope you found this post helpful and if you have any further tips or experiences that your dog has had, please comment below.
Early intervention and treatment will ensure a quicker recovery for your dog. If you have any concerns contact your veterinarian immediately.
Gina & Harley
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