3 minutes reading time (611 words)
How to deal with dog hot spots
The word hot spot seems to mean different things to different people. Let me take just a brief moment and give you the most common definition that your vet would use. Basically, we're talking about an area of skin that gets infected due to your dog chronically damaging it. By repeatedly irritating or damaging the skin, it get's exposed to the outside world and an infection will eventually set in. They are typically the result of biting, chewing or constant scratching that exerts enough force on the skin over time to cause a cut or tear. The dog will just keep damaging it more and more until the problem gets out of hand.
There's a basic definition that you'll find is most common when using the phrase. Now, I'll go over the detailed causes so you can understand this problem even more.
Knowing what causes this behavior can help us with the overall treatment. Many times an external issue is to blame and we can get rid of that core issue to keep this from happening again. An area that itches non-stop will naturally aggravate your dog resulting in constant scratching by the dog of the area that itches. Long hair getting trapped and matted along with dirt is a possible trigger in dogs that have long thick hair. Allergies can cause the initial irritation of the skin. Pollutants and chemical in the dogs environment may be to blame for the initial problem as well. Sometimes dogs have issue that cause them to be overly nervous. This can lead to them gnawing a spot of skin constantly for no reason at all.
There's a detailed look into the various categories of hot spot causes. I'll now give you some ideas about how to treat this problem.
Hot spots never go away on their own and have to be treated by you or a vet. You're in luck because this is a very common problem and thus there's a lot of great ideas about how to treat it. Carefully shave the area that shows sign of damage or infection. You'll then need to clean the wound with an antibacterial cleaner designed specifically for this purpose that can kill the bacteria and start the healing process. If, after shaving you find any signs of insects, that will have to be treated with a drug or medicine that's designed to kill the exact type of bug. You may have to eventually go to a vet because you will probably need antibiotics to fully kill the bacteria so that the wound can heal. The vet may also prescribe steroids to speed up the healing process because damaged skin is hard to keep clean.
You can see how this style of treatment may or may not be enough. If you catch the problem early, you may be able to handle it but consult a vet if there's any doubt.
Do you see what I mean about the importance of addressing dog hot spots quickly? Most people simply aren't aware of how serious the problem can get. But you do because you have a great definition, you know the root causes and some ideas about how to start and complete affective treatment. Save your dog from infection and pain by getting rid of these problems fast.