• What to do about hot spots in dogs
      What to do about hot spots in dogs
      What to do about hot spots in dogs
      March 28, 2014

      A dog's coat is often the first thing that people notice, whether it has a beautiful sheen or could use a good session at the groomer. While nutrition, exercise and general well-being all contribute to the overall appearance of a dog's coat, occasionally dermatological issues can complicate things as well.

      Sometimes known as hot spots, episodes of moist eczema are one of the most common skin conditions seen in dogs. When a dog is allowed to excessively lick, paw or chew at an irritated spot on his skin, a scab may form that then promotes growth of harmful bacteria. Fortunately, hot spots can be easily and painlessly treated so that the dog suffers little to no long-term health effects.

      Recognizing hot spots
      While any manner of food allergy, flea infestation or case of poor hygiene may cause skin irritation that can develop into a hot spot, PetWave explained that any breed with a particularly heavy coat may be more susceptible to the condition as their shed hair becomes tangled and matted with itself. Sometimes, hot spots may accompany a recent injury that has broken the skin in some fashion. 

      Owners should pay extra attention to dogs that lick or chew at a particular spot on their bodies. Without this reaction, the skin would most likely heal on its own, but the added moisture and irritation causes the skin to inflame to an unhealthy degree.

      Treating hot spots
      Any owner that suspects their dog to have a serious condition should consult a veterinarian immediately. However, mild cases can be treated with some careful grooming.

      PetMD recommended first trimming away any hair that may be blocking the problem site, and then cleaning it with a heavily diluted astringent solution. A veterinarian-supplied hydrocortizone spray will also alleviate itching and promote healing around the site. Finally, to make sure that the dog will not continue to lick or chew at the hot spot, a large Elizabethan collar will prevent any further inflammation until the site has healed.

      For more serious cases, a veterinarian will usually supply a series of sprays and shots to stop the spread of the infection and kickstart the healing process. For dermatological issues like hot spots, it is always better to seek help first rather than to wait before the condition develops into something more severe.

      This content is provided by the pet grooming experts at Hartz. Our professional staff is here to keep you educated on the proper grooming techniques while offering tips to keep your pet happy and healthy.