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Not So “Hot” Spots

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Pop Quiz! What is it called when your pet has a red, raw patch of skin that they lick and bite constantly?

You guessed it! Hot spots.

Hot spots are not necessarily the problem themselves, but more so a symptom of a problem. They’re caused by an animal licking and chewing at their skin usually because it is irritated or itchy. I say usually because dogs with anxiety/stress issues may do it with no underlying cause.  The most common causes for the irritated skin are flea bites, mites, allergic reactions, poor hygiene, and skin/ear infections.

These spots typically present themselves on the head, hips, and legs; they will be irritated, hairless, and scabbed. The hair around the wound will be wet from the licking and, if the spot has become infected, may be stiff from discharge. The picture below is from a case we saw in clinic here at Clearbrook Animal Hospital.

Once taken in to see us at Clearbrook Animal Hospital, the hot spot will be shaved and cleaned, and your pup will be given antibiotics to help stave off any infection. Depending on the severity of the case, your furry friend may also receive an antihistamine to help with itching and some pain medication. A cone may be necessary if your pet is too determined to scratch and bite.

The hot spot can take a few weeks to heal and the hair may take even longer to fully return. There are supplements to promote the hair regrowth and, as long as you don’t allow your pooch to lick, they should be back to their beautiful self in no time!

With hot spots, preventing the cause is the best way to prevent the spot. Keep your pooch clean, flea/mite free, and get them examined at the first sign of discomfort. Doing these things will keep your dog feeling great and keep their coat looking its best.



Until Next Time,                                                                                                                                                   Clearbrook Animal Hospital Team

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