Hot spots are a common skin condition that dogs often suffer from - especially in the summertime. The painful sores can appear overnight and often recur in the same area after treatment. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to prevent occurrences of the condition. Furthermore, effective treatments like Dog Hot Spot Neosporin are readily available.
Hot spots are scientifically referred to as acute moist dermatitis. Although hotspots aren't serious, the hot, oozing, burning red lesions can spring up over the course of just a few hours and cause your dog a lot of discomfort.
Dogs can self-induce hot spots by repeatedly scratching and licking an area on their body. Eventually, this repeated action leads to a spot of traumatized skin. The cycle continues as the traumatized skin area quickly becomes itchy. Hot spots leave owners frustrated and dogs in discomfort.
While a dog repeatedly licking and scratching an area of skin causes hot spots, there is generally an underlying reason for the itching first to begin. You need to identify and address the underlying issue if you want to treat hots spots properly. It can be hard to determine the reason, as many diseases and irritants can cause itching. Booking an appointment with your vet is the best way to find out what is making your dog itchy to begin with. This is because vets can carry out many tests in their surgeries. Here are some common underlying causes of the hot spot cycle to help you narrow down the issue:
- Irritation to grooming tools
- Anal sac disease
- Flea allergy dermatitis
- Contact irritants
- Atopic dermatitis
- Food allergies
- Foreign bodies
- Stress and/or boredom (resulting in constant licking)
- Skin infections
- Ear infections
- Insect bites
A bacterial infection can cause hot spots, but no matter what the underlying cause all hot spots are at risk of contracting secondary bacterial infections. This is because bacteria thrive in moist, warm environments. Therefore, it's essential to treat the spots with an antibiotic topical ointment like Dog Hot Spot Neosporin to prevent further skin infections.
Some dog breeds are more predisposed to hot spots than others. Dogs at particular risk include those with thick-coats or long-hair, such as St.Bernards, Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherd Dogs. In addition, hot spots are more likely to occur during warm, humid months. Keeping your dog well-groomed can help to reduce the occurrence of hot spots, as they are more likely to present on dogs with dirty, matted, unhygienic coats. That said, owners that stick to a strict grooming schedule still often have to deal with hot spots.
If your dog is diagnosed with hot spots, the treatment plan will involve several steps. First, the vet has to identify the underlying cause so he or she can interrupt the itching cycle. This will prevent additional hot spots from forming and stop the continued irritation of existing ones.
Next, the vet might have to shave areas around the hot spots to help them dry out and help facilitate the administration of medications. The irritated regions will then be thoroughly cleaned with an antiseptic solution. If the hot spots are particularly nasty, the vet might prescribe steroids and/or antibiotics, like Dog Hot Spot Neosporin, to treat and prevent further bacterial infections.
It is possible that your dog might have to wear an Elizabethan collar (aka "cone of shame") during the treatment process to prevent him or her from irritating their hot spots further or interfering with the medical treatments. If the spots are causing your dog severe discomfort, you might also be issued with a prescription for pain medication.
While hot spots are not contagious, many of the underlying causes, such as scabies or fleas, can be passed to other pets in your home. Therefore, it's important to make sure you address the underlying cause.