Hot Spots

Posted on June 12, 2015

A hot spot is a painful warm, itchy, swollen red patch of a skin lesion.  It can include pus and a foul odor.  Rapid hair loss can occur.  Sometimes matted fur can affect the visual size of the lesion. The swollen patches can appear and enlarge quickly, sometimes within in hours.  Dogs that chew, lick or scratch the spot can make the infection progress and worsen quickly.  The spots can occur anywhere on the body and in more than one area.  Dogs are usually very agitated and will refuse to leave the area alone.  Sometimes the lesion can be very sensitive to touch which may cause a dog to react aggressively.

If a hot spot is noticed there are factors to look for such as mites, fleas, insect bites or stings, parasites, allergies or skin injuries.  Skin injuries include cuts, scrapes or brush burns.  It’s also possible for a dog to start a hot spot out of boredom or stress related psychological issues.

First step to treating a hot spot is to make an appointment with your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.  Due to how rapid hot spots can grow, treatments should be started as soon as possible.  Your veterinarian will diagnose and make sure a proper treatment plan is administered.  The veterinarian may prescribe medication according to what may be causing the lesion or severity.  Oral antibiotics, topical drying sprays and special shampoos are sometimes used at home for treatment.  Special shampoos can help keep the affected area clean.  Cool Compresses two to four times a day can help relieve pain.  The animal veterinary clinic will also discuss ways to keep the dog from bothering the affected area.  E collars maybe recommended.

Hot spots can be very painful and if not treated properly can turn into a worse type of skin infection.  If your dog seems to have a skin lesion of any sort, its ideal to get it properly checked at an animal vet clinic.