Dog Hot Spots Unleashed

Written By Arman Zulhajar on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 | 12:39 AM

By Jennifer Gretson

There are so many things that pet owners have to do to provide proper care for their dogs. They have to make sure they are getting the most exercise possible. They also have to make sure they are getting a balanced diet. There are medical concerns to consider as well, especially dog hot spots.

Dog hot spots are another name for acute moist dermatitis or acral lick dermatitis. It is a painful skin condition that can be prevented in some instances and others, it takes a while to understand why it happens. It is a common illness in dogs but when it occurs, it has to be addressed quickly.

Dog hot spots are often seen as hot, swollen patches of skin. They leak pus, are often very red and have a horrible smell. Sometimes they are only in one area and sometimes they are on multiple areas of the dog's body. They appear often under the ear or on the dog's lower body but can appear anywhere.

Dog hot spots are a very painful condition. To get relief, dogs chew, scratch or bite the sores. When the hot spots are constantly irritated, they expand and spread quickly, sometimes in a matter of hours. The dog's behavior and the lack of hair in certain spots quickly tell the owners something is wrong.

When a pet owner sees their dog has dog hot spots, they should take their dog in for treatment at their local vet. The vet knows how painful this is for the dog and they often sedate the dog before treating. When the dog is sedated, a vet will cut away any remaining hair in the area and clean it very well with a diluted povidone-iodine shampoo or a chlorhexidine shampoo. The skin has to dry and then they will apply a strong dose of an antibiotic steroid cream to the area. This has to be done at all sites of the dog hot spots. To keep the dogs from further irritating it, they normally put a BiteNot collar on the dogs as well.

Pet owners also have to continue treatment at home for dog hot spots. When the dog is taken home, their owner has to apply an antibiotic steroid cream or powder for the next 10-14 days. If the infection is bad enough, they also have to give their dog an oral antibiotic as well as a corticosteroid to help control the itching.

When a pet owner is faced with dog hot spots, they should know there are two different types. Some hot spots are superficial and others are deep hot spots. The difference isn't immediately obvious to a dog owner and needs to be diagnosed by a vet. Both types of hot spots are treatable but it is important that a vet makes the determination as to which type it is.

There are many things that will cause dog hot spots to occur. Some happen because of skin trauma, resulting in an itch scratch itch cycle. There are other cases that are caused by dead, moist hair lying against the dog's skin. The most difficult type could be caused by a deficiency in an essential fatty acid in the dog. Regardless as to the cause, a dog has to be seen by a vet as soon as possible for treatment of this painful, spreading skin infection.

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