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Hot Spots

"Hot spot" is an area of acute moist dermatitis that is created by the dog chewing or scratching a particular area of it's body. They look terrible and have a sudden appearance. It is very typical for an owner to come home from work and find this big, smelly, oozing sore on their dog that they know was not there when they left for work. They do spread quickly and can easily go from a small red spot on the dog's skin to a huge disaster in a short period of time.

A cause is not always known, but most dogs that suffer from hot spots usually have allergies or have been bitten by insects, especially fleas. Dogs with thick coats (double coats) are the most susceptible to this skin condition. The humidity under the coat is believed to be one of the reasons for the increased risk in these breeds. Poorly combed or matted coats also have an increased risk for hot spots.Treatment for this condition includes clipping the hair from the area to allow it to dry. Not all hot spots have to be shaved, but the larger infected ones heal faster if clipped. The area of dermatitis is then cleaned with an antiseptic.

The next steps in the treatment plan involves keeping the dog from continuing to scratch or chew the hot spot and to treat the infection. Most dogs are given a short course of corticosteroids to relieve the itchiness and decrease the inflammation of the area. Antibiotics are recommended also to treat the infection present in the skin. Some cases need a topically applied astringent to help dry up the sore.A hot spot when treated should look much better in 48 hours and be completely healed within one week. Dogs that suffer from one hot spot may tend to repeat the condition.

Once an owner has seen a hot spot, they are more capable of identifying them in the future and can seek help early in the process. Home remedies are difficult, but if you find your dog has a hot spot on a Saturday night and you can't get to a veterinarian until Monday, you can clean the area thoroughly. You can wash with shampoo, rinse and dry. Or clean with Baby Wipes with lanolin and aloe. Or wash with Bigeloil. Then apply a medications such as Panalog, Bag Balm, Sulfadene, or 1% cortisone cream. Clean and apply medication daily. You should see improvement by the second day. If not, go to the veterinarian. Hot Spot 1 Hot Spot 2

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