Recognizing, Treating, and Preventing Hot Spots in Pets

When your pet’s skin becomes intensely itchy, they may scratch, lick, and chew to the point of creating a hot spot. Help your furry friend overcome this uncomfortable condition by gaining a better understanding of these troublesome sores.

What are hot spots in pets? Hot spots, also known as acute moist dermatitis or pyotraumatic dermatitis, are inflamed sores that develop on a pet’s skin. These sores often appear suddenly and can quickly become a painful and oozing mess, causing significant discomfort for your pet.

What causes hot spots in pets? Hot spots are typically a result of skin inflammation triggered by environmental, flea, or food allergies. However, anything that prompts your pet to excessively lick, chew, or scratch an area until it becomes raw can contribute to the development of hot spots.

Hot spots can be triggered by:
– Ear infections
– Skin infections
– Matted fur
– Urinary tract infections
– Anal gland issues

How are hot spots in pets treated? Prompt action is necessary to prevent deep skin infections when treating your pet’s hot spots. As soon as you notice a small area of inflammation, it’s important to put an Elizabethan collar (e-collar) on your pet to prevent further irritation of the skin.

When you bring your pet to our hospital for hot spot treatment, we may administer sedation along with a potent analgesic medication, as hot spots can be extremely painful to the touch. Once your pet is comfortable, we will carefully clip away matted fur to allow proper airflow to the affected area. Wet and tangled fur creates an environment conducive to infection and must be removed for the hot spot to heal.

We will gently cleanse the area with an antiseptic rinse to flush away debris and fur, and then apply topical medications to the clean and dry skin to alleviate itching and address the infection. Further treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the hot spot, and we may recommend allergy treatment, expression of anal glands, ear medication, regular grooming, or other appropriate therapies.

If you notice an irritated and inflamed area on your pet’s skin, it’s crucial not to delay. Contact our team to schedule an appointment before a minor irritation escalates into a large and painful hot spot.