Canine Hot Spots
Canine hot spots are commonly referred to as moist dermatitis. Whatever it’s called, the condition is characterized by a growing area of skin inflammation. An infection in the area can occur superficially on the skin or deep within.
These areas of skin inflammation can be caused by biting, licking, or scratching an area too much. Dogs are often prompted to do this if they have a bacterial infection or an infestation of parasites such as fleas and mites. An insect could have bitten or stung the area causing the dog to bite or scratch it constantly. After the area has become inflamed and infected, continuing to bite, lick, or scratch it will simply make it get worse. However, dogs will keep doing it in an attempt to make things better.
Canine hot spots can easily occur during the summer months. During this time, dogs frequently have wet or dirty hair which can easily be matted making them susceptible to the condition. Some dogs have been known to start a hot spot on their own out of sheer boredom or stress.
Hot spots in dogs can quickly grow larger. It may be no larger than a quarter by the time you first notice the area, but it will likely get much bigger in a matter of hours. The area may ooze a substance and turn red. The hair in the affected area may either fall out or become matted. Since the area is so painful, dogs can become more aggressive, especially if someone tries to touch the area.
There are various treatments for canine hot spots. The particular one your veterinarian recommends will depend on the severity of the condition. Superficial infections can be treated using topical antibiotics or special shampoos. If the infection is deeper, then oral antibiotics may also be prescribed.
If the area around the hot spot doesn’t fall out on its own, you should shave it away. It is vital that the affected area be exposed to air as much as possible and hair will keep this from happening. Dogs should also be prevented from licking, biting, or scratching the area at all costs so that it can heal properly.