Hot spots on pets are extremely common during the summer. A hot spot is a localized area of skin that is inflamed and infected. The infection can be superficial or deep. Hot spots are also known as moist dermatitis and acute moist dermatitis.
Hot spots are typically caused and made worse by excessive biting, licking and scratching. There are several factors that can initiate this behavior. Common factors include fleas, mites, other external parasites, insect stings or bites, injuries or allergies. Occasionally animals will start a hot spot out of boredom or during periods of stress.
Hallmark signs of a hot spot include redness, oozing, pain and itchiness. Hair loss might also be present. Sometimes hair can become matted over the lesion, obscuring the size or magnitude of the problem. It is extremely common for a pet parent to notice a small area of inflamed skin on their pet in the morning and arrive home hours later to find that the affected area is much larger. This is because pets often become highly agitated and will not leave the area alone. Sometimes the pet might even growl or snap when the area is touched.
The treatment of hot spots varies depending on the severity of the problem. It is extremely important to have all hot spots promptly checked by a veterinarian as the problem can quickly spread and further skin infection can occur. There are a few things you can do at home to help alleviate the pain of hot spots:
- Shave the area, allowing air to dry the hot spot
- Cleanse the area with cool water and a mild skin cleanser
- Apply a cool washcloth to the area two to four times a day
- Use an E-collar to prevent licking, biting or scratching of the area
- Follow your veterinarian’s instructions thoroughly when applying topical medications, bathing or administering oral medication
Claws N Paws Day Spa offers dog and cat grooming in Fountain Valley, California. Our experienced groomers understand how uncomfortable hot spots can be for your pet. We can bathe your pet in their prescription shampoo and assist you with your pet’s topical medication. We can also safely remove the hair from around most hot spots. For more information or to schedule a grooming appointment, please call 714-962-1005.
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