What Are Hot Spots and How to Treat Them?
It's summer and you spent a day with your pet outdoors! The next day however, you notice that your dog is aggressively licking, scratching, or biting an area. You investigate and realize that there is a an angry, inflamed sore on your pet's skin. Your dog, unfortunately, has a hotspot.
What are Hot Spots?
Hot Spots, also known as pyotraumatic dermatitis or acute moist dermatitis, are red, inflamed sores that may quickly ooze or contain pus. They are painful, annoying, and smelly. They can appear anywhere on the body but usually occur on the head, legs, and hips. They also can appear anytime but are more common during the summer when it's hot and humid.
What Causes Hot Spots?
Hotspots can be caused by a number of things but most common sources are:
- Fleas that cause crazy itch!
- Other parasites
- Trapped moisture especially pets with matted fur
- Yeast infections
- Anxiety induced scratching
- Food allergy
How to Treat Hot Spots
Like most ailments, the best way to treat it is addressing the root problem and focus on prevention. Try to find out what caused the initial itch and inflammation. Insect bite? Was the dog's fur not properly dried post bath or swim?
Now, what if the sore is already there? Here are some tips that you can do to treat the spot, prevent infections, and keep your pet comfortable.
Note: We also always recommend you consult your vet. Your pet's doctor would know best!
1. Trim fur
The fur, while protects your pup from outside elements, can also trap dirt. Now, imagine this dirty fur sticking on your dog's wet sore. Not fun. Best to trim fur to avoid infections.
2. Clean and treat the area
The faster you address the sore, the faster it will heal. Clean it with either your pet's shampoo and water or a gentle cleaning solution. We recommend Fetch! Neem Leave-On Rinse as it is made from pure Neem Extract which has been proven to be anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-puritic. It also has Madre de Cacao, Lavender, and other ingredients that have been proven to soothe and heal hotspots, mange, and other skin ailments. Your vet may also recommend a topical skin ointment to prevent infection
Grab that e-collar. We know your pooch won't be happy but it's for his/her own good. While that hot spot is healing it could be extremely painful or itchy that your dog would want to lick, bite, or scratch it. Prevent this from happening or else that wound will never heal!
Also, your vet may recommend a gel like topical ointment to protect the sore from dirt and other potential contaminants.
4. Maintenance and prevention
As the wound is healing, check on it daily and make sure you thoroughly clean and treat it. Once the wound is all healed up, make sure you also try to find out what caused the sore in the first place so you can prevent this from happening again. This may take time and lots of trial and error, but it will save you a lot of money and sad doggo eyes in the long run. Not sure where to start? We usually recommend first changing the shampoo and choosing a gentle, natural product like our Neem Shampoos that have been known to boost skin health while keeping ticks and fleas away. We also suggest to check the food whether the pet is allergic to any of its ingredients or if your furbaby needs to strengthen his or her immune system through supplements or probiotics.