Hot Spots on Our Dogs- Uncomfortable but Treatable!
18 May, 2015
Hot Spots are areas of the dog’s skin that become irritated and inflamed and are very uncomfortable for our pups. These spots are usually a circular shape and are accompanied by hair loss, inflammation and sometimes a discharge of pus. Hot spots are actually a form of dermatitis and may result from allergy, flea infestation, behavioral problems or other causes. It is important to treat hot spots right away to prevent spreading.
Anything that irritates the skin and causes a dog to scratch or lick himself can start a hot spot. Hot spots can be caused by allergic reactions, insect, mite or flea bites, poor grooming, underlying ear or skin infections and constant licking and chewing prompted by stress or boredom.
Below are some steps you can try at home to cure the hot spot as soon as they appear:
1. Trim your dog’s hair carefully from around the hot spot so the area will be easier to keep clean. Clean the area with a mild antiseptic. You can use cotton balls to gently dab the area with the cleaning solution.
2. Apply a cool compress to the hot spot for five minutes three to four times a day to soothe your dog’s sore skin. Make sure your dog is flea free. Hot spots often occur due to flea bites. The fleas must be eliminated in order to prevent further skin irritation.
Hot spots are no fun!
3. Soothe sore hot spots with a dab of Vitamin E oil. Vitamin E oil is well known for its healing effects and dogs can also benefit from the oil. Dab Vitamin E oil on the affected area two to three times a day to help loosen the crusty areas that have formed and aid healing. It will soothe your dog’s itchy skin as well.
4. Bathe the affected area of skin with cool tea to speed healing. Tea contains tannic acid which aids the healing process. Dab the affected area with a cotton ball that has been soaked in tea that has cooled. Repeat the process three to four times daily.
Make an appointment with your veterianian if the hot spots don’t go away immediately
If the above doesn’t work immediately, call your veterinarian to make an appointment as your veterinarian will prescribe something stronger or might give your dog any of the following:
antibiotics and painkillers, medication to prevent and treat parasites, an E-collar or other means to prevent self-trauma as the area heals, corticosteroids or antihistamines to control itching.
The following tips can help in the prevention of hot spots:
Make sure your dog is groomed on a regular basis and your dog’s hair is clipped short, especially during warmer months.
Feed your dog a healthy, fat-enriched diet. If you’ve been shopping for bargains, you may need to upgrade to a premium dog food. Feeding your dog a good nutritious source of food can help heal skin irritation and prevent further irritation from developing. If your dog suffers from recurring skin conditions or has dull, thin fur, a change in his or her diet may be needed.
Give your dog a daily vitamin supplement that contains fatty acids known as Omega 3. This will help to heal hot spots and other skin conditions. Omega 3 fatty acids will speed healing, promote healthy skin and fur, and prevent further break outs of hot spots or other skin irritation.
Follow a strict flea control program as recommended by your veterinarian especially if you live in an area which is prone to fleas. This will get you ahead of the hot spots.
Try to maintain as stress-free an environment for your dog as possible as he or she can break out in hot spots when stressed.
As always, make sure your dog gets adequate exercise and opportunities for play and interaction with his human family and, if he enjoys it, with other dogs. Dogs frequently start to itch and/or scratch themselves just out of boredom which can then turn to hot spots.
Hot spots take time to heal
Don’t expect a hot spot to go away overnight. It will take a little time for the skin to heal and the fur to grow back. Check the spots daily to see if the area is healing. If the hot spot appears to get worse, consult your veterinarian immediately.
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