Every veterinarian in Alexandria has talked to someone who has brought in their dog or cat because of raw, nasty-looking areas on the pet’s skin. People are often surprised at how fast the raw area is spreading and have no idea what caused it. Some dogs or cats seem to periodically suffer from this problem. The vet might say that it looks like a “hot spot.”
What is a Hot Spot?
Technically, a hot spot is “acute moist dermatitis.” The area looks-;and is-;painful, red, hot, moist, and irritated. The hot spot becomes hairless. If the animal is able to chew, lick, or scratch the area, this encourages it to spread.
What Causes Hot Spots?
Pinning down the exact cause of a hot spot can be difficult. When the skin becomes irritated or broken, a bacterial contamination can set in. Moisture on the skin encourages the bacteria to spread. Only a very slight amount of moisture is necessary. The moisture from the sore itself will be enough to provide sufficient nutrients for the bacteria. Dogs with thick or dirty coats are more likely to develop hot spots, allowing bacterial naturally present on the skin to overgrow.
Finding the Cause
The hot spot could be caused by an allergic reaction. Some of the possible allergies could include:
- A food allergy – try feeding nothing but grain-free, hypoallergenic dog or cat food
- A flea allergy – be sure that the animal is protected
- A dust allergy
- An allergic reaction to pollen
As you’ll note, these are similar to the allergic reaction a human would have. However, do not treat a dog or cat with human allergy medication. Talk to your vet about the best way to deal with the allergy. Often, allergic reactions become more serious with each new incident.
Treating Hot Spots
The vet will shave the area around the hot spot to allow air and medication to reach the area and clean the wound. Medications might include antibiotics, painkillers, and corticosteroids. A special food may be recommended. An e-collar might be needed to keep the pet from licking or scratching the area.
Hayfield Animal Hospital provides a wide range of services, including preventative care, dental, surgical and diagnostic care, grooming, and boarding. If your pet is suffering from hot spots or another ailment, your Veterinarian in Alexandria is ready to help. Contact us to learn more and schedule an appointment.