Hot spots are also known as Acute Moist Dermatitis and usually occurs in dogs with long hair or dense undercoats. Most often, they are caused by an allergic reaction from an insect bite, particularly fleas. Hot Spots are circular lesions, that are usually found on the head, around the rear hips or on the dog’s side. They are moist, raw and inflamed and are often associated with hair loss.
The dog will usually continually lick, bite or scratch the area, making it even more irritated. This makes treatment very important because the size and severity of the Hot Spot can change dramatically in just a few hours.
Hot Spots are most often caused by:
• Allergies, including nasal and food allergies
• Ear Infections
• Poor Grooming
• Burs (Stickers) from Plants
• Hip Dysplasia or Arthritis
• Anal Gland Disease
Treatment for Hot Spots involves stopping the growth of the area and eliminating the cause. The affected area will be shaved and cleaned with a medicated spray such as Vetericyn VF HydroGel Wound & Skin Care Spray. Then a drying solution will be applied, such as Domeboro Powder. Most often, a veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics and pain medication. The vet will also give your dog an Elizabethan Collar and trim his nails to prevent him from further injuring the site of the Hot Spot. You can also use a topical cream, such as LickGuard, which tastes bad to keep your dog from licking the area.
To prevent Hot Spots, keep your dog on a strict flea control program using Frontline Plus or K9 Advantix. You should also keep their hair trimmed short during the hot months as well as giving medicated baths as necessary.**Image courtsey of lorimari on Flickr (http://flickr.com/photos/lorimari/2545821112/)**