Hot spots, also known as acute moist dermatitis, are the result of a bacterial infection in your dog or cat. When something irritates your pet's skin, she naturally scratches, bites, chews, and licks at it in response. Unfortunately, this can make the problem much worse. The most common causes of hot spots include flea and food allergies, mosquito bites, poor grooming, tick bites, mange, and anal gland disease. Hot weather can also cause excess moisture in the skin, leading to the development of hot spots. This is important to keep in mind since summer is almost here.
Symptoms of Hot Spots in Dogs and Cats
Your pet will exhibit at least a few of the following symptoms if he has developed hot spots:
• A raised and/or reddened lesion
• Compulsive chewing and licking of a specific area of skin
• Odor from the site of the hot spot
• Oozing and pus from the site of the hot spot
• Obvious signs of pain
• Staining around the hot spot that is reddish brown in color
• Swelling at the hot spot site
Please contact Grantsburg Animal Hospital or Wild River Veterinary Clinic right away when your pet is showing obvious signs of distress.
Preventing and Treating Hot Spots
The best way to prevent hot spots is to ensure that your pet's skin remains healthy. Be sure to brush her coat frequently and use a preventive medication or product for fleas and ticks. Keep in mind that matted fur locks in moisture and attracts parasites. In some cases, your pet may develop hot spots due to a behavioral issue. If you suspect that is the case with your dog or cat, our staff will help to identify the reason for the behavior and come up with solutions to help you modify it. We can also recommend a parasite control product based on your pet’s lifestyle and other unique factors.
When you bring your pet in for treatment, our veterinarian will most likely cut the fur surrounding the hot spot and then use a mild antiseptic to clean it. Your may also receive a prescription such as cortisone cream to help control the itching. Our goal at Grantsburg Animal Hospital and Wild River Veterinary Clinic is always to identify the reason your pet develops hot spots and prevent him from developing them again in the future.
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