How to Spot, Treat, and Prevent Hot Spots in Pets

If your pet’s skin becomes intensely itchy, they may scratch, lick, and chew excessively, leading to the development of a hot spot. Help your furry companion find relief from this extremely uncomfortable condition by gaining a better understanding of it.

What are hot spots in pets? Hot spots, also known as acute moist dermatitis or pyotraumatic dermatitis, are inflamed sores that appear on a pet’s skin. These sores often seem to emerge suddenly and can quickly become oozing and painful, causing great discomfort for your pet.

What causes hot spots in pets? Hot spots are typically a result of skin inflammation caused by environmental, flea, or food allergies. However, anything that induces your pet to excessively lick, chew, or scratch an area, leading to raw skin, can be a contributing factor.

Hot spots can be triggered by:

– Ear infections
– Skin infections
– Matted fur
– Urinary tract infections
– Anal gland issues

How are hot spots in pets treated? Prompt action is essential to prevent deep skin infections when treating your pet’s hot spots. As soon as you notice a small area of inflammation, it is crucial to place an Elizabethan collar (e-collar) on your pet to prevent further irritation of the skin.

When you bring your pet to our hospital for hot spot treatment, we may administer sedation along with a potent pain-relieving medication, as hot spots can be extremely sensitive and painful. Once your pet is comfortable, we will trim away matted fur to allow air to reach the affected area. Wet and tangled fur provides an ideal environment for infection and must be removed to facilitate healing of the hot spot.

We will delicately clean the area using an antiseptic rinse to flush away fur and debris, and then apply topical medications to soothe the itch and address the infection on the clean, dry skin. Further treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the hot spot, and we may recommend allergy treatment, expression of anal glands, ear medication, regular grooming, or other appropriate therapies.

If you observe an irritated and inflamed area on your pet’s skin, it is important not to delay. Contact our team to schedule an appointment before a minor irritation escalates into a large, painful hot spot.