Throughout your pet’s lifetime, it’s likely that they will experience some kind of skin irritation for which they will need to see the local vet. In particular, you may have heard of something called a hot spot and wondered what causes the condition and how it can be treated. At East Valley Animal Hospital (serving Gilbert, Chandler, and Mesa), we offer compassionate pet care that strives to put both you and your four-legged friends at ease while at our office. So, whether you bring your furry companion to see us for dog hot spots or for any other need, you can be assured, we’ll treat them like family.
What are Dog Hot Spots?
Hot spots are a fairly common skin condition occurring in dogs, particularly in the hot summer months. When Fido has an irritated patch of skin, his natural instinct is to lick, nip, or scratch the affected area. In the process, he can develop a moist bald spot that appears red and inflamed and can easily be mistaken for a bug bite. When hot spots continue to go untreated, they can become infected with harmful bacteria and may break open, emitting a foul-smelling odor.
What are the Underlying Causes of Hot Spots?
There are a number of triggers that can lead to these self-inflicted wounds. The most common underlying causes for dog hot spots include:
- Flea or tick bites
- An already present wound
- Stress or boredom
- Allergic reactions to things like food, grass, or weeds
- A dirty or matted coat
- Lots of exposure to water
- Internal infections
How are Hot Spots Treated?
Hot spots can grow at an alarmingly quick rate. If you notice your pup has developed a moist red spot on his body, we recommend you take them to see the vet as soon as possible. Once there, the area can be properly treated to reduce the risk of further infection.
The wet environment, combined with an open wound, encourages harmful bacteria to set up residence in the hot spot. When a vet treats for hot spots, the fur around the spot will be trimmed to allow the area to dry out, the wound will be cleaned, and medication will be applied to decrease the itchiness and irritation.
After your pet has seen the vet and you’ve returned home, keep an eye on them and try to decrease their contact with the hot spot. The less they lick, bite, or scratch the area, the faster it can heal. If you’re in the Gilbert, Chandler, or Mesa region and you’re looking for a local vet, give us a call today. At East Valley Animal Hospital, your pet’s health is our highest priority!