Hot Spot in Dogs: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

It may start with a few stuck hairs and abnormal scratching that catches your eye. Up close, the skin appears red and following. And the lesion seems to be getting bigger every hour! Do not panic, it is probably a hot spot of the dog. A consultation with the veterinarian and some appropriate care will quickly develop your doggie.

What is a hot spot in dogs?

A hot spot is not a disease but a lesion, generally resulting from violent scratching by the dog itself. This is why it is also called pyotraumatic dermatitis. The hot spot is common in canids, especially those with dense fur.

Because the dog scratches with its hind legs and claws, hot pots often present on the neck and cheek. However, we can also find ourselves at the level of the hindquarters; they are then rather sequential to vigorous licking.

A hot pot is an inflamed, oozing lesion. Owners will initially observe a painful area of ​​stuck hair. This forms suddenly and can spread rapidly.

After shearing, we observe a hard, oozing closet, covered with a yellow coating and surrounded by a red border.

What causes a hot spot in dogs?

Any itchy condition that results in violent scratching or licking can give rise to a hot spot.

First and foremost, we note the predominance of fleas whose bites can cause severe pruritus. Come next :

  • Bites from various insects (mosquitoes, spiders, etc.)
  • A tick bite
  • atopy
  • Sarcoptic mange or superinfected ringworm
  • contact allergies
  • ear infections
  • Sores or skin infections
  • Razor burns (toilet)

Heat is a favorable circumstance because it increases maceration at the level of the lesion.

The hot spot is not contagious.

Studio Aline Fernandes/Shutterstock

What are the complications of a hot spot in dogs?

Pyotraumatic dermatitis in dogs can be complicated by pyoderma, that is to say a skin infection. We speak of pyotraumatic folliculitis when the infection is superficial and of pyotraumatic furunculosis when it is deeper. It is then possible to observe pimples on the lesion, often on the periphery.

Certain dog breeds such as Labradors, Golden Retrievers or German Shepherds are predisposed to these complications.

How to treat a hot spot in dogs?

The first step is to clean the wound and protect it. The veterinarian therefore proceeds to tone and clean (soapy water, disinfectant) the hot spot. This step can be painful and some dogs will need a short anesthetic. This phase is essential because it allows the lesion to be ventilated and avoids maceration, which induces pain and infection.

In a second step, it is necessary to stop the pruritus using local or oral anti-inflammatories (corticoids). If folliculitis or furunculosis are already present, the veterinarian will add could.

A collar can be proposed to avoid continued scratching while waiting for the anti-inflammatories to take effect.

A dog’s hot spot usually heals within a few days.

Finding the underlying cause is paramount, although not always easy.

How to prevent a hot spot in dogs?

Prevention involves eliminating the cause when it is identified (toilet with scissors in the event of razor burns, regular cleaning of the ears in the event of otitis, emptying of the anal glands in the event of engorgement causing intense licking, etc. ).

One of the main causes of hot spot in dogs being the presence of fleas, animals suffering from hot spot should be treated regularly. Pesticides can be found on the market in the form of tablets or spot-ons (pipettes). It is necessary to respect the rhythm of administration, often every month or every 3 months, and the dosage according to the weight of the dog. If several animals live together, they must all be treated.

The dog’s hot spot is a painful but not serious lesion, provided it is treated quickly.

Isabelle Vixege

veterinary doctor

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