Hot Spots in Dogs
Patches of inflammation or infections on the skin of dogs are often referred to as “Hot Spots”. Hot Spots can be caused by anything from allergies, insect bites or wounds on the skin. Dogs’ reaction is to chew or lick these irritated areas, which makes them worse. Bacteria enters the open wound causing it to get infected and then ooze, creating a foul smell. Sometimes hot spots develop if a dog has thick or matted fur that gets wet and stays wet for an extended period of time. Prolonged exposure to damp conditions make the skin ripe for bacterial infection. Rescue dogs with large matts of fur usually have hot spots under their matts. Hot Spots are especially common during summer months when dogs are spending a lot of time outside and swimming.
If your dog develops a hot spot, the first thing to do is clean the area. Clip the hair away to help keep the area clean and dry. Medicated ointments can kill the bacteria, but make sure your dog does not continue to lick or chew at the spot. Hot Spots usually clear up when you tend to them, but severe cases or particularly uncomfortable Hot Spots should be seen by a veterinarian in case oral antibiotics or antihistamines are needed.