• What Are Hot Spots in Dogs and How Can You Stop Them?

    Hot spots—or what your veterinarian is likely to call acute moist dermatitis—are small areas of acute irritation on your dog’s skin that can lead to incessant licking, chewing and scratching. As your dog tries to ease the irritation, the hot spot only gets worse as he or she inadvertently spreads the infection. Although hot spots are extremely common, there are things you can do to reduce the chances of your dog suffering from one, and simple ways to reduce the discomfort if one occurs. Here is what you need to know.

    What are hot spots?

    Hot spots are a kind of skin inflammation that usually appear on the head, chest, and hips. They can be triggered by almost anything that causes a reaction or irritation on the skin, but most often, dogs cause or dramatically worsen them by chewing and licking the same spot repeatedly. Hot spots spread and grow quickly because dogs tend to react to the increasing irritation with even more licking, chewing, and scratching. This behavior causes the irritation to get worse, which in turn leads to more licking and chewing, etc.

    What causes hot spots?

    Hot spots are especially common among dogs who are overdue for grooming and whose coats are matted. Longhaired dogs are especially prone, as are dogs with fleas. Dogs who swim frequently can easily develop irritation that leads to hot spots, and even getting wet in the rain can cause problems for some dogs. Stress and boredom may also cause dogs to chew and lick, which causes hot spots.

    How can hot spots be treated?

    See your veterinarian if you think your dog has a hot spot, so he or she can determine the cause and the appropriate treatment plan. There are several treatment options, including shaving the hair around the hot spot, cortisone type medications, antibiotics, and other meds. You can reduce the risk of another bout of hot spots by grooming your dog regularly, following a regular flea prevention program, and making sure your dog gets plenty of play to reduce boredom.

    Chastain Veterinary Medical Group offers hot spot treatment along with a range of other services, including pet dental services and pet grooming in Dallas. Call (972) 529-5033 to make an appointment at Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney, or call (972) 239-1309 to make an appointment at Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas.

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