What to Do About Hot Spots

Grooming your dog isn’t just about making your dog look good by brushing their fur a couple of times a week.  Grooming also gives you the chance to check out your dog’s skin and see if there are any problems.  The health of your dog’s skin is a pretty good indicator of their overall health.  When you are brushing your dog you can make sure that they don’t have heat rashes or hot spots.  If you do find a hot spot you are probably wondering what to do about hot spots.

What are Hot Spots

Hot spots are open sores that your dog gets on the top most layer of skin and they can spread causing your dog a great deal of discomfort.  Hot spots can be brought on by fleas, allergic reactions or too much licking in one spot.  Bacteria gets into the sore and then you have an infection.  It starts off as a small rash and then it turns into an open sore.  The spot irritates the dog and they start scratching and licking the area making the hot spot works.  Here is what a hot spot looks like and how to identify them.

What to do About Hot Spots

Hot spots will happen to most dogs from time to time but they happen more often in the summer months.  If you do find a hot spot on your dog then you need to take care of it before it gets worse.  Here are the steps to treating it.

  1. When you brush your dog check the skin thoroughly, don’t neglect small pimples or red spots that can be the beginning of something more serious. It doesn’t take long for hot spots to develop.
  2. If you find the hot spot clean the area with antibacterial soap. Get all of the skin around the area to keep bacteria away.  Dry the area completely.
  3. Add a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to the area, put it on a cloth first and dab the area, don’t pour it directly on the spot. Let it dry completely.
  4. At this point you want to put either an antibacterial cream, if there is none then you can use tea tree oil. Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties and it will keep infection out of the area.  Your dog also hates the taste of tea tree oil which will keep them from licking and picking at the area.
  5. Reapply the tea tree oil every day for about 10 days to make sure the area is cleared up.

It is important to keep the area around the hot spot dry that will help it heel faster. If the area doesn’t heal or gets worse then you need to take your dog to the vet immediately for treatment.

Does Your Dog Have a Hot Spot?

Have you noticed your dog has been scratching one area more than usual?  Then your pooch may have a hot spot.  Hot spots can develop when an irritated patch of skin becomes infected.  The condition is called pyotraumatic dermatitis and you may notice your dog scratching or licking excessively.  Here is a look at how hot spots develop and what you can do to make your dog feel better.

What Does a Hot Spot Look Like?

Depending on how serious the infection has gotten it can be just a small red area or a large hairless patch that is oozing pus.  Hot spots for the most part can be treated at home but they can become serious and you will need to take your dog to the vet for topical antibiotics at the very least.  If you notice the dog scratching excessively you may want to get a closer look to see how far advanced the hot spot has gotten.

Why Do Hot Spots Develop

Hot spots develop after your dog’s skin get irritated then bacteria gets in and you have an infection.  The skin irritation could have been caused by anything but some more common causes are allergies, matting of their fur or a behavioral problem.  Dogs can be pretty sensitive to food and food allergies often leave them with very itchy skin.

What to Do with Hot Spots

Once you have determined your dog has a hot spot then you need to get them treated right away, they won’t go away on their own.  If you have never seen this before then you should probably take your dog to the vet to get some antibiotics.  The vet will also show you how to keep the area clean and dry at home so that the infection clears up.  Infections neared to be cleared up completely or they will return.

Removing the Causes

Regular grooming of your dog can take care of any issues concerning matted fur.  Letting your dog’s fur get too long not only makes your dog too warm it can make them very uncomfortable.  Your dog should be brushed regularly at least twice per week, especially if you have a long haired dog.  Short haired dogs can go a bit longer.  Any matted fur should be cut out and if you have a dog like a Yorkie that has hair rather than fur then they will need to be groomed regularly.

Allergies that make your dog’s skin itch can be a little harder to eliminate, first you have to figure out what your dog is allergic to.  You may want to get help from your vet to get that sorted out.  However there are some common foods like grain that can make your dog itchy.  You may have to experiment to find the right type of dog food that doesn’t irritate your dog.