What to Know About Hot Spots in Pets

When their skin feels on fire from itching, your pet may scratch, lick, and chew so much that they create a hot spot. Help your furry pal beat the itch by learning more about these incredibly uncomfortable sores.

What do pets’ hot spots look like?
Hot spots are infected sores that form on a pet’s skin and are also referred to as acute moist dermatitis or pyotraumatic dermatitis. These spots frequently appear overnight and can quickly turn into an excruciating mess for your pet.

What causes hot spots in pets?
Hot spots are usually brought on by allergic reactions to food, fleas, or the environment. However, anything that prompts your pet to lick, chew, or scratch an area until raw skin is exposed can be to blame.

Hot spots can be triggered by:

  • Ear infections
  • Skin infections
  • Matted fur
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Anal gland issues

How can pets with hot spots be treated?
To avoid a deep skin infection, treating your pet’s hot spots right away is necessary. Put your pet in an Elizabethan collar (also known as a “e-collar”) as soon as you notice a small area of inflammation to stop them from causing more skin irritation.

As hot spots can be excruciatingly painful to the touch, we might sedate your pet when they come to our hospital for hot spot treatment along with a potent analgesic. We’ll clip away matted fur once your pet is at ease to make the area more airy. To help the hot spot heal, matted, wet fur must be removed because it acts as a breeding ground for bacteria.

We will gently clean the area with an antiseptic rinse to flush away fur and debris, and then apply topical medications to the clean and dry skin to soothe the itch and treat the infection. Further treatment will depend on the hot spot’s underlying cause, and we may recommend allergy treatment, anal gland expression, ear medication, regular grooming, or other therapies.

If you notice an irritated, inflamed area on your pet’s skin, don’t wait. Give our team a call to schedule an appointment before a minor irritation flares into a large, painful hot spot.