What are Hot Spots?
A hot spot, also known as traumatic pyodermatitis, is a localized area of skin inflammation that can become infected. Hot spots on your dog usually appear as a discrete patch of skin over which fur has been lost, and they can appear on any part of his body. They can develop, spread, and worsen at breakneck speed.
Excessive scratching and licking in one area causes the initial damage to your pet's skin. The skin's surface integrity is compromised, and bacteria from the dog's mouth enters the lesion and establishes a base from which it thrives and invades deeper layers, infecting it.
The spot becomes even more itchy, inflamed, and sore at this point; the dog will lick at the area even more, worsening the condition – and a vicious cycle is set in motion. It will be moist, itchy, and eventually ooze pus. It will be extremely painful for your dog by this point, and it will most likely smell offensive.
Types of Hot Spots
- limited to the surface of the skin
- may become ulcerated
- easy to treat by clipping fur, cleansing, and applying topical treatments
- Extend below the skin’s surface layers
- Deep-seated infection
- Oozing (pus)
- Require both topical and systemic antibiotic treatment
What Triggers Hot Spots?
There are numerous triggers in hot spots. As a result, it's critical to keep an eye on your pet for signs of what's causing the irritation. Insect bites, allergic reactions, poor grooming, and painful, aching joints can all cause your pet to be concerned and lick a raw area. These raw, infected areas are referred to as hot spots.
Things to Keep an Eye out for:
- Has your pet recently been bitten by an insect?
- Is your pet's coat thick or matted in certain areas, preventing air circulation to the skin?
- Is there anything unusual in your pet's diet that could have caused an allergic reaction?
- Have you recently changed your pet's food?
- Is your pet licking or chewing as a result of an injury or ageing?
- Has your pet been exposed to allergens in the environment, such as pollen, grasses, or moulds?
- Is your pet getting bored due to a lack of exercise or mental stimulation?
- When you leave the house, does your pet experience separation anxiety?
Conventional Treatment for Hot Spots
Often conventional treatment includes prescribing a topical antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory such as cortisone. Depending on the severity of the hot spot, your veterinarian may also prescribe a broad-spectrum antibiotic to treat infection deeper in the skin. Some people use Benadryl for less severe hot spots. These medications and drugs work by suppressing the symptoms of itching and inflammation.
Natural Treatment for Hot Spots
Remove excess hair with a trimmer or nail scissors. Next, clean the area with NaturPet Skin Aid Spray. To relieve itching and promote healing, apply a generous amount of Dr. Maggie Skin Care Ointment. Place a piece of non-stick gauze over the hot spot and wrap with vet tape (AKA vet wrap).
A Holistic Approach to Hot Spots
A holistic approach focuses on not only treating the symptoms but also identifying and removing the source of the irritation. This includes determining which foods are incompatible with your pet's digestion and trimming their fur to allow air flow. If your pet is licking, chewing, or biting a particular area on a regular basis, it is most likely a painful area. Check on your pet to make sure they aren't suffering from an injury that isn't being noticed.
Other things to consider…
- Raw diets may reduce exposure to many of the common food allergens that irritate pets. If you feed your dog processed pet food, look for a high quality brand that does not contain a lot of starch or low-quality fats and proteins that irritate the body.
- To reduce inflammation, supplement your pet's diet with herbs that regulate the immune system, remove toxins, and contain anti-inflammatory properties. NaturPet Immuno Boost contains ashwagandha, turmeric, dandelion, ginger, burdock, and boswellia, which have been shown to improve a variety skin conditions.
- Omega 3 is shown to maintain moisture on the skin, reduce risk of allergic conditions, reduce dandruff and dry itchy skin from developing, improve fur quality and reduce shedding. Dr. Maggie Skin & Coat contains olive oil, flax oil, fish oil, vitamins a, e, d, and lecithin.
Treatment of skin problems such as hot spots necessitates a more comprehensive approach. Stimulating the problem with steroids, antihistamines, and antibiotics does nothing to address the underlying cause of the hot spots. This is why so many pet owners have chronic skin problems with their pets. Keeping an eye out for unusual behaviours in your pet is a great way to figure out what's wrong. If responsible pet owners want their pet to live a long, happy, and healthy life, they must be proactive about their pet's health.
- NaturPet Skin Aid Spray
- Dr. Maggie Skin Care Ointment
- NaturPet Immuno Boost
- Dr. Maggie Skin and Coat