What Are Hot Spots in Pets?

Your pet may scratch, lick, and chew themselves into a hot spot when their skin feels like it is on fire from scratching. By learning more about these incredibly uncomfortable sores, you can help your pet beat the itch.

What causes hot spots in pets?
Acute moist dermatitis, also known as hot spots or pyotraumatic dermatitis, is a skin condition that causes inflamed sores to appear on a pet’s skin. These blotches frequently appear overnight and can develop quickly into an excruciating mess for your pet.

Why do pets develop hot spots?
Hot spots are typically brought on by skin inflammation brought on by flea, food, or environmental allergies. Anything, though, that prompts your pet to lick, chew, or scratch an area until the skin is exposed can be the problem.

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.

Before applying topical medications to the clean, dry skin to treat the infection and reduce itching, we will gently clean the area with an antiseptic rinse to remove fur and debris. Depending on the underlying cause of the hot spot, additional therapy may be advised, including allergy medication, anal gland expression, ear medications, routine grooming, or other treatments.

Do something right away if you see an inflamed or irritated area of your pet’s skin. Before a minor annoyance develops into a significant, painful hot spot, give our staff a call to make an appointment.