Hot Spots: Cause, Symptoms, and Treatment
Hot spots are moist and red patches of skin that are typically caused by an initial irritation that is worsened by a bacterial infection. Hot spots can be sensitive and painful for your pets. These lesions generally occur on their hips, head, limbs, and/or neck. Unfortunately, almost any type of irritation to your pets’ skin that causes them to scratch, lick, or bite their skin for relief can result in a hot spot developing. If your pets have hot spots, it is essential that they visit our veterinarian in Council Bluffs for treatment as soon as possible. Veterinary care ensures your pet will receive treatment for the underlying infection as well as the sores on the skin.
Symptoms of Hot Spots
The symptoms of hot spots generally start with extreme itching, which increases to include chewing or licking at the irritated site. Your pet may also exhibit abnormal aggression, which is associated with painfulness at the site of irritation. As the irritation worsens, there will be inflammation, redness, and swelling, which is generally in a localized area. As your pet continues to bite and chew at the area, there may be scaly skin, hair loss, and matted fur as well as a foul odor from the lesion. Your pet should be seen by a veterinarian at the animal clinic or hospital in Glenwood at the first sign of irritation.
Causes of Hot Spots
Hot spots are caused by irritation to the skin, which may be caused by a number of different things, including:
- Cuts or abrasions
- Flea allergies
- Food allergies
- Insect bits
- Licking or chewing due to boredom or stress
- Splinters or thorns
- Ear infections
The first step to treating hot spots is to thoroughly clean the affected area and shave the matted fur away from the irritated area. This can be extremely painful so it is recommended that you take your pet to the veterinarian as they can provide your pet with mild sedation if necessary. Veterinary care generally includes using a topical antiseptic to clean the lesion as well as topical and/or oral antibiotics. While at the animal clinic or pet hospital in Glenwood, your veterinarian will also address the initial cause for the irritation and recommend treatment accordingly. For instance, if the irritation was caused by fleas, your pet will also need a flea treatment.
If your pet has hot spots, contact the Animal Clinic of Council Bluffs to begin treatment as soon as possible.