What Is A Hot Spot
A hot spot, sometimes called pyotraumatic dermatitis or acute moist dermatitis, is a localized area of skin inflammation and infection caused by scratching and irritation. You will see redness, inflammation, pain, and oozing. This oozing can also cause matter fur. If you think your dog is suffering from a hot spot, before you do anything else you should talk to your vet to make sure your pup does indeed have a hot spot and not something else.
These tips are not meant to replace the recommended trip to the vet, but rather, offer your pet some relief between the time you schedule and exam and the time you are able to bring your dog to the vet.
What Causes A Dogs Hot Spots
There are many different underlying causes of hot spots, but they are all worsened by intense chewing and licking. Anything that causes itchiness, from insect bites to allergic reactions, can trigger the development of a hot spot.
A very common initial cause is a reaction to an insect bite, which tends to occur more often in animals with flea allergies and ear infections.
Ticks, biting flies, skin mites, and even mosquitoes have been known to trigger acute moist dermatitis. Other common causes include environmental allergies, food allergies, anal sac problems, skin wounds, and scabs.
Hot spots tend to be more of a problem during hot humid weather. Dogs with thicker hair coats, such as German shepherds and golden retrievers, seem to develop hot spots more often. However, they can occur in any breed at any age.
Pinpointing The Source Of Hot Spots
Defining the main causes of hot spots is one of the best ways to ensure they dont become a recurring problem for your pet. Not exactly sure what causes hot spot on dogs? Generally, this type of skin irritation thrives in high temperatures and heavy moisture. Certain breeds may also find themselves more susceptible to hot spots, particularly if they have long, thick fur.
Dog types that are commonly affected by hot spots include:1
- Golden retrievers
- Saint Bernards
Hot spots may also be caused by several other factors related to things like an allergic reaction and insect bites. Again, accurately identifying the root cause of acute moist dermatitis will go a long way in ensuring it doesnt happen again, saving your pup from any future discomfort and yourself from an extra trip to the vet.;
Here are some of the most common causes of hot spots in dogs:
- Lingering moisture after a swim or bath
- Flea bite sensitivity
- Inflamed anal gland
- Parasites such as sarcoptic mange2
Consult with your veterinarian in order to pinpoint the most likely cause of irritation and, once diagnosed, move forward with a proper treatment plan from there.;
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The Connection Between Skin And Food Allergies
German Shepherds are at a high risk of developing food hypersensitivity, and if your dog does develop a food allergy, the skin is often where chronic inflammations appear. A cutaneous adverse food reaction can be responsible for a multitude of skin issues. If those skin disorders are also accompanied by excessive scratching, itching, or biting, or if your dog rubs his face frequently, a food allergy may be the reason why. Chronic allergic reactions and self-trauma can lead to secondary bacterial or yeast infections accompanied by crusting, seborrhea, or alopecia.
Often the source of food allergies in canines is an animal protein like beef or chicken. Sometimes dogs develop food intolerances to other food sources such as milk, corn, and eggs. Your German Shepherd reactions to a food allergy may not be limited to his skin; he may also develop gastrointestinal issues that can make life doubly uncomfortable.
The Reason Behind This Is Your German Shepherd Puppy’s Body Uses Calcium When His Teeth And Bones Are Developing So The Formation Of His Ears’ Cartilage Is Being Halted
When genetics are the cause, there is little that owners can do aside from being more conscientious about ear health, which. Will my baby’s ears stand? I prefer taping german shepherd dogs ears after the dog has finished teething. My german shepherd is constantly itching his ears and everyother part of his body. If olivia gets closer or reaches for him, he gets up to leave. 1200 x 900 jpeg 105 . German shepherd puppy ears can be unpredictable! He tends to have dry, itchy skin from allergies anyway. German shepherd itchy ears | petsidi. Between the 5th and 7th month the ear cartilage is still soft enough to encourage the ear into an upright position. It is a long process to get april 16, 2019german shepherd. German shepherd ears are the first thing identified when you look at it. If the pup inherited normal genes, the other ear should come up shortly. His ears may switch between standing up and flopping over for the first year of his life, seemingly without much rhyme or reason. German shepherd puppies’ ears usually become erect between four and seven months old. Tried so many different creams and whatnot and nothing seems to work! The reason behind this is your german shepherd puppy’s body uses calcium when his teeth and bones are developing, so the formation of his ears’ cartilage is being halted.
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Interested In Training Your German Shepherd The Right Way
If you havent trained your German Shepherd properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether its barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.
The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.
With Brain Training For Dogs youll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog wont listen, youll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, thats given proven results. Not to mention the fact, youll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.
So instead of worrying about whether theyre going to be well-behaved or not, youll only have to worry about how much fun youll have with them!
And in most cases its still going to be:
- Cheaper than hiring a professional.
- Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
- And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.
Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your German Shepherd completely and never worry whether theyll be naughty or not. Instead, youll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOURE NOT.;
How Do You Treat A Hot Spot
- Trimming or clipping away the fur of the affected area which will allow the skin to dry out
- A thorough clean with an antiseptic this may need to be performed under a general or after administration of a local anaesthetic as the lesion can be quite painful and sensitive
- Your vet will often prescribe a topical or oral antibiotic to treat the bacterial infection, an anti-inflammatory to reduce the swelling and something to alleviate the itchiness such as a steroid or antihistamine
- While the lesion is healing you may be instructed to clean it daily with a medicated solution or wipes
- Most importantly, your dog needs to stop itching, licking or chewing the affected area, so they may need to wear an e-collar/cone or have the area covered with a bandage to prevent them from irritating the area further
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How Do I Keep My Dog From Licking
Preventing hot spots is the real goal. Hot spots dont just occur but rather develop from skin damage and irritation from underlying conditions. The best defense is a good offense: Take good care of your dogs skin and coat and prevent excess scratching, licking, and biting to keep hot spots from developing in the first place.
The best ways to avoid a hot spot are to keep your pets hair coat clean and dry and use an e-collar to physically prevent him from continuing to lick an itchy spot, Rebello says.
Always dry your dogs coat thoroughly after a bath or swim, especially in summer when hot spots are most prevalent. Because many skin irritations are caused by insect bites, year-round treatment from fleas and ticks is a great place to start. Many dogs are sensitive to flea bites, and even one or two flea bites might be enough to trigger a hot spot, McKenna says. You can prevent hot spots by keeping your dog on a monthly flea preventative year-round.
Ask your vet about preventive treatments and start your dog on them right away. Be sure to discuss other irritants, such as recurring ear infections, or suspicions of allergies. Finally, ensure your dog is up-to-date on her immunizations to help keep her happy, healthy, and hot spot-free.
Additional Signs Of Hot Spots In Dogs
Recognizing the physical signs of hot spots;is the first step;to;diagnosing it. However,;this is;not the only way;you;can help;to;stop hot spots;in;their;tracks.
The following signs are also associated with hot spots;in dogs. However, as you will see, many are non-specific signs. In other words, they;can also occur with;a slew of;other;conditions. It is important to definitively diagnose;whether;your dog has a hot spot before beginning the appropriate treatment.
You;should also look for the following;signs of;hot spots:
- Unusual aggression and behavioral changes
- Whining, wincing, or crying out in pain, particularly when touched
- Excessive itching of the skin
- Persistent chewing, biting, licking, or grooming
- Scaly skin surrounding the sore area
- Sores that are scabbing or filled with pus
- Excessive warmth that can be felt on the dogs coat or skin
- Matted fur
- Hair Loss
- Lethargy and depression
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A Helpful Recipe To Help Treat Hot Spots:
Increase the number of grooming sessions to remove all of the shedding undercoat. Be careful not to scrape or damage the dogs skin by putting too much pressure on the comb or brush as you groom your dog.
Damp coats are another problem causer. If your dog goes swimming, be sure to rinse the dog off with clean water and dry the coat thoroughly with towels or a hair dryer set on cool.
A natural approach can be very helpful as well. Pet skin care products that contain chamomile, tea tree oil or aloe vera can clear up most moist dermatitis in just a few days. Aloe vera and chamomile are soothing ingredients to help reduce pain and promote healing.
There seems to be no single cause for developing these itchy spots, however, the problem can be associated with any of the following things, such as: surface skin infection, “clipper rash”, irritants, foreign objects in the coat, as well as trauma and allergies.
The most common areas for these spots to occur are the rump, legs, feet and flanks – but these infections can also appear other places such as on the back, ears, neck, and chest.
To treat, you need to treat the sore and then remove the underlying cause to prevent recurrences. Suggested methods include trimming the hair around the sore to prevent further spread of the infection. You want to dry the spot out and get air into the infected area.
Are Canine Hot Spots Contagious For Humans Or Other Pets
Most cases of hot spots on dogs are caused by bacteria and are not contagious to other dogs and humans. However, if the underlying cause of the hot spots is found to be fungal or parasitic then its possible it may spread to other dogs and humans. Contact your veterinarian immediately so they can take a sample and run a culture to identify the cause of the hot spots.
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What Causes Hot Spots On Dogs
Most hot spots on dogs are caused by an underlying condition that either causes itchiness, excessive licking, or excessive moisture.
The most common conditions include:
You should also seek veterinary attention sooner if you cannot keep your pet from licking/scratching it.
How To Prevent Dog Hot Spots
Make sure you have thoroughly addressed the underlying cause of your dogs problem. Otherwise, hot spots will recur. You should also observe good parasite prevention and allergy management. Proper hygiene and routine grooming are also essential. Additionally, supplement your dogs diet with omega-3 fatty acids to increase your dogs immunity as well as promote healthy skin and coat.
Moreover, spend more time with your dog. Exercise together and engage in activities that benefit you both. If you have a water-loving dog, remember to dry his coat thoroughly after swimming. Keep your furry sidekick happy and occupied during your absence with mentally stimulating toys. This will keep separation anxiety at bay.
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Hot Spots On Dogs: The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, we understand how frustrating hot spots can be. At Honest Paws, we are also;dog owners;who;have dealt with our fair share of hot spot annoyances over the years. Thankfully, hot spots are one of only a few ailments that veterinarians dont consider to be harmful to Fidos;overall;health;and well-being. With that said, treating the hot spot as soon as possible is paramount;to;preventing;the development of;any;further injury or infection.
Furthermore, by understanding why and how hot spots develop,;you;can ensure that;you;are doing all that;you;can to prevent them in the first place;;and trust us youll want to prevent them!
Natural Remedies For Hot Spots
The vast majority of the healing of a hot spot comes from clipping, bathing, and applying of an Elizabethan collar, all of which are natural methods that dont require drugs to work and can even be done at home. When bathing your dog, you can try using dilute saltwater or chlorhexidine scrub, which can be purchased from your local vet clinic.
If you do decide to try these home remedies for hot spots, do be aware that your dog will likely find the area uncomfortable when touched and may snap.
There are countless other home remedies for hot spots mentioned online. Most are likely to do no harm, although some may slow healing. Oatmeal baths, for instance, are soothing but the area is far too itchy for this to work. Plus, regular wetting of the area is likely to make it worse.;
Diluted apple cider vinegar is another commonly recommended home remedy for hot spots. But due to the acidity of vinegar, its likely to be painful to apply and there are other more suitable solutions.;
Some people recommend aloe vera as a home remedy for hot spots on dogs. While the gel of aloe vera is known to be safe and is quite soothing, it is not recommended to apply it in anything more than a very thin layer, as allowing the hot spot to dry out and air is important to the healing process. Bathing the area twice daily with hibiscrub, drying, then following with a thin layer of aloe vera gel may work to treat a hot spot at home.
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How Can I Prevent Hot Spots On Dogs
The first step to preventing hot spots on dogs is properly caring for your dogs skin. Because hot spots are a skin condition, regular grooming and bathing can decrease the chance of hot spots appearing on your dog. Long-haired dog breeds may also benefit from hair clippings during the summer months, as long coats create a breeding ground for bacteria when moisture gets trapped inside the dense hair.
If your dog swims or bathes often, its important to dry your dog to prevent hot spots from occurring. Dogs who spend time in the water are at greater risk of developing hot spots, as a dogs coat will trap moisture and consequently cause hot spots to appear.
Giving your dogs adequate exercise is another way to prevent hot spots on dogs and help your canine friend thrive. Because many dogs tend to lick and scratch themselves when they are bored, exercise can keep them mentally and physically stimulated, preventing your pup from itching areas that are inflamed by allergies or parasites.
Certain diets can also aid in preventing Pyotraumatic dermatitis in dogs. Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA found in fish oils are two of the many supplements that not only provide anti-inflammatory properties to fight skin irritations but also encourage a healthy skin barrier to prevent recurrence of hot spots. You may also try switching your dogs diet if your dog is having allergic reactions to his food.
Are Hotspots Contagious
Many pet owners wonder whether or not hotspots are contagious, particularly if they live in a multi-pet home. The answer is both yes and no. Hot spots themselves are not contagious. However, the underlying;cause;that led to the development of the hot spot may certainly be contagious. Again, whenever possible,;it is;very;important for pet parents to get to the bottom of what caused the hot spot in the first place,;to make sure all of your pets stay hot spot-free.
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What Causes Hot Spots
Hot spots in dogs are caused by bacteria, usually a type called Staphylococcus intermedius. These bacteria are present on your dogs skin and mouth most of the time, and theyre usually harmless.;
Normally, the skin has good defense against bacteria and keeps them at a safe level. But if a few conditions combinesuch as a scratch to the skin and a certain level of moisture then the bacteria get past the defenses. They find the ideal environment to start to multiply, and you get an infected hot spot. This is very itchy. Unfortunately, with each little scratch and chew, your dog breaks the skin further, and spreads the bacteria around, causing further problems.
Hot spots can occur in any breed or age of dog, although theyre more common in thick-coated breeds such as Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds. Rottweilers are also particularly susceptible to hot spots, although its not clear why.;
Because theyre usually started by something itchy, hot spots are also more common in dogs with fleas, allergies, or anxiety, as these things increase the amount of time dogs spend scratching.