Hot Spots and Summer Sores
Tags: Hot Spots, Skin Problems, Dogs, ooze, puss, Eczema, Pyoderma, Treatment, Prevention
Hot Spots, also known as Summer Sores is a skin problem scientifically called Moist Eczema or Acute Moist Pyoderma by Veterinarians. They are painful skin infections in dogs that often ooze pus from the sore and can spread quickly. Symptoms are often simple scratching, licking and biting; move away the hair and you'll see why your pet is upset. It is important to treat it right away as it can get worse in a matter of hours, and in some cases lead to an extremely painful, expensive and chronic situation. . Treating a Hot Spot
The key to treating a hot spot is drying the area. Sometimes this means shaving the area of hair, just beyond the lesions
"Whoever said you can't buy happiness, forgot little puppies." - Gene Hillof the sore, to allow air space and healing. When treating it initially, use an astringent to clean and dry the sore. Several astringents are available from rubbing alcohol to athlete's foot powder - even Gold Bond. Try to find one with an antibiotic that kills the bacteria as well. Antiseptic solutions like Butadiene can help. Repeat this process every two to four hours as needed for the first couple of days and keep it clean for the rest of the week. It should start to heal well at that point.
Sometimes this alone will not help the irritation your pet is enduring. If this is the case, you may try using a cortisone cream and or antibiotics from the doctor. This isn't usually suggested as some say it traps in moisture - essentially what you are trying to avoid. If your pet continues to scratch he or she may be making it worse by maiming his own skin. Sometimes an Elizabethan collar is in order to prevent self mutilation.
More on Hot Spots
What causes a hot spot in a dog is different for every dog. Some dogs never have them, other dogs can't get rid of them. Certain shampoos can trigger an out break, as can your dogs diet. Often times, the solution can be found by simply changing your dogs food or switching shampoos. One case we know of involved a dog that tried a variety of hypo-allergenic and sensitive shampoos only to find himself responding best to Head & Shoulders.
Other factors commonly include flea or tick bites, stickers and burrs, matted hair and fur, warm weather, and allergies.
Treatment and Prevention
The best treatment for hot spots is prevention. You can determine the cause easily in most cases by the process of elimination and or recent changes in your dogs food or activities. Once you have established the cause, begin working on changes.
If your breed is a long haired breed, pay particular attention to developing a strict grooming schedule. Newfoundlands, Old English Sheepdogs, Shit-Tzu's and the like have undercoats that shed and can get trapped.
If it is an allergy, speak with your vet to find out what you can do to help minimize it. Reduce allergens in the home by vacuuming often, ridding household dust, plant pollens and chemicals. Bathing your dog in oatmeal based shampoos have been known to help. Also talk to your vet about giving Benadryl, a over-the-counter antihistamine known to help.
If it is food, try changing his/her food to a meat based food of optimum quality. Sometimes supplements can help as well as Benedryl. Shampoo, try a hypo-allergenic sort. Always keep your dog well groomed and clean as a big furry coat can mat and trap moisture and other irritants. Keep him/her treated for fleas and ticks as well as they cause the initial itches that lead to the scratching. Limit any all problems that may manifest.
Remember that a dog that is prone to Moist Acute Eczema will usually always be prone to it. Some have submitted that where one hot spot occurs, it will occur their again. The only way to avoid chronic problems is to prevent them.
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