During the spring and summer months Eagle Animal Hospital will see an increase in the number of pyotraumatic moist dermatitis or "hot spots".
Hot spots are typically self induced by your pet. If they have itchy skin or allergies, they might lick and bite at their skin causing irritation and trauma. This irritation of the skin can develop into a flat lesion that looks raw, red and oozing potentially with an odor (due to infection).
Hot spots can also be caused by the following: flea or other insect bites, anal gland issues, foreign objects in fur, or tangled/knotted fur. These factors initiate the itch/scratch cycle, which varies in intensity. The intense trauma produces severe large lesions in a few hours.
Some breeds are more susceptible to hot spots such as Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Collies, German Shepherd, or St. Bernards due to their dense undercoats. Hotspots are much more common in hot, humid weather and may be related to lack of ventilation in the coat.
If you notice your pet has a hot spot you should always make an appointment sooner rather than later. Hotspots progress rapidly into larger lesions if not treated right away.
Treatment involves clipping any excess hair away from the irritated area using a pair of dog clippers, NOT scissors. We highly recommend not cutting your pet's fur with a pair of scissors due to the risk of inadvertently cutting your pet. Furthermore, after clipping the hair away we will clean the skin with a gentle antibacterial called Chlorhexidine. After cleaning the skin, the affected area is dried and a topical agent is applied to treat and provide relief. Lastly, your dog will be sent home with an oral antibiotic and +/- a steroid, depending on the severity of the hot spot.
If you suspect your pet has a hot spot or you wish to know more about them, contact us at Eagle Animal Hospital. We serves Chester Springs, Downingtown, Exton, Glenmoore and the surrounding areas.
Written by Jennifer Styer, veterinary technician