Hot Spots In Dogs

Does you r canine buddy seem itchy? Is Fido often scratching or biting himself? If so, your pup may have—or be developing hot spots. A London, ON vet offers more information on this painful condition below.


Hot spots are inflamed red patches on a dogs’ skin. These often appear quickly, and may ooze pus or clear liquid. As you can imagine, these sores are very unpleasant for your furry best friend. Hot spots can also lead to a downward spiral: the more uncomfortable they become, the more Fido will worry at them.


One reason that hot spots can be so frustrating is that it can be tricky to pinpoint the cause, as there are several possible options. Allergies are one common culprit. Both food and environmental allergens can cause itching, and therefore, hot spots. Fido may also be reacting to a bug bite. Fleas of course are the usual suspects here, but Man’s Best Friend can also get bit by ants, wasps, lice, and mosquitos, to name a few. In some cases, poor grooming can cause or contribute to this issue. Dead fur and dander can make your four-legged friend’s coat very hot and itchy! Other potential causes include skin infections; ear infections; orthopedic issues; such as arthritis; and anal gland inflammation. Sometimes the root cause isn’t a medical issue: dogs may lick or bite themselves due to stress, loneliness, or boredom.


The treatment for hot spots will vary depending on what the underlying cause is. Proper nutrition and good grooming habits are both crucial. Topical medicines can help with itching and inflammation. (Note: never give your pup anything without consulting your vet first to be sure it’s safe.) If Fido is licking or biting himself obsessively, you may need to put an Elizabethan collar on him. If your pet’s anal glands are impacted, your vet will likely recommend getting them expressed. If allergies are the issue, your vet may need to run some tests to narrow down exactly what your canine pal is reacting to. This can take time with food allergies, as you’ll want to start by putting your pooch on a very bland diet, and re-introducing things one by one. Your vet will be able to offer specific advice once your pooch has been diagnosed.

Is your canine companion due for an exam? Contact us, your London, ON animal shelter, today!

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