With Spring FINALLY just around the corner, horrid little hotspots will soon once again be rearing their ugly heads and plaguing many of our dogs.
The term “hot spot” refers to a condition that vets usually call acute moist dermatitis. Warm, damp and red, hot spots are usually surrounded by an area of hair loss and they may exude pus or clear fluid. Sometimes, they can get crusty and they usually cause dogs a considerable amount of discomfort. Hot spots can grow really quickly over the course of mere hours.
Hot spots are caused by a combination of factors that are not entirely clear. They can occur following some type of wound, such as a flea or tick bite, which causes your dog to begin biting and licking the area obsessively. This self-inflicted trauma irritates the skin and prevents it from healing.
However, bacteria also play an important role in the development of hot spots. The bacteria can be limited to the surface layers of the skin, or it can penetrate deeply into the microfissures on the skins surface, deeper layers and nearby hair follicles.
Prevention is the best way to deal with hotspots, not letting them take hold in the first place is the ideal scenario. We have got the most successful prevention tips right here for you.
1. Don't wait for signs. Rather than waiting until you see a hot spot, start now. Begin by brushing your dog as much as possible. This will help rid them of any dead fur, especially if they have a deep, thick undercoat. It is really important to brush dead fur away otherwise this will attract bacteria.
2. Keep them dry. Another contributing factor is the growth of bacteria in the tiny micro fissures present in your dogs skin. These tiny grooves can be more prevalent in one dog than another. Keeping your dogs fur and skin dry is really important, even just after being out in the rain for a walk or damp after shampooing. Use a dog blaster if you have one or your hair drier on the coolest setting, being very careful not to get to close or burn the skin.
3. Prevent them from licking. Leading on from your pets fur being damp, you also need to stop them licking at themselves. If you can't be with them all the time to tell them to leave, then use a buster collar to stop them getting to the particular area. Using a blaster or hair drier will also give you chance to examine the skin and look for the tell tale redness of a hotspot starting.
4. Prevent boredom. In many cases a bored pet will create their own hotspot, by excessive habitual licking, for want of nothing better to do. So make sure they are exercised properly.
4. If a Hotspot has started it can be made worse if the skin is not allowed to breathe due to long hair. The moist, red area needs to dry out in order for it to properly heal. Use a pair of scissors to trim the hair over and around the irritated skin, trimming about an inch of extra space all the way around. This will prevent the hair from growing in too fast, giving the hot spot enough contact with air to dry out and heal.
5. Topical tea bag. Tea contains a chemical called tannic acid, which has the ability to draw out infections. The highest quantity of tannic acid is found in black and green tea. So steep one tea bag of either of these kinds in a cup of water and then remove it. Allow the tea bag to cool down for a few minutes then let it sit directly on the hot spot. Repeat a few times during the day for about a week and the irritation should heal.
6. Lastly pay special attention to the condition of your dogs skin. Supplementing with a good quality fish oil to prevent your dogs skin becoming scaly and druffy is important all year round.