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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dog Hot Spots Running Rampant

By Jennifer Gretson

There are many things that a pet owner has to worry about. They worry about making sure their beloved pets have a balanced diet. They have to ensure they are getting the recommended amount of exercise. Pet owners also worry about their dog's medical concerns, especially what has been known as dog hot spots.

Other names for dog hot spots are acute moist dermatitis or acral lick dermatitis. This is a condition that is extremely painful for dogs and can sometimes be prevented. When it is something that can't be prevented, a trained vet needs to look into the cause. Although it's common, it has to be treated quickly.

Dog hot spots are often seen as hot, swollen patches of skin. They leak pus, are often very red and have a horrible smell. Sometimes they are only in one area and sometimes they are on multiple areas of the dog's body. They appear often under the ear or on the dog's lower body but can appear anywhere.

This is a painful condition for a dog to experience. Dog hot spots often cause a dog to chew, scratch or bite the area constantly to get relief. With the constant irritation, these spots can spread very quickly, sometimes in hours. Pet owners normally notice something is wrong when they see bald patches on the dog.

As soon as a pet owner sees their dog has hot spots, they normally take their dog in to see their vet. Veterinarians know that dog hot spots can be a very painful thing so they normally sedate the dog before they begin treatment. As soon as the dog is sedated, they cut the hair away from the affected area and wash it gently with a diluted povidon-iodine shampoo or a chlorhexidine shampoo. After the skin has dried, they apply a strong dose of an antibiotic steroid cream as well. It the hot spots appear in multiple places, this treatment has to be repeated. To keep the dogs from irritating the infected area, a vet will put the dog in a BiteNot collar.

Pet owners also have to continue treatment at home for dog hot spots. When the dog is taken home, their owner has to apply an antibiotic steroid cream or powder for the next 10-14 days. If the infection is bad enough, they also have to give their dog an oral antibiotic as well as a corticosteroid to help control the itching.

Many pet owners aren't aware that there are two types of dog hot spots. Some hot spots are superficial in nature, easily treated. Other cases of hot spots are deeper in origin and require looking into by a veterinarian. Deep caused hot spots are also easily treated but it is important for any case of hot spots be seen and diagnosed by a vet.

The exact cause of dog hot spots can't be determined. There are some cases that result from a skin trauma, noticed by an itch scratch itch cycle. There are other cases that come from dead, moist hair lying against the skin. There are other cases that have been brought on because of a sever deficiency in an essential fatty acid. No matter what the cause is, it is important that when a pet owner sees their animal is suffering from this, they take their pet in for treatment.

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