The Hot Spot in dogs

Is your dog scratching, licking or chewing insistently? He may be suffering from a hot spot, a dermatological problem that needs to be treated quickly. 

What are the symptoms? How to act in prevention? We answer all your questions on the Hot Spot in dogs.


How do I know if my dog has a Hot Spot?

The Hot Spot, also called pyotraumatic dermatitis, is a skin lesion that occurs following intensive scratching. It can also happen that an irritation of the skin, occurred during grooming for example, is at the origin of a hot spot.

This skin condition does not only affect dogs, cats can also suffer from it.

When a dog has a hotspot, you can usually see a red, hairless wound. Sometimes the lesion may be oozing or purulent. This means that an infection has developed as a result of bacteria multiplying in the wound.

There are several causes of hotspots:

-the most common is the presence of parasites and allergy to flea bites (DAPP) which causes violent itching;

-Allergies (food, pollen or dust mites) can also be responsible for the appearance of skin lesions that can lead to a hotspot;

-Otitis, which is often accompanied by strong itching in the ears;

-Stress is also a cause of hot spots because it can lead the dog to scratch or chew frantically.

But the hotspot also has a genetic component. In fact, certain breeds of dogs are predisposed to this skin condition, such as the Labrador, the Golden Retriever or the Newfoundland, whose hair is very thick. The Poodle, which has a fragile skin, is also among the dogs predisposed to the hot spot.

Dogs are more likely to develop a hot spot during hot and humid seasons, because these conditions favor maceration of the wound.


What are the symptoms of a Hot Spot in dogs?

A dog suffering from hot spot will scratch, lick or chew insistently and frequently on a specific area, causing a lesion to appear. Pyotraumatic dermatitis can be located on the thighs, the base of the tail, the back, behind the ears or on the dog's buttocks. 

The hot spot is recognizable by the presence of a red patch, devoid of hair (it was torn off when the dog was scratched or bitten) and well defined. The epidermis is red and warm. A crust may have formed or pus may be present. If this is the case, the wound has a foul odor, which is a sign that an infection has started. 

There is a particular form of hot spot called pyotraumatic furunculosis. In this case, the red patch observed is surrounded by small pimples (papules). This is an infection of the dermis by bacteria. It is a more important form of hotspot.

The Hot Spot is very painful and causes great discomfort to the animals.

What care for a dog with Hot Spot?

Since pyotraumatic dermatitis is very painful for your pet, it is advisable to consult the veterinarian urgently. Indeed, the hot spot must be treated quickly to avoid inflammation, and if it is already present, to prevent it from spreading and affecting the health of your pet.

The treatment is generally local. The veterinarian will clean and disinfect the wound. However, in more severe forms of hotspot, treatment with antibiotics and/or anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed. 

Wearing a collar is recommended for the animal to avoid continued licking and scratching during the healing process.

If the hotspots are frequent, the veterinarian will test for possible allergy. The dog can be desensitized if necessary.

How to act in prevention?

As we have just seen, the hot spot is a frequent and painful problem for the dog. But, fortunately, it is possible to avoid its appearance.

First of all, we advise you to treat your pet all year round against fleas and ticks, especially if he is allergic. Ask your veterinarian for advice on the most appropriate treatment.

It is also helpful to monitor the condition of your pet's skin and coat regularly. This can be done during daily hygiene care such as brushing.

Finally, to avoid the appearance of itching and therefore hot spots, it is essential to maintain a healthy and well hydrated skin. To do this, we recommend that you give your dog regular dietary supplements to support the skin and coat, especially if he is a high-risk breed. 

Our food supplement Shine is rich in omega-3 fatty acids extracted from flaxseed oil and fish oil. It also contains zinc, EPA and DHA. All these ingredients help to promote good hydration and maintain healthy skin. They also help fight inflammation and promote the healing of skin lesions. 

Finally, Shine is specifically formulated to limit the risks of allergies, since it contains only one animal protein, insect protein, which is not very allergenic. 

It is the ideal complement for the skin of your hairball!

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