I had never heard of hot spots (aka pyotraumatic dermatitis) until I got a Golden Retriever, but I understand other breeds get them, too. Most recently, after my dog’s surgery, her incision became infected and inflamed, developing a hot spot right where the staples were – OUCH! She has also gotten them after being groomed, where she may have been clipped too short, or maybe she jumped and the clippers nicked her skin. They look terribly painful, and she will do just about anything to try to find relief. She scratches at them, tries to lick them if she can reach, rubs on the carpet, etc.
According to canismajor.com, “hot spots are surface skin infections caused when populations of normal skin bacteria grow and overwhelm normal resistance. They are generally circular patches that lose hair, can be swollen, may exude a smelly pus, and can be painfully itchy, causing the dog to scratch, lick, or bite to the point of self-mutilation. Untreated hot spots can spread and provoke a normally even-tempered dog to growl or nip when touched.
These troublesome sores can seem to arise in a matter of hours with no warning, but they do tend to follow a pattern that helps in predicting their occurrence.
Dogs most susceptible to hot spots are those with heavy coats and histories of allergies, ear infections, flea infestations, irritated anal sacs, and grooming problems such as hair tangles and mats, but any dog can develop this infection. Dogs in warm, humid climates may develop hot spots when they shed their undercoats if the dead hair is trapped next to the skin, and dogs with behavior problems may mutilate themselves by licking and thus encourage an infection to become established.”
Our vet generally prescribes an antibiotic spray that must sting, based on Maggie’s reaction. In this case, we had to give oral antibiotics, as well, because it was right at her surgery site.
What about your dogs – have you ever gone through this with them? Any suggestions for prevention and / or treatment?
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog