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A Chilling Look At Hot Spots On Dogs: Causes, Treatment, And Prevention

If you love dogs, chances are you’ve heard of hot spots, irritating patches on a dog’s skin that are often red and inflamed. These spots normally affect the head, paws or hips, but they can occur anywhere. The dog may scratch, lick or bite the area, leading to even more pain and irritation. If your pooch has a hot spot, learn more about what causes the irritation and what to do so you can get your dog’s tail wagging again.

Causes of Hot Spots

Hot spots occur when your dog’s natural bacteria builds up in a single area of the skin, which can happen when the skin becomes dirty or moist. Other potential triggers include insect bites, fleas, allergic reactions and underlying skin conditions. Dogs with long or thick coats are especially susceptible to hot spots.

Hot Spot Treatment

Bring your canine friend to the vet to identify and treat the underlying cause of the hot spot. In the mean time, call your vet for interim treatment advice. They may recommend that you remove the hair from the affected area and the surrounding skin to keep the wound from expanding, and disinfect the area with a solution of water and povidone-iodine using a clean cloth or medical gauze. Hot spots can cause a lot of pain, so take care when handling the wound.

Preventing Hot Spots

Keep your pooch hot spot-free by grooming regularly, maintaining a stress-free environment and ensuring he gets plenty of exercise. Clip your dog’s hair during the summer if you live in a hot, humid climate, and ask your vet about using a flea collar if your pup has a flea problem.

Hot spots tend to grow and worsen if left untreated, so don’t drag your feet when it comes to bringing your dog to the vet.

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