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Hot Spots

Definition

“Hot spots,” also called acute moist dermatitis, are rapidly developing sores under the hair coat. They are common in thick-coated or long-haired dogs, less so in cats. They most often develop in areas where the hair coat is heavy, such as the back, tail base, and side of the thigh, neck, or face. Hot spots tend to occur more frequently in hot, humid weather. The dog often will scratch or chew at the area, although it can be quite painful (the condition is also called pyotraumatic dermatitis for this reason).  

Symptoms

  • Intense Scratching
  • Intense Chewing
  • Occasionally Accompanied with whimpering
  • Skin is Moist and Reddened
  • Pus-Like Discharge Coats the Skin

Diagnoses

Hot spots begin with a superficial skin injury that causes some moisture to be caught under the hair coat. Bacteria grow in the fluid, causing more skin inflammation, and the affected area rapidly expands as more fluid oozes from the skin, promoting more bacterial growth. The speed of onset of hot spots is often striking, and a large and painful lesion can develop from previously normal skin in a few hours. Fortunately, other than being uncomfortable, hot spots are not life-threatening and they tend to heal very well.

Treatment

Do not touch the hot spot directly with your fingers except to apply medication (and then, use disposable latex medical gloves). Touching a fresh hot spot can be painful and can carry bacteria into it, causing an infection. Call your veterinarian if you suspect hot spots. The ear will need to be properly cleaned and your pet will need to be prescribed an antibiotic to prevent infection. Expect that over the first 48 hours of beginning treatment, the hot spot will look “quieter”: less red, with less fluid oozing from its surface, and it should be less painful. Scabbing and return of normal skin usually occur over a 7-10–day period after that.

Prevention

Keep your pet free of skin parasites, especially fleas. Groom long- or thick-coated pets regularly; remove foreign bodies such as plant material from the hair, so these do not cause mats nor penetrate the skin directly. Treat underlying skin diseases, such as allergies, if present.

Testimonials

Mesa Veterinary Clinic

5355 N. Mesa El Paso, TX 79912

Day Open Close
Monday 8:00 am 6:00 pm
Tuesday 8:00 am 6:00 pm
Wednesday 8:00 am 6:00 pm
Thursday 8:00 am 6:00 pm
Friday 8:00 am 6:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am 2:00 pm
Sunday Closed Closed

Paws N' Hooves Mobile Veterinary Services

Day Open Close
Tuesday 8am- 4pm Pets Barn 9807 Dyer
Wednesday 8am- 4pm Pets Barn 9807 Dyer
Thursday 9am- 4pm 5500 N Desert Blvd
Friday 8am- 4pm Pets Barn 11100 Sean Haggerty
Saturday 9:30am- 4pm Pets Barn 1790 Zaragoza
Sunday Closed Closed

Mesa Veterinary Clinic

5355 N Mesa El Paso TX, 79912

Day Open Close
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
8:00 am 8:00 am 8:00 am 8:00 am 8:00 am 10:00 am Closed
6:00 pm 6:00 pm 6:00 pm 6:00 pm 6:00 pm 2:00 pm Closed

Paws N' Hooves Mobile Veterinary Services

Day Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Hours 8am- 4pm 8am- 4pm 9am- 4pm 8am- 4pm 9:30am- 4pm
Location

Pets Barn

9807 Dyer

Pets Barn

9807 Dyer

Pets Barn

5500 N Desert Blvd.

Pets Barn

11100 Sean Haggerty

Pets Barn 

1790 Zaragoza

***Last sign-in for the mobile clinic will be taken at 2:30 pm everyday***