How to Prevent Hot Spots in Pets

Your pet may scratch, lick, and chew itself into a hot zone when their skin feels like it is on fire from scratching. By learning more about these highly uncomfortable sores, you can help your pet conquer the itch.

What are hot spots in pets?

Hot spots are inflamed lesions that appear on a pet’s skin and are also referred to as acute moist dermatitis or pyotraumatic dermatitis. These spots frequently appear out of nowhere and can soon turn into an excruciating mess for your pet.

What causes hot spots in pets?

Hot spots are typically brought on by skin irritation brought on by flea, food, or environmental allergies. Anything, though, that prompts your pet to lick, chew, or scratch an area until the skin is exposed can be the problem.

Hot spots can be triggered by:

  • Ear infections
  • Skin infections
  • Matted fur
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Anal gland issues

How are hot spots in pets treated?

Treating your pet’s hot spots requires quick action to prevent a deep skin infection. As soon as you notice a small area of inflammation, you must put an Elizabethan collar (i.e., e-collar) on your pet to prevent them from further irritating the skin. 

When your pet arrives at our hospital for hot spot treatment, we may administer sedation paired with a strong analgesic medication, as hot spots can be incredibly painful to the touch. Once your pet is comfortable, we will clip away matted fur to allow air to reach the area. Wet, matted fur serves as a breeding ground for infection and must be removed to allow the hot spot to heal.

We will gently clean the area with an antiseptic rinse to flush away fur and debris, and then apply topical medications to the clean and dry skin to soothe the itch and treat the infection. Further treatment will depend on the hot spot’s underlying cause, and we may recommend allergy treatment, anal gland expression, ear medication, regular grooming, or other therapies.

If you notice an irritated, inflamed area on your pet’s skin, don’t wait. Give our team a call to schedule an appointment before a minor irritation flares into a large, painful hot spot.