When your dog doesn't seem interested in eating his food, do you know what to do? When your dog vomits often, could there be something serious wrong with him? If he struggles to get up the stairs, does he need to see a vet? Having never owned an older dog, I knew nothing about the things that can begin to go wrong when dogs age. I adopted this guy when my neighbor moved into a nursing home and had to learn a lot about how to care for an older dog. My blog is filled with the many things that I have learned over the last year through the help of my vet.
As a loving and proactive dog owner, you are always doing what you can to keep your dog happy and healthy. However, even the most diligent dog owner can find themselves with a dog suffering from hot spots. Hot spots are also known as moist dermatitis or pyotraumatic. This skin condition occurs when outside substances or pests cause your dog's skin to become irritated and then infected. The moistness comes from the fact that the wounds usually look wet or damp and may be oozing clear or yellow liquid. Get to know some of the ways that you can prevent and deal with hot spots on your dog.
Prevention: Be Sure To Take Your Dog In For Pet Grooming
Proper grooming is one of the best ways that you can prevent hot spots from developing on your dog. While you cannot always prevent your dog from being exposed to potential skin irritants (like pollen, dander from other animals, dirt, and grass for example), you can ensure that your dog's skin and coat is as well-maintained and clean as possible.
If your dog's coat gets matted or dirty or even if they are in the middle of their main shedding season, you will want to take them in to the pet groomer right away to get their coat taken care of. That way, should hot spots be developing, you can find and treat them properly. Otherwise, regular (monthly or even more frequently) grooming will help to keep your dog's skin from getting overly irritated and infected.
While you may think that you can take care of these issues yourself, a professional groomer, like those at Rush Animal Care Clinic PC, has the proper tools to effectively remove mats from fur, loosen up a dog's undercoat and remove all of their loose hair during shedding season, and ensure that your dog's skin gets properly cleaned no matter how thick their coat. You may be able to give them a decent bath and brushing, but you do not have the professional tools and supplies that will ensure that those hot spots are kept away.
Treatment: Clean and Apply Medications To The Area
If you find a hot spot on your dog's skin, whether it is small or large, you should take your dog in to the veterinarian right away. While you may correctly assume that it is moist dermatitis, there is a possibility that your dog has ringworm or another skin condition requiring different treatments.
When your vet identifies the hot spot as moist dermatitis, they will likely help you to shave and clip the fur away from the hot spot and the area immediately surrounding it. This will help you to access the wound to keep it clean, monitor it to ensure it heals, and to apply the antibiotic ointment the vet will prescribe for your dog.
Once the area is shaved and easy to see, keeping the hot spot clean is as simple as looking to ensure no dirt or debris gets into it. You may also need to pat it down with a soft cloth or paper towel to clean it. Applying the medication may involve using a spray or gently rubbing an ointment onto the wound.
Additionally, you may also need to give your dog antihistamines or other medications for allergies and/or stress. These are oral pills that can be placed in treats, cheese, lunch meat, or peanut butter to get your dog to take them willingly. Allergies and stress are two common causes of moist dermatitis in dogs. As such these treatments will help your dog to heal and to prevent future hot spots.
Now that you know more about preventing and dealing with canine hot spots, you can be sure to monitor your dog's skin and coat health and take the necessary steps to keep them healthy.