What is a hot spot?
If your dog loves to swim, this skin condition should be familiar to you. The "hot spot" is a fairly common pyoderma (skin infection), especially in long-haired or double-coated dogs (i.e., Husky) that occurs during the summer. It is most often due to a bad drying following a swim or grooming. It is very important to consult your veterinarian as soon as you notice that your dog is affected.
Here are the typical hot spot signs and characteristics to help you recognize it.
- Most often, the wound is accidentally discovered when you pet your dog. You will feel an abnormal texture in the coat, a gummy texture and hardened hair.
- You may also notice the wound because your dog will be licking or scratching heavily in a particular area and giving off a bad smell.
- The wound is fairly circular, of different sizes and can be found almost anywhere on the body.
- At the hot spot’s location, the skin will be bright red, very irritated and highly sensitive to touch.
To ensure the best possible healing, the veterinarian will shave the wound and the surrounding area (about 3 cm on all sides) so that it is well aired, and you can monitor the treatment's progress. Then, the veterinarian will disinfect the hot spot with a chlorhexidine-based solution and will prescribe a cream to soothe the itching. In addition, a treatment of oral antibiotics will also be prescribed to your dog according to the examination made by the veterinarian. Finally, in order to limit the risk of your dog aggravating his condition by licking or scratching himself, it is possible that we recommend an Elizabethan collar to be worn by your pet, and perhaps even trim his nails and/or put him in socks.
To prevent your dog from getting hot spots it is imperative to dry his skin as much as possible after bathing or grooming.