Finding, Treating, and Avoiding Hot Spots in Pets

When your pet’s skin is on fire from scratching, licking, and chewing, you may see a hot spot. You can help your beloved friend deal with the discomfort of these sores by learning more about them.


Where exactly do pets develop hot spots?

Hot spots, also called pyotraumatic dermatitis and acute moist dermatitis, are inflamed lesions that appear on the skin of some animals. These bumps often appear out of nowhere and can quickly become an oozing, unpleasant mess that causes your pet much discomfort.


Why do pets get hot spots?

Inflammation of the skin is what triggers hot spots, and the most common triggers are environmental, flea, and food allergies. A pet’s licking, chewing, or scratching can lead to raw skin, so it’s important to rule out anything else.

The following can cause hotspots:

  • Aural infections
  • Fungus infections
  • Untidy fur
  • Illnesses of the urinary tract
  • Problems relating to the analytic glands


In what ways are pets with hot areas cared for?

If you wait too long to treat your pet’s hot spots, the skin may become infected to the deeper layers. To keep your pet from further aggravating the skin, use an Elizabethan collar (i.e., e-collar) when you see a little patch of inflammation.

Due to the excruciating discomfort associated with hot spots, we may opt to sedate your pet and administer a potent pain reliever when you bring them in for treatment. Clipping away matted fur will allow fresh air to reach the region and help your pet feel more at ease. Removal of the wet, matted fur is necessary because it acts as an infection incubator.

The region will be rinsed carefully with an antiseptic solution to remove loose fur and other debris, and then topical drugs will be applied to the clean, dry skin to relieve the itch and treat the infection. The source of the hot area will determine the next course of treatment, which could include medication for allergies, anal gland expression, ear medication, regular grooming, or something else entirely.


Don’t wait if you discover a red, inflamed patch of skin on your pet. Don’t wait for a minor annoyance to become a significant, painful sore; call our staff today to make an appointment.