Hot Spots, Itchy Skin And Allergies, It Must Be Summer!

Hot Spot, Moist Pyoderma, Summer excema, Pyotraumatic dermatitis….its all the same!

I can tell summer is here. At Royal York Animal Hospital, Golden Retrievers and other thick coated dogs are flocking in for their summer grooming  and trimming. Why trim a golden retriever?? To detour a Hot Spot!!  Hot Spots are an area of localized skin irritation that can appear quite superficial or go deep into the skin layers. It is itchy and uncomfortable for your pet and gets worse, very, very quickly.

99 % of Hot Spots are due to allergies.
Itches and Allergies with Pets

Has the pet had skin or ear problems before? Is the Hot Spot seasonal? Are fleas present?? The affected areas will appear red and  wet. It can be the size of a dime to the size of a basketball depending on how much self mutilization has occurred. Usually hairloss is noted and can be very painful for your pet.

How To Treat  Your Pet When Threatened With Hot Spots and Itchy Skin in Toronto

The area needs to be shaved  to stop the spreading…….like a forest fire, a trench is made to stop the flames from spreading hence shaving the area larger than the wound, stops the wet skin discharge from spreading  to the surrounding areas. The affected area is then washed and disinfected and sometimes washed with an Iodine based liquid. We may dispense a topical antibiotic/steroid to apply to the area twice daily as well as an accompanying antibiotic to dry the lesions.  A head collar , T-shirt or light wrap may be recommended to detour the aggressive licking/scratching that may ensue.  The skin wounds take about 2 weeks to heal and hair growth is complete in 12 – 16 weeks. Once your dog has had hot spot they can get it again.

It is thought that dogs who don’t completely dry after swimming or bathing may be predisposed to hot spots but we also usually see a run of hot spots with the dramatic weather change.  The temperatures cools and rises quickly and the dog hasn’t had time to acclimatize. At the first sign of your pet itching/scratching or excessive licking of an area..please contact your Veterinarian ASAP to stop it getting larger. The sooner the hot spot is diagnosed and treated, the sooner your pet will be comfortable again.

Dr. John Allen