Summer is here at last!
At Royal York Animal Hospital that means….… dog breeds like Golden Retrievers and other thick coated dogs come in for their summer groom and trim. Why trim a Golden Retriever?? To deter the dreaded Hot Spot of course!!
A Hot Spot is an area of localized skin irritation that can appear quite superficial or it can progress deep into the skin layers. The affected skin area is initially quite itchy and uncomfortable for your pet. The affected areas appear red and wet. These areas 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 the area can be very painful for your pet. Ninety Nine % of Hot Spots are due to allergies.
To treat a Hot Spot, the areas are 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 it to the surrounding areas.
The areas are then washed or disinfected with an Iodine based liquid. Our Veterinarians may dispense a topical ointment to apply to the area twice daily as well as an accompanying oral antibiotic to dry the skin 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. It is true that once your pet has had a Hot Spot they can certainly get another one It is thought that dogs who are not completely dried after swimming or bathing may be predisposed to Hot Spots but we also get a run of dogs with the dramatic weather changes ( I. e in May when the temperatures increase and then decrease rapidly) and the dog hasn’t had time to climatize. At the first sign of itching/scratching or excessive licking of an area…..please contact Royal York Animal Hospital ASAP…..The sooner Hot Spot is diagnosed and treated, the sooner your pet will be comfortable again.
Dr. Suzie Jerabek
Royal York Animal Hospital 4222 Dundas Street West, Etobicoke, Ontario M8X 1Y6 416-231-9293 www.ryah.ca .