Q:

How do you treat hot spots on dogs?

A:

Quick Answer

Hot spots are treated with a combination of anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, pain medications and Elizabethan collars to prevent further damage to the skin. They are moist skin lesions that develop when a dog scratches, rubs, licks or otherwise traumatizes its skin in response to an itch, says PetMD.

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Full Answer

Hot spots are commonly called "moist eczema," according to PetMD. The wet, broken, skin creates the perfect environment for bacteria to take hold, which only exacerbates the redness, itching, oozing and pain common to these sores.

The lesions can appear suddenly and grow quite large over a matter of hours, notes About Home. Usually there is an inciting event, such as a flea or tick bite, allergies, or an injury like a scrape or cut that causes the initial irritation, though some dogs cause hot spots out of stress or boredom.

While it's crucial to see a veterinarian right away, there are a few things that can be done to make the dog more comfortable, according to Doctors Fosters and Smith. Since the sore will be painful, muzzling the dog during treatment may be necessary. The hair should be clipped at least an inch around the sore to allow it to air out and make it easier to treat. The area should be washed with a gentle, non-irritating shampoo. Finally, an Elizabethan collar should be used to keep the dog from further irritating the wound.

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