Hot Spots

A hot spot is a localized area of skin inflammation and infection. The infection can be superficial or deep. Hot spots can be caused by anything that creates irritation to the skin. Insect bites, allergies, excess skin, surface moisture (commonly from swimming or moisture left after bathing), heavy/dense hair coat and matted hair are all common reasons for hot spots to develop.

Hot spots can enlarge rapidly, so early diagnosis – before your pet’s hot spot covers a large area of the body – is important. Signs to watch for include:

  • Redness
  • Oozing
  • Pain
  • Itchiness
  • Hair loss
  • Crusted matted hair

Sometimes hair can mat over the lesion, obstructing the size and degree of the problem. Both dogs and cats can get hot spots, although dogs with dense undercoats are more likely to develop the problem than smooth coated dogs or cats are. Hot spots are more common during hot, humid weather, but can occur year-round.  

Hot spots often require a visit to your veterinarian. Treatment may include clipping and cleaning the infected area, allowing exposure to air, which helps the healing process. Topical or oral medication may be dispensed, depending of the severity. You may also be sent home with an Elizabethan collar, which will help prevent your pet from biting, licking or scratching the affected area.

If you suspect your pet may have a hot spot, please give us a call at (905) 727-3003 and we would be happy to help!

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