LETS TALK ABOUT HOT SPOTS…
Skin diseases are a very common issue faced by many pets and pet owners. One of the common lesions identified are hotspots. Hotspots, or pyotraumatic dermatitis, are focal areas of itchy, moist skin that can present as a head or neck lesion or sometimes occur around the flanks or trunk of the body. Many breeds of dogs are susceptible to hotspots, however some of the most common breeds include Labradors, Rottweilers and Retrievers.
When a dog becomes itchy, they will scratch their skin to the point of traumatising the surface. As a result of this, bacteria can evade the broken skin and continue to grow, leading to the skin becoming even itchier and the hotspot progressively worsening.
The most common underlying reasons why dogs will become itchy in the first-place stems from flea infestations, ear infections, food or environmental allergies, or underlying medical conditions. While the hotspot may be symptomatically treated, it is just as important to diagnose the underlying cause and address this as well.
Diagnosing a hotspot is normally based on its appearance. If you notice an area of skin that appears moist, red, itchy and/or any discharge or matted fur, it is important to have it assessed by your veterinarian to seek treatment as soon as they are noticed.
Treatment often involves clipping the area affected to reveal the extent of the lesion and aid in drying out the area and commencing medical treatment. Sometimes topical and/or systemic antibiotics are needed to treat the infection, as well as anti-inflammatories to reduce the itchiness and therefore break the cycle of itching.
Early detection, intervention and management of the underlying cause aids in preventing the development of hotspots. If you think that your pet has a hotspot, contact the team at East Fremantle Veterinary Clinic to book an appointment!
Written by Dr Milad Keihanirad