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During the warmer months, my dog Yankee seems to be prone to hot spots. He’ll start chewing on some part of his body and before I know it, he has a hot spot. Hot spots come on very quickly and can be very painful and sensitive to the touch. Any dog can develop hot spots, but they’re much more common in dogs with thick coats.
What causes hot spots? They happen when your dog’s natural bacteria over grows on parts of his skin, often when your dog is damp and/or dirty. When an infection arises from a dog’s own bacteria, there is almost always a root cause, such as allergies including allergies to fleas, an underlying pain, such as muscle or join pain, and even behavioral issues. Hot spots can also occur in dogs with compromised immune systems.
If your dog develops a hot spot, you should do two things:
If you catch the hot spot before it becomes serious and want to avoid the antibiotics that are routinely prescribed, what can you do to treat the wound?
After a few days if the hot spot doesn’t appear any better or seems to be getting worse, it’s time to see your veterinarian. It’s possible your dog will need a round of antibiotics.
The second step in managing hot spots is to find out why they happen. Here’s what to look for:
Once you identify the root cause, you can address it and resolve future hot spots. Being aware of your dog’s body will help you keep on top of hot spots and other potential problems. This will ultimately keep your dog healthier and happier and give him a better quality of life.