My Dog Has a Hot Spot
Any area of skin that is angry pink to red, warm to hot, moist to wet, irritated to bloody, and possibly seeping pus can be called a “hot spot.” It is important to realize, however, that the term “hot spot” is a general description and not a specific diagnosis. Simply put, a hot spot is a patch of your dog's skin that is bothering her so much that she can't leave it alone. Because of this overwhelming discomfort, she has rubbed, scratched, and licked it into the condition you see before you.
What to Look For
Gently separate your dog's hair around the hot spot to get a good look at it. Look for open skin and raw, bloody patches of flesh. Then slowly and carefully look over your dog's skin for other hot spots. It's helpful to speak softly to your dog and gently rub her with one hand while checking her skin for hot spots with the other hand.
What to Do
No doubt, you feel badly for your dog and want to figure out what caused this mess. Although it is wonderful to be able to get to the bottom of such a condition and to diagnose the inciting cause, it is not always possible, nor is it all that critical compared to treating the lesion.
The treatment usually involves three separate parts. First, you'll shave the hot spot and the surrounding area to get a better look at the full extent of the problem and to make ongoing treatment easier.
Second, you'll clean and medicate the entire area. And third, you'll come up with a therapy plan to control infection, reduce itchiness, and protect the area from further trauma.
Don't gag; don't sweat; as long as the wound is not an open one, revealing the muscle or fat beneath, you should be able to treat it yourself. Grab the following supplies and get to work:
You'll probably need a helper to hold your dog while you do this, especially if the wound you're treating is bothering her.
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