Every Veterinarian in Alpharetta knows that summer is on the way when more pets are brought in with “hot spots.” This is a fast-spreading skin infection that looks raw and red and is obviously bothering the pet. Dogs and occasionally cats will scratch, bite and lick the area, whine and cry as they do so.
What are Hot Spots?
Hot spots are also known as Summer Sores or Moist Dermatitis. More technically, they are called acute moist dermatitis or superficial canine pyoderma. They suddenly appear anywhere on the body and can quickly become a large, oozing sore. Hair loss is common. There are many possible causes, but a bacterial infection is often identified and must be treated.
Are Hot Spots Contagious?
Yes and no. In most cases, hot spots are not contagious to other dogs or humans. However, the only way to be 100% sure is to have a vet take a skin scraping and run a culture.
* If the hot spot is bacterial in nature, it is not contagious.
* However, if scabies or a fungal infection (such as ringworm) is involved, then this can spread to humans and pets on contact.
What Causes Hot Spots?
Hot spots can appear any time of year, but are most common during a hot, humid summer. Even the smallest amount of moisture on the skin can create the right environment for bacterial contamination in a skin that has become irritated. A recent bath or swim can trigger the problem, but once started, the sore itself is moist and allows the infection to spread rapidly.
Some of the possible causes include:
* Food allergies – try changing to a gluten-free food
* Environmental allergies – these can be difficult to identify
* Fleas, ticks and mosquito bites – be sure the pet is protected
* Poor grooming – long-haired dogs are most susceptible
* Mange or anal gland disease.
Treating Hot Spots
* The spot is shaved and cleaned.
* Antibiotics may be used.
* A cortisone injection may be given.
* A collar may be necessary to prevent licking, scratching and biting.
With hot spots, it’s necessary to take a two-pronged approach: treat the skin problem and try to identify the cause. At The Animal Hospital of Nesbit Ferry Crossing, you can be confident that your pet will receive exceptional care from this Veterinarian in Alpharetta.
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