Do visits to the vet make you a little uneasy? If you know what to expect, then you should feel calmer when taking your dog for treatment. When it comes to treating hot spots, it’s a good idea to take your pet to the vet if the lesion becomes severe or if hot spots reoccur and you want to know what is causing them.
Here is a step-by-step guide on what you should expect when taking your dog for a hot spot treatment.
Step 1: Examination
As with any medical treatment, your vet will first examine the dog. Even though most hot spots might look all the same to you, a trained professional will see many differences that will help them identify the underlying issue. Depending on what he or she notices, they might order some labs or additional tests. This will help determine the exact course of treatment.
Step 2: Hair TrimmingOnce the examination is done, your vet will likely want to alleviate any discomfort your dog is feeling. To do this, they will need to first trim the hair around the affected area, especially for longer haired dogs. Trimming also makes it much easier for topical medication to be administered.
"Did you say haircut???"
Step 3: CleaningAfter your vet has gained access to the hot spot, they will need to thoroughly clean it. If there is an infection at the spot, they might decide to sedate your dog, because cleaning agents will sting a lot and cause some pain when disinfecting the wound. Normally, vets will use an antiseptic spray or a water-based astringent. For a more homeopathic approach, there are simple salt-water solutions or anti-bacterial natural products, such as EcoSpot.
"I am feeling extra clean today!"
Step 4: Drying agentsAs soon as your dog’s hot spot is disinfected, the vet will need to help the area dry, which will in turn help it heal. Depending on how wet the wound is, you may need to continue to apply drying agents at home. Your vet can give you a prescription for a chemical-based agent or you can use a spray like EcoSpot, which is 100% natural. It will dry up the area, reduce itching and prevent bacterial growth. Plus, it’s safe in case your dog licks around the area, since the ingredients are all organic.
"Dry...just like the grass behind me, get it?"
Step 5: AntibioticsFor more severe hot spots that are infected or to prevent the pet from being infected, your vet will prescribe antibiotics. Because infections can spread to other organs and cause life-threatening conditions, it’s important to follow your vet’s instructions carefully and only use the medications and dosage prescribed.
"Ok, I trust you to make me all better..."
Step 6: CortisoneIf your pet has extremely itchy hot spots, then cortisone should help ease the discomfort. This will also prevent your pet from picking at the area and reduce the chances of the hot spot becoming more severe. Your vet will decide if this is a necessary part of the treatment.
"I'll just stick to licking this leaf instead of the itchy spot"
Step 7: Elizabethan CollarFinally, your vet might give your pet a bit of a safety measure. An Elizabethan collar will keep the pet from chewing at the area and making the hot spot worse. Sure, it might look a little funny and feel a little uncomfortable. But since you can’t explain to your dog that they shouldn’t chew at the hot spot for it to get better, an Elizabethan collar can be a great way to give hot spots time to heal. As you can see, the treatment is quite simple. That said, it’s important to treat hot spots right away, because they can lead to infections and pain. You should also consult with your vet to diagnose what is causing hot spots in your dog. They don’t just appear out of nowhere!
"Put this on they said, it will be fun they said..."