Dog’s Hot Spots?


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I’m tired of running to the vet every time my dog develops a hot spot. Can’t I just take care of it myself?


So-called “hot spots,” a bacterial infection officially called pyrotraumatic dermatitis, or moist eczema, can begin as infected bites or scratches, and grow rapidly. Most vets recommend you let them deal with it, to prevent the infection from spreading further.

But if you’ve already taken your dog to a vet for hot spots, still have some antibiotic cream left over from the experience, and consider yourself handy with a clipper, there’s no reason you can’t take care of it yourself.

The key is early detection. As soon as you see a wet, raw-looking lesion, shave the area around the lesion. (See a groomer if you’re not feeling all that confident in your own clipping skills.)

Then apply an antibacterial ointment. Continue applying medicine twice a day, or as your vet directed, until it heals. It usually takes no more than a week or two for the sores to shrink, and the hair grows back in another week or so after that.

But if the lesion continues to grow after another day or two, rather than dry up, get your dog to a vet pronto. This time it’s unavoidable.