Heartland Animal Hospital Blog
Acute moist dermatitis, more commonly known as hot spots, occurs due to a bacterial infection on your pet’s skin. Your dog or cat will naturally bite, chew, lick or scratch his skin in response to an irritant. Unfortunately for your pet, this tends to increase rather than decrease his discomfort. Anal gland disease, allergies to fleas or food ingredients, mange, tick bites, and inadequate grooming are the primary causes of hot spots in companion animals.
Hot, humid weather can cause excess skin moisture that in turn causes hot spots to develop. It’s especially important to check your pet’s skin for evidence of hot spots now that the weather is consistently warm.
How to Recognize Hot Spots
If your dog or cat has developed hot spots, she will exhibit at least a few of these symptoms
- Lesion that appears red or raised
- Unexplained swelling
- Constant licking or chewing a certain spot of her skin
- A red or brown color around the hot spot
- Unpleasant smell coming from the affected area
- Pus and oozing
- Displaying obvious signs of discomfort or pain
Preventing and Treating Hot Spots
Keeping your pet’s skin healthy is the easiest way to prevent him from developing hot spots. We recommend using year-round flea and tick protection in addition to grooming his coat regularly. Matted fur traps moisture and can attract fleas, ticks, and other parasites. Occasionally, a pet may have a behavioral issue that causes the biting, scratching, and licking that leads to hot spots. If that’s the case with your pet, speak to our veterinarians to help determine what could be causing the unwanted behavior. They are happy to recommend a specific product to prevent parasites as well.
We encourage you to contact us right away if your pet displays any of the potential signs of hot spots described above.
Heartworm can have devastating consequences for your pet, including death. It is especially tragic when dogs and cats succumb to heartworm disease when it’s entirely preventable. Now that warm weather is finally here, your dog or cat has a much greater likelihood of acquiring heartworm just by being outside since the most common route of transmission is a bite from an infected mosquito.
It can be scary when your pet has ingested a potentially toxic substance, especially when you didn’t see what he licked or swallowed. To help raise awareness of the issue and prevent illness or fatality in pets, the American Veterinary Medical Association named the third week in March Pet Poison Prevention Week. Below are some hazards you should be especially aware of this time of year.
Record breaking winter is an easy headline. As everyone knows, -36 degrees Fahrenheit isn’t fun and 2018–2019 will certainly be one for the record books. I am certainly looking forward to warmer spring weather.
This year, we once again are expanding our services with new diagnostics and equipment. We have added on-the-farm lactate readers to our colic diagnostics. Read more about lactate and what it can do for your horse in the unfortunate event of an emergency.