A “hot spot” is an area of inflamed, irritated and infected skin. The infection can have a bad odor and a discharge which matts up the hair coat over the affected area.
The potential causes of a hot spot are prolonged dampness of the skin leading to irritation and infection, irritating agents in contact with the skin such as harsh shampoos or chemicals, and/or underlying skin diseases such as allergies. Some breeds seem more predisposed to hot spots such as Golden Retrievers, but any breed can be affected.
The affected area needs to be shaved to remove crusting and allow affected skin to be treated most effectively. The area should continue to be cleaned at home twice daily with diluted Betadine (iodine), gently patted dry, and a topical medication applied sparingly. Betadine is an antibacterial and antifungal which is much milder and less painful on the skin than either alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Oral antibiotics should be given at home with meals as directed. Please monitor for any stomach upset, vomiting or diarrhea, which can occur with antibiotic, use and call the clinic with any problems. If your pet received a steroid injection today to reduce swelling and pain, he/she may drink, eat and urinate more frequently for a short period of time- so please be patient with them if any “accidents” in the house occur!