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Diagnosing and Treating Hotspots

photo of a dog with a hotspot on their tailHotspots can cause pets a great deal of discomfort. If these inflamed skin lesions aren’t properly treated, they will only worsen over time, and the risk of a bacterial infection increases dramatically. Let’s take a closer look at how Charles D. Whitworth, DVM, in Madison, Alabama, diagnoses and treat hotspots.

Ugly and Uncomfortable

Hotspots are easy to see. They are often found on the head, chest area, and hips. In an effort to soothe the burning sensation, pets constantly lick and scratch the inflamed area. Because of the continuous scraping against the skin, pets tend to lose hair around the hotspots. It is not uncommon to see pus oozing from the skin. If you think your pet is suffering from this common problem, be sure to contact Whitworth Animal Clinic.

Discover & Treat the Cause

The root cause of hotspots varies from one pet to the next. Some of the most common causes include flea-allergy dermatitis, ear infections, environmental irritants, and parasites such as dust mites. During hot weather, long-haired dogs are more susceptible. This is why it’s so important to wash their coat on a regular basis. In order to stop hotspots from occurring, the underlying trigger must be discovered and treated.

Treatment for Hotspots

Dr. Whitworth will examine your pet and conduct the necessary testing to discover the irritant. After a diagnosis is made, Dr. Whitworth will develop an effective treatment plan which may include topical medication, pills, shots, or change of diet. The most important thing is to keep your dog or cat comfortable during the healing process. To make the hotspots easier to treat, the surrounding hair may need to be shaved. While an antiseptic solution is often used to cleanse the inflamed areas, antibiotics may be prescribed to medicate a secondary infection. Meanwhile, antihistamines can help reduce itchiness.

Preventing Hotpots

It’s definitely a good idea to regularly groom your pet. Bathing is especially important. Aside from keeping your pet smelling fresh, a good washing will help rinse away allergens and bacteria. Protecting your pet from fleas and ticks is just as important. Of course, every pet needs to be examined by an experienced veterinarian.

A Trusted Veterinary Practice

Located in Madison, Alabama, Whitworth Animal Clinic proudly serves all of the surrounding areas in north Alabama such as Huntsville, Decatur, Triana, and Athens. You can always trust us to make your pet’s health a top priority. From veterinary dermatology and dentistry to surgery, boarding, grooming and more, we provide a wide range of important pet services. Call for an appointment: 256.830.1503.

*This article is not meant to take the place of professional veterinarian advice. If you have any questions, call the staff at Whitworth Animal Clinic.

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