In people, allergies usually show up as the classic signs of hay fever – runny, itchy eyes, sneezing, a drippy nose. Dogs and cats get don’t the same signs. Dogs usually get itchy, smelly ears and many suffer from chronic chewing on their feet.
Areas of severe inflammation and infection on their skin are called ‘hot spots.’The medical term for a hot spot is ‘acute moist pyotraumatic dermatitis,” but we’ll just refer to them here as “hot spots.”
Hot spots, in particular, can make dogs miserable. The ‘hot’ in ‘hot spot’ refers to the inflammation and pain that always accompanies these areas of itchy, broken skin. The dogs then make matters worse by chewing and scratching at the area, and they set up the region for infection, making the spot more painful and itchy. It’s easy to see how this cycle can repeat and lead to a messy, infected, and inflamed area of skin. They’re not life-threatening, but they are miserable and painful.
For the most severe hot spot cases, fur from the area needs to be removed and cleaned. This often requires sedation and pain control – having someone run clippers over an area of painful skin is not something pets will allow without some chemical help. Antibiotics also help clear up the staph infection that almost always accompanies these areas, but they have to be given for weeks in many cases. Breaking the cycle and intervening early can help avoid all of this fuss in many cases, but often these cases advance and need a medical full-court press in order to get them back to health and comfort.
Prevent hot spots from worsening with preventative care. To fight off itchy skin, we suggest the PetArmor® Anti-Itch Spray to treat dry, irritated skin and allergy dermatitis. Spraying impacted areas can help control the spread of lesions and infections such as hot spots.
In the case your pet has already developed an inflamed hot spot. PetArmor® offers a Hot Spot Remedy for Dogs that treats and soothes hot spots caused by rubbing, scratching, and biting. It works fast to kill bacteria associated with hot spots, including staphylococcus intermedius.
If a hot spot occurs because of skin allergies, what can the pet parent do to help out their itchy pet?
- Limit exposure to grasses and pollens by keeping dogs indoors as much as possible in spring and summer and using A/C and HEPA filters to avoid allergens.
- Watch for early signs of a hot spot since early medical help can help keep these spots from becoming worse.
- Bathe allergic pets regularly in a soothing and hypoallergenic shampoo.
- To control itchy allergies, try antihistamines like the PetArmor® Antihistamine Tablets.
- Use a topical soothing cream to decrease inflammation on early and small hot spots to keep them from getting worse.