Hot spots, also referred to as Summer Sores and moist dermatitis is a term that is used to describe several skin problems that are common in German Shepherds. Hotspots are a nightmare since they spread quickly and can be rather painful.
What are hot spots in brief? A hot spot is like a large, raw, inflamed sore that can bleed or ooze yellowy fluid. They are caused by a bacterial infection and can cause a lot of pain,
Early identification and treatment are, therefore, essential to ensure that you always have a healthy German Shepherd. In this article, we will help you understand the causes of these hotspots, how we can treat them, and how to prevent them from reappearing.
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What are Hot Spots?
Hotspots occur on German Shepherds when small areas of their skin are inflamed as a result of bacterial infection. Most dog owners will mistake hotspots for insect bites since they start small and grow rapidly. Your German Shepherd will begin licking the affected areas constantly in a bid to relieve pain. However, doing this will elevate the growth of the bacteria greatly.
When hotspots are not identified on time, they grow into painful and oozing lesions. Most dog owners don’t identify hotspots early, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up if you fall under this category.
Causes of German Shepherd Hot Spots
Hotspots are usually caused by a bacterial infection, as stated earlier on. However, bacterial infections happen due to several reasons. Let us take a lot at the different causes of bacterial infection to help you avoid German Shepherd hotspots.
Your German Shepherd tends to scratch and lick parasite infested areas on its skin. Constant licking or scratching may result in the occurrence of hotspots. Some of the common parasites that affect your German Shepherd include fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. A single bite from any of these parasites will lead to constant itchiness, especially when your German Shepherd is highly susceptible.
Your German Shepherd might start itching due to an allergic reaction. The allergy could be caused by something coming to contact with your dog’s skin or certain foods. Licking and scratching should be stopped immediately to reduce the chances of hotspots.
Treating hotspots in German Shepherds
Although hotspots are easy to treat, you need a Vet. You cannot treat German shepherd hotspots by yourself. Below are the steps that your Vet will follow to treat the hotspots:
The Vet will start by clipping all the hair around the hotspot. This is done to ensure that infection chances are reduced. Your dog may be anesthetized depending on the condition of the hotspot.
Your Vet will then wipe down and scrub the hotspot using an antiseptic solution. In some cases, the hotspots crust over, forcing the Vet to remove the crust first before applying the antiseptic solution.
Your German Shepherd will then be given antibiotics or steroids orally or topically. The amount offered will depend on the infection level.
The area then needs to be cleaned daily using medicated wipes until it clears up. A cone collar is prescribed depending on where the hotspot is located. The cone collar ensures that your dog doesn’t keep licking or scratching the affected area.
Understand that antibiotic treatment lasts around four weeks. Ensure that you finish the antibiotic cycle to avoid reinfection.
Preventing German shepherd hotspots
To prevent German shepherd hotspots, you need to start by identifying the cause first. For example, if your dog is suffering from arthritis, then try to make them feel better by rubbing it and warming the joints.
In case your German Shepherd can’t seem to stop scratching, then try using anti-lick creams or sprays. These sprays and creams are affordable, and you can get them from the local stores.
Ensure that your German Shepheard is not subjected to any substance that they are allergic to at all times. Learning your dog’s allergies is essential in ensuring you avoid hotspots.
German Shepherds are affected by hotspots more when compared to other dog species. Prevention is self-explanatory once you know all the causes. You must take all the necessary steps to ensure that you have a healthy dog.
Although hot spots are common with German shepherds, they don’t pose a considerable threat. These hot spots usually clear up within a matter of weeks once you go to your Vet. Your German Shepherd is a pretty resilient breed that will always bounce back quickly from these hotspots.
The above information should help you identify the causes of hotspots and the preventive measures that you need to take. However, only your Vet has the expertise to carry out the treatment process. There are some temporary home remedy solutions that you could try out to ease the pain before you get your dog to the Vet.