Hot spot advice

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Hot spot advice

Postby Munkos » Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:25 pm

Last night I went to do some laundry and go to the washroom. I came out of the laundry room and Dante was sitting in a pile of fur with a huge wound on his neck. My first instinct was that there was a fight (I don't know why I thought this, I was steps away with a door between us and heard nothing) so I separated the dogs and put all to bed but him (and they all thought I was some hysterical crazy lady because they were sleeping and being good doggies). My brain just couldn't comprehend it being anything else in those few minutes.

The closer I looked though he had a huuuuge wound and a lot of the fur he'd pulled out was matted with blood and scabby. And then the itchies came on hard and he wouldn't leave it alone. This all came out of nowhere, it looked like something blew up in his neck! A few nights ago he was scratching really hard and often in that same spot - both DF and I checked it out and saw nothing, no open wounds, no blood, no bites, etc and after that hour or so, he left it alone and we hadn't seen him scratch since.

We took him to the vet today who gave him a shot for his itching, shaved back all the hair and gave us some antibiotics. He's still itchy though and it's on a spot on his neck that is right behind where a cone would sit, so we can't put on the cone of shame to keep him away.

Skin issues like this are all new to us! We dealt with mange and Dante has had a bit of a problem with the skin on his stomach bugging him, but nothing like this. I don't know if the two are related (we've been dealing with the skin on his stomach off and on for a year now) or if this is isolated and it's own issue.

We really don't know what could have started it - bug bite, yeast, wet spot, scratch, etc.

Any tips on the best way to make sure it heals properly and to deal with them in the future (should they keep happening anyways)?
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Re: Hot spot advice

Postby Misskiwi67 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:28 pm

Clipping the hair and letting it dry are the most important things. The hair wicks the moisture from the skin outward, turning a tiny skin pustule into a large skin infection in a matter of hours. I've seen giant hot spots develop almost overnight, and they stop as soon as you shave the hair.

If its still not dry the day after, ask your vet if they carry something called Neo-predef. Its an antibiotic/steroid powder that works great and stopping the itch, drying the skin, and stopping the infection.

Usually it stops itching once its dry, but some take longer than others.
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Re: Hot spot advice

Postby Munkos » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:26 pm

Thank you! He seems to be less itchy now, although he went out for a pee in the rain (I wasn't thinking) and that drove him nuts until he dried off.

Seems the hardest part is going to be keeping the other dogs from trying to clean his wound - we'll have to crate and rotate for a few days I think!
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Re: Hot spot advice

Postby Taffys_Angel » Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:57 pm

Yeah, Taffy developed her first hot-spot EVER today. I don't know if something got under her collar on our hike yesterday or what (she's never had a hot spot before, and the irritation is located right under where her collar sits)...

First thing I did was shave the area, clean it really well with an antiseptic I have in the doggie first aid kit, and put some Polysporin on it twice. It hasn't gotten worse, is already less red and no longer producing puss... I hope I discovered it in time to prevent it from becoming a big problem. :(

Hot spots suck!!

(picture from just after shaving and cleaning off all the puss):
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Re: Hot spot advice

Postby Munkos » Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:38 pm

That looks so much better than his did! His is a giant scab now and was a HUGE wound.

MissKiwi can probably weigh in on this - but our vet told us that if we noticed him itching like that again or caught a small hot spot to give him some benadryl and apply a cortisone cream to the spot (as long as it was small enough/not a big wound again)

This was Dante's the night he did it - we didn't shave or cut back any of his hair, this was just minutes after I came in to find him

Image

Taffy's doesn't look near as irritated, so hopefully that means you caught it in time before it gets bigger!
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Re: Hot spot advice

Postby Misskiwi67 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:13 pm

The key to hot spot treatment is shaving the hair. The infection is often 2-3 times larger than you realize, sometimes even bigger than that.

You must shave until you have 1 cm of normal skin on all sides to stop the spread of infection.

Applying creams is fine if you can guarrantee 100% the dog will not lick. Skin ointments often contain antibiotics and carrier chemicals that were not meant to be consumed. This is not a problem in people, but dogs like to lick ointments off their skin.
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Re: Hot spot advice

Postby Munkos » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:44 am

Speaking of that

How long after applying a cream is it then okay to lick? Dante can't reach his where it is now, but we haven't put the cortisone cream on because of the other dogs. He's started to crack now and I can tell the healing is making him itchy so I might try it. Should I just crate and rotate, or if he's in his crate for 2 hours or so afterwards, will it be okay if the others do sneak in a lick before I catch them?
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Re: Hot spot advice

Postby Misskiwi67 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:58 am

I tend not to advise the use of creams unless there is absolutely no licking involved.

The other dogs shouldn't be allowed to lick either, its just as likely to harm them when ingested, and their licking will cause inflammation to the healing skin.

I would imagine a couple hours would work, but I really have no idea because its not something tested for and known.
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Re: Hot spot advice

Postby Munkos » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:41 pm

We're back to the vet tomorrow now. He scratched himself wide open again, and much bigger this time in less than two seconds. In the time it took us to stop him (we were sitting right there with him) damage was already done. Currently waiting and hoping the benadryl kicks in and we've put the cortisone cream on, but so far he's still miserable and going crazy.

Sigh. My poor guy!!
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Re: Hot spot advice

Postby heartbullies » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:26 am

Ugh. B is allergy fest right now. I feel your pain.

He once had sutures in his neck from surgery. The cone didn't work to prevent scratching. So I put thick socks on his hind feet after using a nail file on his toenails. You can use kid socks, they may fit better. I think I used two layers of socks, some duct tape, and also the cone collar. I suppose you can also use canvas/neoprene dog booties, but at the time, I was broke and desperate and used the socks. We had carpet then so he wasn't sliding too much either.

Just an idea, not to solve the hot spot, but to prevent some more self-surgery type stuff.


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Re: Hot spot advice

Postby Munkos » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:38 am

The vet doesn't want to see him again, but we do have more antibiotics to pick up and some steriods this time that will hopefully do the trick. Fingers crossed. The benadryl last night didn't seem to help the itching too much, but it did eventually knock him out so he went to sleep.

I think we will try socks. It's hard to put things on his feet since he's only got the 3, he's pretty protective of the one's he's got left so I don't know if he'll tolerate it well, but we'll find out! We do have booties he sometimes wears, but they were pretty expensive, I don't want to risk him chewing them up, he needs them! I'd have to order anything else in so socks it is!

He's got a big fold of skin from his scar tissue from his attack and the resulting surgery. When he was younger the vet was considering removing it, but it wasn't bothering him or causing any issues so we all collectively decided to leave it. His hotspot is now right along that huge fold of skin, so if this becomes a continual problem, we might be looking at another surgery to remove all the extra and see if that stops the problem - the vet is pretty sure he's getting moisture and then yeast in his fold and with his thick hair and the heavy skin/scar tissue it's going to be a problem.
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Re: Hot spot advice

Postby Taffys_Angel » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:11 pm

Taffy's doing much better. The spot is not weeping, swollen, or moist anymore. Thankfully the spot isn't reachable and there are no other dogs in the house that might lick it... and she's not tried scratching it since early yesterday. I think I caught it in time. (I posted a photo of it in the gallery in my Autumn thread)

Dang dog is going to give me an ulcer. First her toe nail incident on July 1st, now this. Figures things would start happening to her during the first year I'm no longer working at a Vet' Clinic... :po:
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